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GNALBL: Perk Valley, JP Mascaro split doubleheader

WORCESTER >> Perk Valley and JP Mascaro split a Greater Norristown American Legion Baseball League doubleheader Tuesday at Methacton High School.

The Raiders won the first game, 4-1, while Mascaro took the second game, 11-10, in eight innings.

The first game was a continuation of a suspended game with Perk Valley leading, 2-0, early in the fourth inning.

Mascaro’s first three batters in the bottom of the fourth inning singled to load the bases and a run scored when Chris Troemel was hit by a pitch, but that’s all Perk Valley’s Mike Gama would allow.

The left-hander struck out seven batters over four innings while allowing one run on three hits. He retired 10 straight batters to close out the game after hitting Troemel to force in a run.

“He picked up right where we left off with the suspended game,” Perk Valley coach Tim Tyson said. “He did very well once he got in his groove. First inning there they got a couple hits on him and all, but once he got back in his groove he was great and he’s been doing a great job for us.”

The Raiders added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh to give Gama some breathing room. Logan Carney led off with a single and scored on an error. Colin Buckwalter singled and scored on a Sam Mikesic sacrifice fly.

The second game was as wild as the 11-10 eight-inning final score suggests,

Mascaro walked off with the win in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Trailing, 10-9, Zach Griffin reached on an error, Morgan Heckler worked a walk and Ryan McDonnell was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout, Josh Dubost stepped up to the plate.

Dubost, who was 0-for-4 prior to the final at-bat, ripped a single down the left field line, scoring two runners to give Mascaro an 11-10 win.

“It was bases loaded, two outs,” Dubost said. “I got two fastballs that I thought were inside but he called them on me so I was down 0-2. I figured he was going to throw a curveball and I guessed right. Inside low, I was able to put my hands out in front of it and pull it for a base hit.”

Mascaro scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie and take a commanding lead into the final inning.

But Perk Valley didn’t give up. Gavin Kairer scored a run with a groundout, Joe Gorla knocked home two with a single and two runs scored on an error to tie the game at nine.

“We got down by a bunch in that second game and they fought back,” Tyson said. “I can’t ask for anything more than that. They didn’t give up. They kept playing hard. A couple things, a couple bounces go a different way in the field and we end up with that ballgame, but playing good teams here they put the ball in play and you have to make the plays … but I’m very happy with everybody.”

Gorla’s two-run single was the only hit in the top of the seventh inning. PV took advantage of two errors, two walks and a hit batter.

“The wheels fell off a little bit,” Dubost said. “Things weren’t going right for us but we rallied back. That’s all that matters.”

The Raiders kept that momentum going and took the lead in the top of the eighth. Ethan Crovetti tripled and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 10-9 game.

Mark Engleman had a big game for Mascaro. He went 2-for-5 with four RBI. He had a two-run single to put his side ahead in the third inning and an RBI groundout to give them the lead in the fifth inning.

Mascaro fell out of first place after losing the first game, but returned to the top spot in the GNALBL after winning the second game to lift their record to 8-3.

“It’s very important,” Dubost said. “We want good seeding so we get better games and more byes. It’s pretty important.”

Perk Valley sits at 3-4 after splitting the two games Tuesday.

“I think we have the guys here to make a push,” Tyson said. “We’re unfortunately going to have a lot of games in a short time span. We’ve had some rainouts, we’ve had some games we had to move due to senior week and things like that. Now we’re coming down the home stretch here and it’s going to be important to have everybody. I like everybody we have here and I think once we have everybody on the field we can make a good push.”

The GNALBL regular season is scheduled to end July 1.

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