North Penn rolls past Pennridge in 5 for 2nd straight win

PERKASIE >> North Penn baseball coach Kevin Manero said the Knights have approached trying to improve their offense from just about every angle.

“We’ve gone back to the drawing board and we’ve worked on everything,” Manero said. “From our approach to at-bats to a little chalk talk, to some mechanical adjustments, to taking a lot of extra swings, to taking no swings. I mean we have tried it all.”

So far this week, something has gotten the bats going. North Penn posted double-digits runs for the second straight game Tuesday afternoon, scoring six times as it batted around the top of the fourth inning as the Knights rolled past Pennridge 11-0 in five innings at Kulp Playground.

““I think both last night and tonight we had a couple innings where we executed real well,” Manero said. “Today, we had a situation where we had a couple of big two-out hits to extend an inning. So I do thing that we’re starting to swing the bats better, we’re starting to be more aggressive. But I also think some of our execution has really improved the last couple of games.”

North Penn's Jared Goreman delivers a pitcher to a Pennridge batter during their game on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Jeff Davis/For Digital First Media)
North Penn’s Jared Goreman delivers a pitcher to a Pennridge batter during their game on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Jeff Davis/For Digital First Media)

Corey Stouffer was 2-for-2 with a walk and three RBIs, driving in two runs with his double to right center as North Penn (10-6, 6-5 Suburban One League Continental) scored four times with two outs in the third to take a 5-0 lead.

North Penn had just one hit in the fourth – a Matt Marino RBI single – but took advantage of two Pennridge errors and five walks, including four straight with the bases loaded to match its run output from its 11-2 win over Quakertown Monday night.

“The offense, these last few games, we’ve definitely got the hot bats we needed,” Stouffer said. “Just started clicking and everything.”

Pennridge (10-7, 6-5) collected only two hits off NP right-hander Jared Gorman as the Rams were shutout for the second straight game – falling 4-0 to Central Bucks South Monday.

“Tough day,” Pennridge coach Tom Nuneviller said. “We had a close game yesterday against CB South, we were battling a tough pitcher (Dan Klepchick). And then come out today, we got to show a little bit of life and we just couldn’t, I didn’t get them going what we needed to do.”

Gorman gave up just a leadoff double to Dan Long in the bottom of the first and a single to Andrew Fantaskey in the single in earning the five-inning shutout. He walked one and struck out four.

“Just trying to throw strikes, let them put the ball in play, let my fielders make the players,” Gorman said. “Just pound the zone, mix my stuff up, get the off balance and just throw strikes.”

Pennridge used five pitchers, with starter Nate Coyle taking the loss, allowing five runs – one earned – on five hits in three innings. He walked none and had one strikeout.

“Yesterday, we were basically fighting for first place. We win yesterday we’re in first place basically. Now, the rug kind of pulled out from underneath us a little. Now we’ve got to see what we’re made of,” Nuneviller said.”

“We’re going to see if we can bounce back tomorrow and come out against a Hatboro-Horsham team who’s always had good pitching, so we saw a couple good pitchers in a row, we’ll get a third one tomorrow. We’ll see if we have any fire in our belly.”

The Rams – who have lost two straight and three of their past four – host Hatboro-Horsham 3:30 p.m. Wednesday back at Kulp Playground.

jeff davis — for digital first mediaAlex Peterson dives back to first base before getting tagged out during their game against Pennridge.
North Penn’s Alex Peterson dives back to first base during the Knights’ game against Pennridge on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Jeff Davis/For Digital First Media)

North Penn tries for its third consecutive win at home against Souderton 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

“We’re definitely feeding off the do-or-die mindset we’ve got going on,” Stouffer said. “Just take it one game at a time, do everything we can to get the win.”

North Penn took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an Alex Peterson RBI single, then blew things open by scoring four times with two outs in the third.

Stouffer made it 3-0 by belting a two-RBI double to deep right center to plate both Mason Nadeau and Peterson.

“Just looking for a pitch I could drive, put it play,” Stouffer said. “I mean two outs, you got runners on, you just want to put the ball in play, make something happen in the field.”

After a pitch hit Andrew Kirsch, Nate O’Donnell’s singled to score Stouffer. With O’Donnell caught in a rundown between first and second, Kirsch stole home to put the Knights up 5-0.

North Penn did not have a hit in its first eight at-bats in the fourth, but still scored four times. Two errors sandwiching a walk loaded the bases with no outs, while Peterson, Kadar Namey, Stouffer and Kirsch all earning RBIs with walks for a 9-0 NP advantage.

“We’ve done a pretty good job all year of not going out of the strike zone,” Manero said. “We just needed to do a better job of being aggressive in the strike zone. I think right now we starting to put that together. So, it’s equating to better at-bats.”

After a strikeout, Marino’s RBI single brought in Namey while a Ryan Bealer RBI fielder’s choice scored Stouffer to make it 11-0.

Long doubled to left to open the Pennridge half of the first, but Gorman retired the next three Rams batters.

In the second, Fantaskey hit a two-out single then went to third as Luke Nuneviller reached on an error. Pennridge tried a double steal to the game, but shortstop Zach Miles threw Fantaskey out at home.

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