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Colin Kennedy, Hatboro-Horsham edge Wissahickon in pitchers’ duel

HORSHAM >> Colin Kennedy did it all for Hatboro-Horsham Monday afternoon.

The senior pitched a complete game shutout and knocked in both runs in a 2-0 Suburban One League American Conference win over Wissahickon at Hatboro-Horsham High School.

“Our pitching has done what they’re supposed to do and we find a way to scrape together a few runs and we get a win out of it,” Hatboro coach Pete Moore said of his team this year.

The game-winning hit came in the bottom of the third inning. Hatboro’s Ryan Long and Eddie Schultz stood on second and third with two outs. Wissahickon coach John Bernhardt visited pitched Logan Willans on the mound after he fell behind 2-0, and Kennedy hit the next pitch back up the middle for a two-run single.

“Over the last two games I haven’t gotten a hit,” Kennedy said. “So I was really craving for one. Luckily I did it in a clutch spot. It really helped me out there.”

“I came back in (to the dugout) and I was talking to my assistant,” Bernhardt said. “In my head I’m like, ‘I should probably go breaking ball with a base open,’ and I didn’t. It is what it is. Colin did what he had to do — he hits a 2-0 fastball back up the middle.”

Kennedy didn’t get in much trouble on the mound. He struck out three straight batters after surrendering a leadoff double to Alex Tappen in the fourth inning and stranded runners on the corners in the sixth.

He allowed three hits over seven innings. He struck out nine batters and walked one.

“Just dominate the zone,” Kennedy said of his strategy against Wissahickon. “I really wanted to work away and work in — hit the corners like I have been and spot up like usual. Today I didn’t have my best stuff spotting up, but still got the job done. I think I still looked pretty good out there and threw a good game.”

Willans went the distance for Wissahickon. He gave up two runs on four hits over six innings. He walked three batters and struck out five.

It was Willans second loss to Hatboro this year. He lost a 1-0 game earlier in the season when the only run was unearned in the first inning.

“He lets up four hits, it’s just tough,” Bernhardt said. “He’s been a hard-luck loser in like three games. It’s tough. I know the offense is trying their best. We just need to try to get better and stick together as a group.”

The Hatters improve to 11-4 overall and 9-2 in SOL American play. They’re tied for first place with Quakertown and have beaten the other top three teams in the league — Quakertown, Upper Moreland and Wissahickon — 2-0 in their last three league games.

“This is where you want to be,” Moore said, “but there can’t be a letdown. We’ve got to keep going, keep clicking on all cylinders. When you’re able to roll out the pitching that we can roll out, that helps you to stay sharp.”

“It’s going to show itself in playoffs,” Kennedy said of the Hatters current standing, “where we’re going to go and how far we’re going to go. I think we’re on a good roll right now and I think it’s going to keep going. Very confident in that.”

The Trojans fall to 9-8 overall and 6-5 in league play. They entered the week unofficially No. 13 in the District 1 Class-5A power rankings — where the top 16 teams make the playoffs. They have games against Cheltenham, Upper Moreland and Springfield-Montco remaining.

“At this point I’m worried about getting in to districts,” Bernhardt said of this loss putting Wissahickon three games out of the SOL American lead with three to play. “I don’t know what the magic number is to get in, but we just have to get wins at this point. We have three games left, we just have to bounce back. I told the guys after the game it’s tough. The defense was really good and Logan pitched his butt off. We just didn’t get big hits when we needed to. Colin’s tough. He made big pitches when he needed to.”

Hatboro-Horsham 2,  Wissahickon 0
Wissahickon           000 000 0 — 0
Hatboro-Horsham 002 000 x — 2
WP: Colin Kennedy 7 IP 9 K 1 BB 3 H 0 R 0 ER
LP: Logan Willans 6 IP 5 K 3 BB 4 H 2 R 2 ER
2B: W: Alex Tappen.

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