PERKASIE >> The toughest part for the Neshaminy baseball team Friday afternoon was just getting to Kulp Playground.
“We thought (the game) was 3:45. And we thought the JV game was supposed to be at 3:30. Then we hit a detour, so we were all over,” Redskins coach Dan Toner said. “So we were rushing in the end. We didn’t run our full (pregame) infield/outfield.”
The travel issues, however, had little effect of the Neshaminy bats. The Redskins racked up 17 hits against host Pennridge, six coming during their six-run fourth inning that blew open the Suburban One League non-conference contest and helped Neshaminy best the Rams 13-5.
“We’ve had a lot of close battles recently, but this is one where I was hoping we’d would we open up and we did,” Toner said. “And this is a big game for us because although it is non-league it is that crossover game that counts for our district seeding. So they were ones that we needed to win and I’m glad that we came out that way.”
Neshaminy (11-2, 6-1 SOL National) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Brian Nicolas’ two-RBI double in the top of the first but Pennridge answered with a pair of runs in the their half of the inning. The Redskins, however, went ahead for good by plating three in the third then extended their lead to 11-3 in the fourth, scoring all six of their in the frame runs with two outs.
“We’ve had a couple of games where we weren’t hitting the ball as well as we want to. But today we came ready to play and we just hit,” Neshaminy center fielder Anthony Rapposelli said.
The loss for Pennridge (5-8, 3-3 SOL Continental) was its four straight with the Rams now having dropped seven of its past eight after a 4-1 start.
“We’re scuffling a little bit,” Pennridge coach Tom Nuneviller said. “It’s tough right now. It’s tough right now, we’ve got to fight through it. You can quit or you’ve got to fight. So I think we have guys who are going to keep fighting. We’re just struggling right now.”
Neshaminy completed the regular-season sweep of Pennridge — the Redskins won 8-0 at home March 30 — for its fourth straight win and ninth in the past 10 games.
Nicolas was 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and two run scored for Neshaminy. Rapposelli and Zach Tredway both were 3-for-5 with Rapposelli scoring twice. Eric Gale finished 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.
“We had 17 hits today and that was good for us to see,” Toner said. “Our pitchers and defense have been lights out. Our hitting has been decent, but that was a really nice game for us just to open up and get our swings in tune a little bit.”
For Pennridge, Joe Robinson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs while Jake Siwert was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) April 29, 2017
Neshaminy starting pitcher Evan Matthews earned the win giving up five runs — four earned — on nine hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Ian Kacergis took the loss, the Rams starter allowing five runs — all earned — on six hits in two-plus inning. Kacergis, who walked one and struck out two, was taken out of the game after 48 pitches due to soreness.
“Ian came out with a little bit of a sore arm, I don’t think he was at his full go today,” Nuneviller said. “But I’m not taking anything away from Neshaminy, they swing the bats, they’re a good team.”
Pennridge tied the contest 2-2 in the bottom of the first on a Kyle Yoder RBI ground out and a Siwert RBI single.
Luke Nuneviller prevented the Redskins from taking the lead in the second. The center fielder’s throw home after a Tredway single was just in time to catcher Robinson to get Jacob Jones at the plate for the third out.
“That a momentum play, so yeah when that happens you’re hoping that gets us going a little bit,” Tom Nuneviller said. “We battled. I thought our at-bat were better today. We did a nice job against (North Penn’s Matt) Stevenson (in a 7-3 loss) yesterday. We had some aggressive swings and we did it again today. That’s coming around a little bit but we got to play clean on defense.”
Neshaminy regained the advantage with a three-spot in the third. Nicolas led off with a double and scored when Eddie Parry singled on the next at-bat. Two walks loaded the bases for Gale, who brought in two runs with a single down the third-base line.
The Rams cut the margin to 5-3 in the bottom of the third as Yoder — who hit a one-out single — scored after a Siwert single and Neshaminy error.
But the Redskins quieted Pennridge’s comeback efforts their next chance at the plate, posting six run in the fourth on five straight two-outs hits.
“Our philosophy is to try to drive the ball to (the) opposite side and we did that really well today,” Rapposelli said. “We just had nice short swings and put the ball to the right side and got runners on.”
Ben Raab made it 6-3 with an RBI single up the middle. The Skins added two more with a Jones double to left and a Rams error. Back-to-back RBI doubles from Gale and Joyce had the Redskins up 10-3 before a Rapposelli RBI single pushed the lead to eight.
Pennridge loades the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth and Robinson made it 11-5 by lacing a two-RBI single into left center, but that ended up being the Rams’ final hit of day.
Neshaminy tacked on two more runs in the seventh on a Nicolas RBI ground out and Rapposelli scoring as Parry reached on an two-out error.
Neshaminy 13, Pennridge 5
Neshaminy 203 600 2 — 13 17 3
Pennridge 201 200 0 — 5 9 3
WP: Evan Matthews 6 IP 9 H 5 ER 4 R 1 BB 4 SO 1 HB.
LP: Ian Kacergis 2 IP 6 H 5 R 5 ER 1 BB 2 SO 1 HB.
2B: N-Nicolas 2, Eric Gale, Jacob Jones, Cory Joyce.
Neshaminy: Gale 2-4, 3 RBI; Joyce 2-4, RBI, 2 R; Nicolas 2-4, 3 RBI, 2 R; Eddie Parry 2-5, RBI, 2 R; Anthony Rapposelli 3-5, RBI, 2 R; Zach Tredway 3-5, R;
Pennridge: Joe Robinson 2-3, 2 RBI; Jake Siwert 2-3, RBI.
Top Photo: Pennridge runner Kyle Yoder dives back to first base to beat the throw to Neshaminy’s Eddie Parry during their game on Friday, April 28, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)