Di­a­monds top­ples Rebels

The Ambler Gazette - - OPINION - By Den­nis C. Way

Af­ter Nor­ris­town had sunk into a two-game hole in its Perkiomen Val­ley Twi­light LHDJuH VHPLfinDO SODyRII VHULHV DJDLnVW APEOHU, fiUVW base­man Mark Roth spent a sleep­less night won­der­ing what had hap­pened. His con­clu­sion? The Di­a­monds were still the bet­ter team. And af­ter the Game Two set­back, he made sure ev­ery­one on the bench knew that they still were goLnJ WR ZLn WhH EHVW-RI-fiYH set.

“I even texted Vince (Nor­ris­town man­ager Vince Elsier) at 1 in the morn­ing, and told him there was no way (Ambler) was go­ing to beat (Mike) Caron, (Matt) Sper­ling and (Matt) Zoltak, our pitch­ers in the next three games.

“With all due re­spect to Ambler, be­cause they have good pitch­ing, too, I just didn’t think they could beat our guys.”

Sure enough, Roth turned prophet.

Caron al­lowed just two runs in Game Three, Sper­ling tossed a two-hit shutout in Game Four and Thurs­day night at Lat­shaw-McCarthy Field, Zoltak brought the Di­a­monds all the way back, fash­ion­ing a com­plete-game, four-hit­ter as Nor­ris­town re­turned from the brink with a 6-1 win and a 3-2 vic­tory in the se­ries.

With the vic­tory, Nor­ris­town re­turns to the Perky LHDJuH finDOV WR WDNH Rn three-time de­fend­ing chamSLRn CROOHJHYLOOH. 7hH finDOV se­ries will pit Nor­ris­town against Col­legeville for the third year in a row and the 12th time in league his­tory.

Nor­ris­town brought a terUL­fiF VHULHV WR Dn DnWL-FOLPDFtic end, scor­ing all six of its UunV RYHU WhH fiUVW WhUHH Ln­nings, then coast­ing be­hind Zoltak.

The Di­a­monds got it startHG Ln WhH fiUVW ZhHn -HVVH Day­walt, an offensive cat­a­lyst all year long, sin­gled to right off Rebels starter Zach Was­son, stole sec­ond and third and scored on Bryan Mul­h­ern’s ground out.

Pete O’Hara dou­bled in a sec­ond run with two out in the sec­ond, and the Di­a­monds were on their way.

Was­son had be­fud­dled the league for much of the sea­son, and was thought to be dou­bly dan­ger­ous with an

ex­tra day’s rest, made pos­si­ble by Wed­nes­day night’s rain­out.

But Nor­ris­town, beaten by Was­son in Game Two of the se­ries, got to the tough righthander, putting the game away with a four-run third in­ning.

Day­walt, again, got things started with a sin­gle. Backto-back sin­gles scored Day­walt.

Then af­ter Roth was hit by a pitch at­tempt­ing to bunt to load the bases, Mike Is­gro’s bloop sin­gle plated a pair and Javier Bar­retto’s sin­gle to cen­ter com­pleted the scor­ing.

“I think what helped was fac­ing (Was­son) for the sec­ond time in the se­ries,” said Day­walt, who reached base three times. “We kind of got his tim­ing down and what he liked throw­ing in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions.

“We were a lit­tle more com­fort­able fac­ing him.”

Ambler scored in the home third on a pair of walks, a wild pitch and Rocky FerULHU’V Ln­fiHOG VLnJOH.

But the Rebels’ frus­tra­tion be­gan to show in the later in­nings.

Mike Fer­rier was tagged out af­ter it was ruled he FDPH RII fiUVW EDVH DIWHU EHDW- ing out a hit in the fourth, then was ejected for ar­gu­ing the bizarre call.

In the Nor­ris­town sixth, Ambler man­ager Marty Eck­ert was tossed af­ter ar­gu­ing that Pete O’Hara had been hit by his own bunted ball out­side the bat­ter’s box.

But by game’s end, all Eck­ert had was re­spect for Nor­ris­town and praise for his team.

“(Nor­ris­town) is as good as ad­ver­tised,” Eck­ert said. “Even though they’ve changed some this year, they’re still that fran­chise that’s been do­ing it for years and knows how to win big games. Vince has done a great job with them.

“Our guys are prob­a­bly not go­ing to re­al­ize what they’ve ac­com­plished this year for a cou­ple of weeks, but what they did this year was pretty spe­cial.

“They faced a good ball­club in this se­ries and were a break or two away from win­ning it.”

As for Col­legeville, Roth said the Di­a­monds would be ready.

“(Col­legeville) is the No. 1 seed and the three-time champs,” he said. “They’re a good team - they hit, they pitch and they play de­fense.

“BuW wH’UH D FRn­fiGHnW team right now.”

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