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Six-run 4th inning lifts Plymouth Whitemarsh over Souderton in District 1-6A second round

Plymouth Whitemarsh's Johnny Giordano went 2-for-3 during a District 1-6A second-round game against Souderton Wednesday, May, 24, 2023. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

WHITEMARSH >> Plymouth Whitemarsh needed a spark in its District 1-6A second-round playoff game against Souderton Wednesday and got it from Luke Gartland.

With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, Gartland made a play deep in the hole at shortstop and used the turf at Colonial Yards to one-hop a strike to first base and strand a Souderton runner in scoring position.

The Colonials, who were hitless for the first three innings, responded with five hits, three walks and six runs in the bottom of the fourth to turn a three-run deficit into a three-run lead.

Those six runs proved to be enough as No. 5 Plymouth Whitemarsh defeated No. 21 Souderton, 6-5, at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. The Colonials advanced to the quarterfinals and will face No. 4 Abington Friday.

Plymouth Whitemarsh shortstop Luke Gartland makes a throw to first against Souderton during a District 1-6A second-round game Wednesday, May, 24, 2023. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

After being the spark in the top of the fourth inning, Gartland appeared to be a full-on bonfire in the bottom of the frame. After Colin Brady hit an RBI single and Gabe Caucci worked a bases-loaded walk to get Plymouth Whitemarsh (13-4) within one, 3-2, Gartland seemed to clear the bases with a three-run double down the left field line. While the senior was celebrating on second base, he and most others in attendance learned it was ruled a foul ball.

Gartland continued his at-bat and tied the game, 3-3, with an infield single.

“You just have to get back in the box,” Gartland said. “You still have a job to do for your team. I feel like in that moment it’s all you really could do. You couldn’t dwell on what happened with the call. Just get back in the box and do your job.”

“For (Gartland) to just stay poised, stay in there,” PW coach Chris Manero said, “he stayed within himself. He worked a really good at-bat, fouled some pitches off and then took care of it at the end anyway. That’s tough to do. It would be very easy for him to get up there deflated and chase a bad pitch or something, but that was impressive.”

There never was one moment when PW caught fire – just spark after spark after spark.

Chase Olszyk followed with an RBI infield single to a near identical spot as Gartland’s to put the Colonials ahead, 4-3. Next Gavin Rocks plated a run with a fielder’s choice where he got to first base just in time to stop an inning-ending double play. Johnny Giordano followed with an RBI single to make it 6-3.

“One thing we’ve struggled with this year was putting the ball in play like that,” Manero said. “It’s something we’ve worked on a lot but we’ve had a hard time executing. We’ve seen a lot of teams do it against us. I think to watch our guys put that inning together – by just putting the ball in play, putting the ball in the right spot, not looking for too much, having good patient at-bats – we’ve been waiting a long time to see an inning like that.”

“Everyone was hitting the ball,” Gartland said. “No one was taking selfish at-bats, just putting the ball in play, which is sometimes all you have to do.”

“We got ourselves in trouble with some walks and hits for them,” Souderton coach Mike Childs said. “It was tough getting out of that fourth inning. When you have that kind of inning, and it’s the beauty of high school baseball, it’s just it is what it is. It’s just tough sometimes. It’s always a learning experience. It’s tough for the seniors, but it happens.”

Souderton (9-9) cut its deficit to one, 6-5, in the top of the sixth inning when Connor Klock crushed a two-run home run to right field. The tying run reach second base with one out and the top of the order up, but PW reliever Matt Krawitz got a grounder to third and a strikeout to send the game to the seventh with his side ahead.

Plymouth Whitemarsh pitcher Matt Krawitz celebrates a strikeout against Souderton during a District 1-6A second-round game Wednesday, May, 24, 2023. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

In the top of the seventh, Joey Crecca worked a one-out walk and Zach Pollock followed with a single to put runners on the corners. PW went to left-handed pitcher Chase Fisher to face a left-handed batter and he recorded a one-pitch save – getting a fly ball to center that Tyler Gartland tracked down.

Dylan Robinson earned the win for Plymouth Whitemarsh. He allowed three runs in the first inning before posting four scoreless frames. He surrendered the home run to Klock to finish his day allowing five runs on eight hits in five innings.

“Once he got through that (first inning) and especially the second inning,” Manero said, “he was getting into his rhythm. At that point, we were like let’s see how far he can take us. After that first inning he was the Dylan that we’ve seen all season.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh pitcher Dylan Robinson throws against Souderton during a District 1-6A second-round game Wednesday, May, 24, 2023. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

Tyler Lutz took the loss for Souderton. The left-hander allowed five runs on two hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out three batters to eight walks. Greyson Norris came on in relief and allowed one run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts to no walks.

Souderton’s first five batters of the game reached base and the first three scored. Lutz plated Chris McKenna and Austin Kreyenhagen with a two-run single before Crecca added another run with an RBI double.

“We basically did our job of what we wanted to do coming out and scoring runs early,” Childs said. “We had a good scouting report and he kept us in check for a couple innings.

“It was a great game both sides. I can’t really say too much negative about it because we battled right until the end. Kudos to them is basically what it is.”

Souderton pitcher Greyson Norris throws against Plymouth Whitemarsh during a District 1-6A second-round game Wednesday, May, 24, 2023. (Ed Morlock/MediaNews Group)

Plymouth Whitemarsh 6, Souderton 5

Souderton 300 002 0 – 5

Plymouth Whitemarsh 000 600 x – 6

WP: Dylan Robinson 5 IP 1 K 1 BB 8 H 5 R

LP: Tyler Lutz 3.1 IP 3 K 8 BB 2 H 5 R

S: Chase Fisher 0.1 IP 0 K 0 BB 0 H 0 R

2B: S: Joey Crecca, Chris McKenna.

HR: S: Connor Klock.



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