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Bishop Shanahan pulls out win over Great Valley in extra inning thriller

DOWNINGTOWN >> It is not often you see a baseball team walk 16 opposing batters in a game.

It’s even more rare for that team to win.

But Bishop Shanahan held tough, rallied more than once, and eventually pulled out a 9-8 victory over Great Valley in the bottom of the ninth inning on Tuesday, when Andrew Noone laid down a perfect bunt that forced an errant throw into right field, sending Will Conrad scampering around the bases to score the winning run and a thrilling Ches-Mont League win for the Eagles.

“I was really excited going around the bases,” Conrad said. “I saw the first baseman throw the ball down the line and I was hoping coach (Brian Boyko) was not stopping me. I was going to keep going and it was a great feeling coming across the plate for the win.”

Conrad was also the winning pitcher for the Eagles (1-2 Ches-Mont, 1-2 overall) as he was the fifth Bishop Shanahan pitcher. Conrad threw one and two-thirds of scoreless relief in setting down a potent Great Valley (1-1, 1-2) attack that had forged a 7-2 lead after five innings.

But even with the lead, once the Patriots took out starter Keenan Metrick, who struck out 10 Eagles batters in five innings while giving up four runs, the flood gates opened for the host Eagles. Down 7-3 going to the bottom of the sixth inning, Bishop Shanahan scored five runs on five hits on the Great Valley bullpen to take the lead at 8-7 after six. Bishop Shanahan got a big two-run single from Logan Kapcynski, one of his three hits for the game, and a double from Jake McCrater to forge a one-run lead after six innings. Kapcynski knocked in four Bishop Shanahan runs.

“I was seeing the ball really well,” Kapcynski said. “This team of ours starts slow but we really came back today. We were 0-and-2 and we really needed a win. I feel this team can always come back when we are down and we showed that today. A game like this can really give us momentum for the rest of the season.”

Great Valley came right back in the top of the seventh inning, scoring one run on three hits. The big hit was an RBI single by Anthony Cristinzio, scoring Matt Curtis, who had roped an RBI single before stealing second base. The score was tied 8-8 and the game headed to extras.

Both teams threatened in the eighth inning, but neither could score a run. Great Valley was set down in order by Conrad in the top the ninth, setting up the big Eagles rally to win the game in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Conrad led off the inning against Naveen Narayanan, the fourth Great Valley pitcher. On a 2-2 count, Conrad was plunked by a fastball and was given first base. Up stepped Noone, who already had three hits for the game, and he laid down a perfect bunt. Great Valley first baseman Luke Nemeth slid while fielding the bunt, and threw the ball from his knees to first base. But no one was covering the bag and the ball went down the right field line, scoring Conrad and Bishop Shanahan had a big comeback win, its first of the young season.

“We really needed it,” Conrad said. “I came in the eighth inning and just wanted to throw strikes and get people out. Nothing fancy, just trying to pound the zone and help get my team a win.”

Bishop Shanahan 9, Great Valley 8 (9 inn.)

Great Valley 401 020 100 – 8

Bishop Shanahan 002 015 001 – 9

2B-Nemeth, Cristinzio, McCrater. 3B-Kapcynski. HR-Curtis.

WP-Conrad. LP-Narayanan.

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