WEST GROVE >> The Avon Grove baseball has plans to make a deep run in the District 1 6A playoffs, and judging by Wednesday afternoon’s performance against ninth-seeded Upper Darby, the eighth-seeded Red Devils may realize those plans.
Avon Grove got a superb five inning one-hitter from junior pitcher Brayden Gregg, who also struck out 10, and they banged out seven hits to roll to a 10-0 mercy rule win. Avon Grove (15-6) will now travel Friday to play top-seeded Spring-Ford in the quarterfinals.
“I felt really good today,” said Gregg. “I was just mostly throwing my fastball up there and seeing if they could hit it. I have a lot of trust in the guys in the field and I was just pumping the fastball today.”
Avon Grove struck early as Upper Darby starter Jake Kessler walked the first three batters he faced. Nathan Schwing followed with a long sacrifice fly to center field to plate the first run. Gregg then helped himself with an RBI groundout to shortstop for a 2-0 lead.
“Getting those runs early really helps everybody relax,” Gregg said. “We got up two runs early and we felt we were going to get some more runs. We have been swinging the bats and getting good pitching, so I hope we can make a deep run in these playoffs.”
Upper Darby (12-10) could only garner one hit off Gregg, a two-out single from Max Franzini in the third inning. Gregg retired Drew Kessler on a pop out to second, and the only hit of the day for the Royals went for naught.
Avon Grove put the game away in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs on just two hits to make it 5-0.
Aidan Casey ripped an RBI single to center and another infield error allowed two more runs to score.
“We got production from the bottom of the lineup today,” Avon Grove coach John Bellaver said. “We talked about that in pregame. We said this is a new season and whatever happened during the season does not matter anymore. We are going to need everybody if we are going to get where we want to be. Brayden was very good also today.”
The Red Devils made it a 7-0 game in the fourth when Trent Dosenbach delivered a run-scoring double to bring in his brother, Trey, who singled to start the inning.
An error led to the seventh run and that was basically it for the Royals. The Red Devils ended the game in the fifth inning when Trevor Dosenbach scored on a passed ball.
“We had nine seniors and not one was a pitcher only guy,” Upper Darby coach Tom Carey said. “The kids battled all year and we won our first playoff game in 25 years. We qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2010. These kids gave it all they had all season. Today, we ran into a very good Avon Grove program, but we had a really good year.”
Avon Grove 10, Upper Darby 0, five innings
Upper Darby 000 00-0
Avon Grove 203 23-5
2B-Askin, Trent Dosenbach.
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