WC Henderson rallies late to stun CR North

WEST CHESTER >> For a playoff baseball team to advance, it needs players who refuse to quit, regardless of the situation.

Well that can certainly apply to 15th-seeded West Chester Henderson. Monday afternoon at Owens Field, the Warriors stormed back to score four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning – with Eric Lintelman stroking a game-winning RBI single – as Henderson stunned 18th-seeded Council Rock North, 4-3.

The thrilling victory puts the Warriors (12-10 overall) into the second round road game Wednesday at No. 2 North Penn.

“I hit a high hanging curve ball,” Lintelman said. “I was just trying to put the ball in play because good things can happen when the ball is in play. Andy DeLucia started things off for us with a single in the 5-6 hole and we just had a lot of energy and belief that we could come back on them. We had bases loaded in the sixth inning and didn’t score so we knew we could get runners on.”

The visiting Indians (10-11) bolted out to an early 2-0 lead when Nick Digiacomo roped a long two-run home run off Warriors starter Ethan Ginagiulio in the top of the second inning. The Indians made it a 3-0 lead when Jadon Tang ripped an RBI single in the top of the fourth, and it looked like the Warriors’ season was coming to a close.

But Henderson put pressure on Indians’ starter Pat Dougherty in the bottom of the sixth inning. Conor McCartney led off the inning with a single and after Nick Cugino flied out to left field for the first out, Danny Surowiec and Giangiulio both singled and the Warriors had the bases loaded with just one out.

Dougherty, who was clearly starting to tire, struck out Lintleman and then got a great running catch from his center fielder Lee Kedar on a liner by Pete Omridis to end the threat.

“The kids have been resilient all season long,” Henderson coach Luke McNichol said. “We have been in a lot of tight games and we were only really out of one game and that was early in the season against Rustin so the kids really have been through a lot of tight games.”

With a 3-0 deficit staring them in the face and down to their last three outs, the Warriors started things off in the seventh inning with a clean single by DeLucia. Pinch-hitter Landon Culp then singled to put two runners on with no one out.



West Chester Henderson’s (23)Nick Cugino tags out Council Rock’s (7) Brady Campbell as the Warriors came back to win 4-3 in District 1 playoffs Moonday. (PETE BANNAN-DAILY LOCAL NEWS)

Dougherty was tough, however, and he came back to strike out Drew Giunta for the first out of the seventh inning.

Up stepped Nick Cugino, who hit a bomb to left center field that banged off the fence for a two-run double. It cut the deficit to 3-2.

“I hit a high fastball and really got a good piece of it,” Cugino said. “I was just trying to hit something up the middle and it was great to see Landon Culp get a big hit because he hits like crazy in practice. And we just took good at bats right after each other and we were hitting him hard.”

The Indians put Surowiec on first with an intentional walk and then Ginagiulio hit a grounder to first base off reliever Matt Halbert to tie the score.

Lintelman then ended the tense affair with his walk-off single to right field, and the Henderson bench exploded.

“We had one walk-off in our favor this season,” McNichol said. “So this is our second and the kids are excited and they should be. We were 3-7 at one point this season and they have battled back to get in this position.”

WC Henderson 4, Council Rock North 3

C.R. North                            020 010 0 — 3
W.C. Henderson                  000 000 4 — 4
2B — Kedar, Cugino. HR — Digiacomo.
WP — Cugino LP — Dougherty.WC

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