ROYERSFORD — It was a game that neither starting pitcher deserved to lose.
With Boyertown starter Pat Hohlfeld and Spring-Ford senior Bret Clarke tossing five strong innings, the Bears utilized a four-run, seventh-inning rally to overcome the Rams, 6-2, Saturday at Ram Stadium.
Hohlfeld got the win on the bump as the sophomore allowed one run and one hit while striking out three and walking four for Boyertown (3-2 PAC-10 and overall).
“I was comfortable out on the mound, especially knowing that I already had two runs of support behind me after the first,’ said Hohlfeld. “Our defense made a lot of plays in the field, which made things a lot easier on me. It definitely felt good to come out and get this win.’
On the other side, Clarke took the loss for Spring-Ford (3-1 PAC-10, 3-2 overall), as he was plagued by two walks to the first two batters he faced in the opening frame which led to two runs before settling in to allow just one hit, two more walks and seven strikeouts.
“That first inning was tough,’ said Clarke. “I just didn’t have my best stuff early on and I took some time to settle in. Once I did, though, I was feeling really good out there. Sometimes it just takes time.’
But the Bears offense took no time to settle in.
Ryan Jacobs (2-for-3) and Ben Longacre each had an RBI in the first to take a 2-0 lead and both scored later on in the seventh as Ryan Weller delivered a two-out, bases-clearing double to deep center to give the Bears some more cushion at 6-1.
Jordan Shustack (1-for-3) also scored in the seventh as he tug up on Zach Moser’s deep fly to center.
“We did a really good job and hit the ball when we needed to,’ said Boyertown head coach Todd Moyer. “Pat gave us a really good start on the mound, and (Clarke) threw well for them. Fortunately, we were able to put some runs on the board early on, which took a lot of pressure off Pat on the mound.’
Ryan Markey had two singles for Spring-Ford while Zach Zoller and Brian Varani each had an RBI in the game.
The Rams managed a run in the second as Mike Fuhrmeister was hit by a pitch and eventually came around to score on a grounder by Varani.
In the fifth inning, the Rams were threatening with men on first and third with two down and Cam Simmons at the plate, but Hohlfeld struck him out looking to end the threat and hang on to the one-run lead.
Spring-Ford tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh as Zach Wojcik slapped a double to right-center before Zoller knocked him in with an RBI fielder’s choice.
But Bauer eventually shut the door as he forced Markey to pop out to left field to give the Bears the 6-2 win.
“Boyertown did all of the things that you have to do to win,’ said Spring-Ford head coach Bruce Brobst. “They pitched really well, they played defense, they executed their offense … and that’s why they beat us. They did all of the things we didn’t do today.’
And for the Bears, it was one of their best efforts of the season.
“We knew we were going to have to play really well to beat a team like Spring-Ford,’ said Moyer. “They’re a strong team, so we knew we couldn’t make many mistakes out there. I’m happy with the way we showed up both in the field and at the plate.’
NOTES — Andrew Bauer pitched the final two innings for Boyertown and let up one earned run on three hits and no walks. Matt Yost allowed four earned runs in two innings on three hits and a walk for the Rams. Spring-Ford will look to get back to its winning ways as the Rams host Pottstown on Monday while Boyertown will look to keep rolling against Pope John Paul II at home.