Melone drives in 5 runs, North Penn blasts Boyertown in District 1-AAAA quarterfinals

TOWAMENCIN — For the entire regular season the North Penn baseball team was carried by its pitching staff while the offense, loaded with potential, fought through its funks as it looked for the right combination one-through-nine. Through the first two games of the District 1-AAAA playoffs it has been the Knights’ offensive onslaught that has put them into the quarterfinals.

A 14-6 win over fifth-seeded Boyertown secured a PIAA berth and inched the fourth seed in districts closer to a district championship. The Knights (18-3 overall) play West Chester East in Tuesday’s semifinal game.The other district semi is be between Council Rock North and Owen J. Roberts.

The Bears (18-5 overall) play a playback game as five teams make the PIAA playoffs.

“We did not have the shut down innings we had all year, but we came out hitting,’ Knights coach Kevin Manero said. “It was a really good offensive effort.’

For the second time this week, the Knights had a first inning to set the tone. A five-run spurt off Bears starter Pat Helfold erased an early run by the PAC-10 program. Bears leadoff man Dalton Hughes doubled and scored quickly. The Boyertown senior and Penn State Berks commit had three hits on the afternoon, but he could not compete with the Knights’ lineup.

“We hit the ball well and kept fighting,’ Hughes said. “They are a good team and played better than us today. Two great programs. We are going to keep playing, try to make states, and hope to see them again.’

Led by senior Jared Melone and his five RBIs, including a first inning double to extend an early lead, the Knights pounded out 15 hits in the win. The top four men in the lineup went 12-for-17 on the afternoon in support of starter Kellen Williamson. The tall right-hander earned the win despite allowing 11 hits and five runs in four innings of work.

“We got Kellen runs and he settled in,’ Melone said. “We are all peaking at the right time, putting good swings on it. I just try to battle and pick my teammates up.’

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