LOWER POTTSGROVE >> Boyertown hadn’t played a game for over a week. Pottsgrove had already had several non-league games and scrimmages canceled this year. So both teams were still trying to figure out who’s who, what they can do and what positions they should be playing two weeks into the season.
But in this case, the Bears had the advantage in their Pioneer Athletic Conference crossover game on Friday afternoon because they had No. 1 starter Richard Black on the mound and veteran catcher Steven Colucci behind the plate. And those two seniors played major roles in visiting Boyertown’s 10-0 win as Black threw three one-hit innings and Colucci knocked in three runs, blocked several pitches in the dirt and did a good job of calling pitches.
The Bears (1-0 PAC, 2-1 overall) built a nine-run advantage through three innings with the help of nine walks and three well-placed bunts and the game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. The Falcons (1-1, 2-2) were held to one hit, a line drive single to center leading off the third inning by Ricky Scott.
“We got some nice bunt hits down and we rolled the ball instead of popping it up,” Boyertown coach Todd Moyer said. “At this level, players can catch popups. We have to make sure the defense has to make plays.”
The Bears scored one in the first on a one-out infield hit by Colucci, a steal by courtesy runner Chase Dornblaser and an RBI single past third by Max Kneidinger. They added two in the second when they loaded the bases on singles by Randy Wynings, Jayden Kohn and Aidan Myers (on a bunt), Colucci followed with a walk and Easton Albert grounded to short.
Then Boyertown combined four singles (two on bunts) and four walks for six more runs in the third, the big hit being a two-run ground single through the left side by Colucci.
Meanwhile, Black struggled in a 28-pitch first inning as he walked a batter and hit another, but allowed only one more walk after that and finished up with five strikeouts.
“He didn’t have good control of his curveball, but he settled in after the first inning and got the curveball working and made some good solid pitches,” Moyer said.
Colucci helped out his pitcher when some of his curves ended up in the dirt.
“When Richard found his curveball, he blocked four or five,” Moyer said. “Steven did a really good job. And he did a good job of calling pitches. When we put some young pitchers out there, we’re going to need that.”
Boyertown added its 10th run in the fourth on two walks, a foul fly to right that advanced the runners and a run-scoring grounder to short by Elijah Calvert. Joe Kerns pitched the last two innings, getting an out on a grounder to first with two away and two men on in the fifth to preserve the 10-run lead and shutout in five.
The Bears took advantage of their time off to tune up their game.
“We got a lot of practice in,” Colucci said. “We needed practice. I think we have to play as a team and execute the plays. I think that’s the biggest things. Offensively, and play good defense. We’ve got to do that every game.”
The Falcons are looking forward to a similar break coming up when they will be able to get in some practice and find out more about their younger players.
“We just weren’t sharp all around,” Pottsgrove coach Jamie Nash said. “We had three of our non-league/scrimmage games canceled. We’re still learning who does what. We have four starters back and players competing for five positions. We’re going through growing pains. It will be nice next week. We have two games and then a little break with Easter to evaluate.”
Boyertown 10, Pottsgrove 0 (5 innings)
SB – Dornblaser, Albert, Z Tyson
Balk: Rogers. WP-Kerns. Hit By Pitch: by Black (Pysher), by Z Tyson (Panunzio)
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