WC Rustin rallies to down Sun Valley

WESTTOWN >> Monday afternoon at a windy West Chester Rustin High School, the host Golden Knights avenged an opening day loss to Sun Valley and ace pitcher Joshua Lillis.
Rustin had its own ace, Kyle Kearns, on the mound and the Golden Knights rallied from a two run deficit to down the Vanguards 8-2, in a key Ches-Mont American Division baseball game.
Rustin (6-5 Ches-Mont, 7-5 overall) got the usual dominating effort from Kearns as the left hander allowed Sun Valley (4-7, 6-7) just three hits while striking out 10 batters in 6 1/3 innings of work. Kearns had all his pitches going, according to Rustin catcher David McClain.
“Man, he had everything going for us today,” McClain said. “His fastball was live and his slider and changeup were going good. He had them off balance today. And it was nice to come back and score some runs off a guy who beat us the first time we faced him. We had some good at bats today.”
Sun Valley got on the board first as Justin Hickman hit a home run to left field in the top of the fourth inning to give the Vanguards a 1-0 lead. The lead grew to 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning when the Vanguards got an RBI single from Matt Sheppard. But that would be all the offense the Vanguards could muster off the Rustin ace.
The Golden Knights came back in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 2-2. Jason Feorino led off the inning with a single. then Brandon Mattei laid down a bunt that Lillis fielded but his throw to first base went into right field, sending the two Rustin runners to second and third with no one out.
Vince Hatton drove in the first Rustin run with a grounder to second base, then McClain ripped an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2. Lilli got out of further trouble by getting the dangerous Drew Brown, who ripped two doubles in the game, to pop out to second base.
After Kearns set down the Sun Valley lineup in order in the top of the sixth inning, the Golden Knights exploded for six runs on six hits in the bottom of the sixth inning. Rustin sent 10 men to the plate, with big hits coming from Nick Covis, who laced a two run triple and another RBI single from McClain.
The Golden Knights banged out 11 hits on the day in a very impressive offensive outburst.
“It was nice to see us put up some runs because we have struggled the last couple of games,” Kearns said. “And after I gave up the home run I came right back at the hitters. You do not want the other team to see you let down; you have to stay confident. I knew our guys would come through and score some runs off a real good pitcher who beat us pretty good the first time we played them.”
The win really helps the Golden Knights District 1 5A playoff hopes as Rustin was sitting as the last entry into the playoffs when the game began.
Rustin coach Brad Harkins said,
“Kyle has been sensational for us all season and he is a leader to our other pitchers. And today we settled in and the kids decided to focus and they scored some runs off a pitcher that beat us early in the season. The guys really picked each other up today and this is a big win for us.”
WC Rustin 8, Sun Valley 2
Sun Valley 000 110 0-2
WC Rustin 000 026-x-8
2B-Brown 2, Hatton. 3B-Covis. HR-Hickman
WP-Kearns. LP-Lillis

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