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Kurtz wins varsity debut as Boyertown shuts down Norristown

WEST NORRITON >> Boyertown was aggressive on the base paths early and with starter Noah Kurtz in command of his two-seam fastball, the lefty retired 11 in a row in his varsity debut, powering the Bears to a 15-1 win over Norristown in six innings on Wednesday.

“Good to get it out of the way,” Kurtz said of his first start, coming in a PAC Liberty contest at Norristown High. “I was notified (Tuesday) about the start so I slept on it, had it on my mind all day.”

After surrendering a line-drive single to Tyler Pastella, and after Nick Chiodo was hit by a pitch and Pastella later raced home on a errant throw to bring the Eagles within 4-1, Kurtz settled into the kind of groove pitchers always dream about, retiring 11 straight to close out his impressive four innings of work.

He allowed just one run — unearned, gave up one hit while striking out four, walking none and he had the one hit-by-pitch.

“He got ahead of his hitters and he changed speeds,” Bears coach Todd Moyer said, “and if you can do that in a high school game, you’re gonna win a lot of games. He did a good job.”

By the time Kurtz even took the mountain-high mound at Norristown, he had a four-run lead to work with.

Michael Raneri got things started by ripping a single up the middle, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then was able to steal third.

Jake DiCesare later drew a bases-loaded walk to score Raneri and make it 1-0 and Mitchell Peers would race home on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. Two more runs scored on an error, putting starter Nick Chiodo and the Eagles (0-6, 0-5 PAC Liberty) in a hole early.

“We have stretches where we play well and then we have those one or two innings a game where we fall apart,” Eagles coach Jack Sturgeon said of his young squad. “(And offensively) we’re finding our way but we’re having trouble stringing an inning together.”

Norristown got solid hits from Ben Carty and Nick Edling but left a pair of runners stranded in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Boyertown (1-1, 1-1 PAC Liberty) again showed its speed on the bases with Raneri stealing third and scoring on a single by Tyler Kreitz, making it 5-1 in the second.

“We work on that, practice that and rely on that,” Moyer said of the Bears’ base running. “It’s part of our offense. It was good to get some base runners and get some attempts. We’re gonna do some more of that — hopefully we’re as successful as we were today.”

Quinn Mason’s towering triple to the wall in left was followed up by a sac fly by Nick DiCiacco (2-for-3) and a run scored on a wild pitch, making it 7-1 in the third.

“We started fast, got some good at-bats right out of the chute, settled down and played some good ball,” Moyer said.

RBI doubles by Peers and Anthony Rota were part of an eight-run sixth for Boyertown.

“We had Spring-Ford a couple days ago and lost so this was a good bounce-back game for us,” Kurtz said.

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