LANGHORNE – Neshaminy senior Zach Tredway didn’t come out for baseball last season and before this year, never even played in a varsity game.
Doesn’t it just figure then that Tredway would have a significant impact on the Skins’ biggest win in years, Wednesday’s 4-3 triumph over ninth-seeded Souderton in a District 1-Class 6A Round of 16 matchup.
A flanker for the NHS football team, Tredway singled, walked twice, and scored a pair of runs including the winning tally. Defensively, he moved from his position in right field to take a spot on the mound and record the last three outs to earn the save.
“We know what Tredway has and when he’s on, he’s pretty lights out,” said Skins head coach Dan Toner. “We were very confident going to him in that situation.”
The win puts Neshaminy into Friday’s D-1 quarterfinal pairing with Suburban One National League rival Council Rock South, a 3-0 upset winner over top seed Downingtown West.
While Souderton’s season ends at 14-8, Skins starter Zach Boop earned his seventh win of the season, limiting the visiting Indians to a pair of runs on three hits. A Lehigh commit, the senior righthander battled a through a cold and some early control problems to give Neshaminy five solid innings.
“I wasn’t really eating the past couple days so I got drained pretty quick out there,” said Boop. “It was a big game and I did not want to come out so I tried to battle through it.”
Boop surrendered a game-opening double to Souderton leadoff hitter Jack Despain, hit the second batter then saw a run score on Brett Moyer’s single to right field. He got out of the jam, however, by inducing flyball outs to the next two hitters.
In the bottom of the frame, Neshaminy wasted no time jumping on Indians’ starter Blaise Sclafani, putting the first three batters on base on an error along with consecutive singles by Tredway and second baseman Brian Nicolas.
That set the stage or cleanup hitter Eddie Parry, who came through with a big two-run double over the rightfielder’s head. After blowing a stop sign at third base, Nicolas did an about face but fell in the process. That left him in a rundown between there and home plate and he was subsequently erased from the basepaths.
Parry moved to third on the rundown, however, and scored on Ben Raab’s RBI single to left field, giving the Skins an early 3-0 lead. They never trailed again, from there.
“We’ve been hitting the ball all season but we’ve been stuck with guys on base because we just weren’t getting them in,” said Toner. “Today, we had some guys come up clutch – Ben Raab, Eddie Parry – exactly what we needed.”
“Our bats have been slow the past few games but they came around today,” added Boop. “We faced a really good pitcher today but we battled and did we did well against him.
In the second inning, Boop had trouble finding the strike zone, walking the Indians’ number seven and nine hitters around a sac-bunt. Big Zach and teammate Jerry Scavone got out of the jam, however, with Boop inducing a grounder by Despain and the third baseman scooping the ball up, sweeping the bag and whipping the ball to first base for the 5-3 doubleplay.
“All year, we’ve been solid in the field,” said Boop. “It just gives you a lot of confidence on the mound.
“There were a few errors here and there but we battled through and got it done.”
After retiring the side in order in each of the third and fourth innings, Boop had a few more blips, walking the first batter and beaning the second to begin the fifth. A sac-bunt pushed the runners to second and third base and a single by Souderton centerfielder Luke Barnum scored the lead runner.
The trailing runner, however, was cut down at the plate on a perfect relay from Parry at first base.
“Our defense has been lights out all season and that’s expected,” said Toner. “We needed guys to come through clutch, not that we were playing bad, we just haven’t had guys clutch. Today, we were there and we were clutch.”
Junior righthander Evan Matthews came on in the sixth inning and loaded the sacks after giving up a pair of walks sandwiched around a single by Souderton relief pitcher Jordan Morales. He got out of the jam, however, inducing a grounder to first base by catcher Greg Gallagher to escape the frame without any damage done by the visitors.
Matthews put the first two runners on base in the seventh before giving way to Tredway. Zach fanned rightfielder Tyler Summarell for the first out then induced a grounder to Moyer, which looked like it had the potential for a game-ending doubleplay.
The ball scooted under the glove of Nicolas at second base however, making this a one-run ballgame. Brian would get a shot at redemption, thanks to Tredway, who fanned shortstop Derek Freed on four pitches and induced a grounder to Morales that was slapped directly at the second baseman.
Nicolas fielded the grounder cleanly this time, ending the battle in the Skins’ favor.
“Brian has been solid for us all year,” said Boop. “I knew one error wasn’t going do us in. I knew he was going to come back and not let it get in his head. And I knew Tredway was gonna shut them down.”
Now, Neshaminy gets a chance to avenge its last-game-of-the-regular season loss to CR South that cost the Skins a share of the SOL National Conference title. The Hawks toppled Neshaminy 5-1 in that one in a game South absolutely needed to catapult itself into districts.
A 10-2 Golden Hawks’ district playoff win over sister school CR North and a shocking 3-0 victory over Downingtown West puts the Skins in the crosshairs of yet another SOL showdown.
“We want that game; we really, really want that game so we’re excited,” said Toner.
The morning of this matchup, Boop emailed his head coach, telling Toner he was ready to go, despite his ongoing ailment. That means Matthews is ready to go in Friday’s pairing with Rock South.
Conversely, lefthander Zach Mayer – who limited the Skins to a lone run in a six-inning start on May 16 – is prepared to take the hill for the Golden Hawks.
Bucks County baseball fans can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Neshaminy 4, Souderton 3
(May 24 at Neshaminy)
SOUDERTON (14-8) 100 010 1 – 3 5 1
NESHAMINY (16-4) 301 000 0 – 4 7 1
WP — Zach Boop (7-2) 5IP, 2R, 3H, 3BB, 2SO, 2HB; LP — Blaise Sclafani (3-1) 4IP, 4R, 6H, 1BB, 2SO, 1HB.
DOUBLES: S — Jack Despain. N — Ed Parry.
RBIs: S — Luke Barnum. Brett Moyer; N — Parry 2. Ben Raab 2.
MULTIPLE HITS: S — Luke Barnum 2-for-3. N — Ben Raab 2-for-2, Cory Joyce 2-for-3.