Pennridge’s run stopped by West Chester Rustin in District 1-AAAA first round

WESTTOWN — For the last four years there were three certainties in the Pennridge baseball lineup. Danny Shane, Joe Unangst, and David Tatoian were going be penciled in and playing. The seniors and four year starters were in there on Monday in the opening round of the District One AAAA playoffs.

The rest of the Rams were a revolving door all season. They landed on a new-look defense against West Chester Rustin and until the fifth inning the 25th seed had the edge over the eighth seed. However the Golden Knights answered back and ended the Suburban One League Continental Conference club’s season with a 3-1 win in West Chester.

After a 67-minute rain delay, the Rams (15-7 overall) rolled out the senior-laden lineup, anchored by a sophomore pitcher Andrew Mayhew. The right hander held down the Golden Knights for five innings, scattering six hits, walking none, and striking out three batters. Coach Tom Nuneviller elected to go to Shane for the third time around the lineup.

“Mayhew had a tremendous season after pitching ninth grade baseball last year,’ Rams coach Tom Nuneviller said. “He is not the biggest guy, but he goes out and throws strikes. He changes speed and did a real nice job all season at this level.’

Shane issued a leadoff single to Charlie Concannon, who was 3-for-3 with a double and the game winning run scored. The power hitting first basemen reached third after an erred throw by Shane off the mound and scored on sacrifice fly to Unangst, who was patrolling right field.

“I was just trying to find something to spark us,’ Nuneviller said. “I threw Riley (Hager) back there (to catch) against Quakertown and put Joe out there (in rigtht field) to do something different.’

Unangst threw a strike to home, but the ball was cut off and the going ahead run scored. After a second error another came across. Unangst, who played right field for his first three seasons with the Rams, was the catcher for every games except the regular season finale against Quakertown and in the playoff game.

“We had so many close games this year we could not pull out in the end,’ left fielder Mitch McLeod said. “We had a lot of talented guys. Everyone wants to play, everyone can play, but only nine can play at a time. We went out and hoped for the best.’

Other moves coach Nuneviller made were inserting Andrew Horne and McLeod into the lineup. The junior McLeod single twice and came around to score the lone run after a Tommy Nuneviller RBI double in the third inning. The Golden Knights starter Andrew Chobany only allowed five hits in the win.

“You just want to get runs,’ Nuneviller said. “We had Mitch stealing on the pitch and Tommy hit a nice ball into center field. We just could not get another big hit.

Also a change from the norm was Austin Rush patrolling second base, while Tatoian was limited to designated hitting duties. The four-year starter singled to extend the sixth inning for his lone hit and Unangst followed with a hard liner to the left-center gap, only to see the Golden Knights defense come up big in big spots. When coach Nuneviller decided to put Shane, Tatoian, and Unangst on the roster as freshman he had big dreams. They won some big games, but never quite the ultimates prizes the program had in mind.

“I just could not get them over the hump,’ Nuneviller said. “It was struggle all season to get the momentum we had in years past. I just did not do a good enough job. These guys tried hard.’

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