CALN >> Pitching and defense are the ways to advance in the District 1-6A baseball playoffs. Friday night at Atkinson Field, it was 14th-seeded Central Bucks West who outdid the host and No. 6 Coatesville. CB West turned three double plays and got a superb pitching performance from freshman Jacob Greer in a 6-1 win. Coatesville was hampered by five errors.
The Bucks (17-6) clinched a state playoff berth and will face No. 2 North Penn in the semifinals on Tuesday. Coatesville (15-7) goes to the consolation bracket to play a team to be determined at home in a do or die game to make the PIAA tournament.
“I am very composed when I am out there on the mound,” Greer said. “I just try to pound the strike zone with my fastball and let my defense do the job behind me. They were great tonight and they made my job a lot easier. When we got the early lead, I think it relaxed everyone. I try to stay composed all the time on the mound no matter what the score is.”
The Bucks scored a single run in the top of the second inning on Greer’s sacrifice fly. The run was set up by a Coatesville infield error and a walk by starting pitcher Josh Howe.
They tacked on two more in the fourth on just one hit. An infield error led off the inning on a hard hit ball by Will Hogeneur. Howe then hit Alex Valdez with a pitch to put two men on.
After Quinn Illig flied to center field for the first out, Greer helped himself again by lining an RBI single to center. After a walk to Jack Hogeneur, a Howe pitch got by catcher Joey Mozzone and Valdez came sliding across the plate just before Howe applied the tage for a 3-0 advantage.
“We played such a clean game the other night against Downingtown East,” Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. “And tonight, we kicked the ball around and did not look sharp at all. It is very frustrating.”
Greer was setting the Red Raiders down fairly easily as he stranded runners in each of the first four innings. He allowed just five hits while walking two in his 6 2/3 innings of work. Greer also struck out five batters.
The Bucks put them away in the fifth inning when they scored twice on two hits against reliever Connor Monaghan. Illig had the big hit, a ringing RBI double to left. An infield error led to another run and the visitors were of to the races with a 5-0 lead.
They made it a 6-0 game in the sixth when Matt Carr laced a one-out single and came around to score.
The Red Raiders got a lead-off single from Magnus Krieger to start the bottom of the sixth, but Justin Weaver hit into a 6-4-3 double play and they were foiled again.
Coatesville mounted a rally in the seventh and chased Greer, but reliever Julio Ermigiotti came in and struck Krieger out with the bases loaded and the Bucks were on their way to the PIAA playoffs and the District 1 semifinals.
“We made five errors in our opening-round game against Downingtown West, but we just told the kids to get back to the fundamentals and execute and they played great defense tonight,” CB West coach Brian Weaver said.
“We were debating whether to pitch an upperclassman or go with Jacob, who is only a freshman, but we liked his emergency start during the season and we went with him hoping to keep them at bay. He far surpassed our expectations and did a great job for us. This is a really big win for us.”
CB West 6, Coatesville 1
CB West 010 221 0-6
Coatesville 000 000 1-1
WP – Greer. LP – Howe.
2B – Illig.
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