EXTON — Some people say defense wins championships, while others think it’s all about the offense. On a picture-perfect Wednesday afternoon, it was a combination of stellar defense and timely offense that won a Ches-Mont League baseball game.
West Chester Rustin (11-3 Ches-Mont, 11-3 overall) was clicking on all cylinders as the Golden Knights put across 14 runs on 15 hits and did not commit a single error in the field in a 14-6 victory over Downingtown East (7-8 Ches-Mont, 7-8 overall).
The Golden Knights scored nine runs in the first three innings, but it didn’t start all that well as they squandered an opportunity for a big first inning with a 5-2-3 double play with the bases loaded. Rustin was able to manage a run in the inning to take a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, East’s Spencer Cobb launched a ball that hit the base of the fence which scored Kyle Ajjan to make it a 1-1 game.
Rustin’s bats came alive in the top of the second. The Golden Knights pounded out five hits, plating four runs on East pitcher Jake Truchan.
Shortstop Charlie Concannon broke it open with a towering shot that hit the middle of the fence in right field, which scored three runs.
To Truchan’s credit, he was not getting much support from his fielders. East committed five errors on the day, including two costly ones in the second to give Rustin more opportunities for runs.
“The defense was the difference in the game,’ Rustin’s coach Brad Harkins said. “I was really proud of the way they picked up Tom Catenacci because he didn’t have his best stuff but defense really saved him in a lot of situations.’
Because of Rustin’s defense, Catenacci was able to get through six innings. Catenacci did allow eleven hits and five runs, but his defense bailed him out of trouble on multiple occasions.
“We hit a good number of balls hard that were caught but to have 15 hits and only plate six runs is not good. We had a few base running mistakes that cost us,’ East head coach Pete Susi said.
Rustin walked seven times in the game.
Andrew Chobany finished with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Matt Coates and Kevin Dougherty scored five runs in the win. Charlie Concannon and Andrew Coleman combined for five RBIs.
“I thought the kids had a real good approach at the plate today,’ Harkins said. “They were not chasing pitches, they were aggressive in their zone and they put a lot of pressure on them offensively.’
East has been plagued by sloppy defense for most of the season, which cost them on Wednesday.
“That’s pretty much been the same story all year,’ Susi said. “We are walking people and committing errors, we almost had as many errors as we did runs and we just cannot do that.’