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Neshaminy holds off Souderton in District 1-6A 2nd round

MIDDLETOWN >> The Souderton Area baseball team could not capitalize on late opportunities and the Indians’ season came to a frustrating end Wednesday afternoon.

Eighth-seeded Neshaminy erased an early 1-0 hole by plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning then added another in the third. Visiting No. 9 Souderton kept pushing for the comeback, but Big Red left six runners on base in the final three innings and came up a run short of the Redskins, falling 4-3 in the District 1-6A second-round contest.

“I really do feel like we did our job obviously every inning we had runners on, in scoring position and it just didn’t go our way I guess,” Souderton left fielder Jack Despain said. “We hit the ball, hardly any strikeouts today for us. So we put the ball in play, just didn’t go our way.”

Trailing 4-2, Souderton loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth only for Evan Matthews to get out of the jam on a ground out to first base.

In the seventh, the Indians put its first two batters on base and pulled within one when Despain scored after a Neshaminy error on Brett Moyer’s grounder. But Zach Tredway halted the Indians’ rally with a strikeout and a ground out and sent the Redskins on to the quarterfinals.

“It’s just execution. We’ve got to execute. We had two opportunities to execute and we did not,” Souderton coach Mike Childs said. “It is what is it is. You can’t do this in playoff baseball, you have to execute. And if you don’t execute, it’s not going to get it done.

“This is a good team here with a good pitcher and they’re going to battle like we’re going to battle to the end. But today was not our day and right in the last inning, two chances to execute and we did not.”

Ben Raab was 2-for-2 with two RBIs — providing Neshaminy the winning run with his RBI single in the third — while Eddie Parry drove in two with his double in the first as Neshaminy (16-4) moves on to host Suburban One League National Conference rival Council Rock South Friday. The No. 17 Golden Hawks knocked of top-seeded Downingtown West 3-0. Friday’s winner clinches one of District 1-6A’s four PIAA berths.

“We’ve been really focusing on playing as a team, or hitting as a team I should say. That’s really what we’ve been working on all week and it definitely came through for us,” Neshaminy coach Dan Toner said. “We’ve been hitting the ball all season and we’ve been stuck with guys on base that we just weren’t getting them in and today we had a couple guys come up clutch — Ben Raab, Eddie Parry, couple other guys just come through clutch. Exactly what we needed and great team win today.”

Luke Barnum was 2-for-3 with an RBI while Despain scored twice for the Indians (13-8), who lost in their district opener for the second straight season.

“I think this group, senior-heavy with 12 seniors they set a precedent of what needs to be done and what has to be done,” Childs said. “Could we have done a little better, absolutely, OK and we had some lucky breaks this year and a lot of stuff we earned and these guys have something to be proud of as a team first of all and especially as a senior class what they have done for the program is absolutely unbelievable.”

Neshaminy starting pitcher Zach Boop earned the win, giving up two runs — both earned — on three hits in five innings. He walked three, hit two batters and struck out two. Tredway earned the save after taking the mound with two runners on and no outs in the seventh.

Souderton starter Blaise Sclafani took the loss, allowing four runs — three earned — on five hits in four-plus innings. He walked two, hit one batter and struck out a pair.

Despain opened the top of the first with a ground-rule double down the third-base line then scored from third two three batters later on Brett Moyer’s RBI single to right.

Neshaminy’s half of the first started with Anthony Rapposelli reaching on an error with Tredway dropping a bunt down the third-base line that the Indians decided to let roll foul but never did to give Tredway a base hit.

A Brian Nicolas infield single loaded the bases. Parry then belted a double to right center to plate two runs while Nicolas was caught in a rundown between third and home at the end of the play.

Raab’s RBI single to center on the next at-bat scored Parry — who advanced to third during the rundown — for a 3-1 lead.

“I think today the energy really helped bring our bats alive,” Raab said. “That was a big part of how we were able to get going and break it loose.”

Neshaminy extended its lead to 4-1 in the fourth as Raab’s two-out single scored Tredway, who led off with a walk then went to second on a Nicolas sacrifice bunt.

“I’m seeing the ball real well,” Raab said. Good week of practice.  Carried it over into the game.”

In the top of the fifth, Lucas Kullman drew a leadoff walk and Greg Gallagher was hit by a pitch. A Despain sacrifice bunt advanced both runners. Barnum singled up the middle to plate Kullman and make it 4-2 but Gallagher’s courtesy runner, Tim Robinson, was thrown out at home on the play.

“I’m going to do it nine out of 10 times,” said Childs of sending the runner. “I’m going to make them make the play. It was a bounce. It was a play at the plate, it is what it is. Am I going to second guess myself? Not really. They made the play and that’s my goal is for them, we’re going to make them make the plays.”

Neshaminy 4, Souderton 3
Souderton          100 010 1 — 3 5 1
Neshaminy         301 000 x — 4 7 1
WP: Zach Boop 5 IP 3 H 2 R 2 ER 3 BB 2 SO 2 HB.
LP: Blaise Sclafani 4 IP 5 H 4 R 3 ER 2 BB 2 SO 1 HB.
S: Zach Tredway 1 IP 0 H 0 R 0 ER 0 BB 1 SO.
2B: S-Jack Despain; N-Eddie Parry.
Souderton: Despain 2 R; Luke Barnum 2-3, RBI; Brett Moyer RBI.
Neshaminy: Parry 2 RBI; Cory Joyce 2-3; Ben Raab 2-2, 2 RBI.


Top Photo: Souderton courtesy runner Tim Robinson, left, was thrown out at the plate in the fifth inning of District 1-6A second-round game with Neshaminy on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (Steve Sherman/Digital First Media)

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