Thursday, July 30, 2015

Baseball: Knights pull off the improbable

NORTH PENN 6, LOWER DAUPHIN 5 (8 INNINGS)

Baseball: Knights pull off the improbable

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NORTH PENN 6, LOWER DAUPHIN 5 (8 INNINGS)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The squad was one of the last qualifiers for the PIAA District 1 playoffs. And it was the district's fourth and final entry into the state tournament.

Well, so much for the seedings. North Penn pulled off the highly improbable Friday night, ending its Cinderella story with a 6-5, nine-inning triumph over District 3's Lower Dauphin in the Class AAAA final at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The difference was Bobby Scott's walk-off single to left field, which drove home Eddie Posavec from second base and set off a wild celebration. The contest, in which the Knights trailed by 3-0, lasted 2 hours, 11 minutes.

"It was an inside fastball, and I just turned on it," said Scott, a junior and designated hitter.

Saving its best for the end of May and early June, North Penn (17-10) captured state gold for the second time in five seasons.

Said Knights second-year coach Kevin Manero: "This is unbelievable. This is such a great group, from top to bottom. Words can't describe it. These guys turned this season into something they'll remember forever."

Brad Bertucci opened the deciding half-inning with a walk; Posavec reached base on a fielder's-choice groundout that erased Bertucci; and Posavec set the stage for Scott's winner by stealing second on a third strike to Chris Kersey.

Scott, the team's designated hitter, made the Falcons pay for walking Jared Melone by ripping a pitch from reliever Kaylor Kulina into left. Posavec, after scoring easily, was mobbed by teammates.

Senior righthander Dylan Borawski went the distance for North Penn, which overcame three errors. While throwing 107 pitches, he allowed 10 hits, struck out three, and walked three.

"He an amazing pitcher," Scott said. "He goes after batters, pounds the strike zone."

Had the game gone to the 10th inning, Manero said he would replaced Borawski with an available reliever. Borawski lasted nine innings with the help of low pitch in the early innings.

Trailing by 5-4, Lower Dauphin forced extra innings with a seventh-inning tally. Kulina knocked home Jeff Light (bunt single to third base) with a single to left.

In the sixth, the Falcons, who took top honors in the District 3 tournament, cut the gap to one on Kyle Fails' RBI single.

Down by 3-0, the Knights exploded for seven hits and five runs in the fifth. Brady West (double), Posavec (double), Chris Kersey (single), Melone (single), and Scott (single) each registered RBIs.

The outburst started with three straight hits: Mason Nadeau's double to right-center; Anthony Cameron's single to left-center; and West's double to left.

Lower Dauphin touched Borawski for three runs in the third. Kulina posted an RBI single to left, and Deaon Stafford added a two-run, right-side single.

For North Penn, Kersey went 3 for 5 from the cleanup position; West was 2 for 5 from the top spot; and Melone, from the No. 5 hole, went 2 for 4.

Lower Dauphin 003 001 100-5 10 0

North Penn 000 050 001-6 12 3

WP: Dylan Borawski. LP: Kaylor Kulina. 2B: NP-Mason Nadeau, Brady West, Eddie Posavec.

Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Rick O’Brien has been at The Inquirer since 1993, primarily covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Reach Rick at robrien@phillynews.com.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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