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Pottsgrove rolls in backyard battle with Pottstown, 15-2

Pottsgrove catcher Cooper Fiore, left, congratulates pitcher Ryan Van Bramer after a scoreless inning against Pottstown Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog - MediaNews Group)

LOWER POTTSGROVE >> It had the best of all worlds Wednesday.

Pottsgrove had it all over Pottstown in their neighborhood diamond clash: An offense that scored at will, a pitcher (Ryan Van Bramer) that did his part to make the massive run total look even bigger and even a defense that played solid behind its hurler.

It all added up to a 15-2 victory in 4-1/2 innings … one capable of giving head coach Jamie Nash a high level of optimism alongside the 2-1 record his youngish roster has compiled to date in its return to action from the 2020 COVID-19 season shutdown.

“The best part is, now every time we come out on the field, we’re looking forward to every single day,” he said.

The Falcons’ anticipation every time they came to bat was validated by the 16-hit attack that had six players collect multiple hits, and four drive in multiple runs. They were particularly hot in a third inning that came close to being a double bataround, 17 players coming up to plate 11 runs on top of the two they got in the early going.

Pottsgrove pitcher Ryan Van Bramer delivers to the plate against Pottstown Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Pottsgrove’s Avery Spencer, who was 3-for-4, hits an RBI single in the fourth inning. (Austin Hertzog – MNG)

Avery Spencer was a big contributor to that outburst, hitting a double and single and scoring both times. The Pottsgrove senior, serving as designated hitter, finished the day 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored.

“We’ve had only three games so far,” he said, “but we’re back into it. We want to move forward and keep swinging.

“Hitting is contagious, especially in high school, where there’s a lot of energy going.”

Yasir Gardner-Sizer, Glenwood Pysher, Jacob Slanker (double), Nick Freese (double), John Ryan McMenamin and Steven Rinda all had RBI hits in the course of the extended third, which chased Pottstown starter Gabe Hicks in favor of Dave Mackewicz eight batters into the at-bat.

Pottstown (0-3) was held to one hit, a Kevin Zvodar single, through the first 3-1/3 innings. It bunched a Mason Miller single, Dylan Murphy double, Caleb Quiles’ groundout to third and Zvodar’s second single into a pair of fourth-inning runs, but a walk to Enam Robinson with two away in the fifth was the only other baserunner it managed at the end.

“We’re very excited,” head coach Chris Petro said about the Trojans’ return to action, “but we’re very young. We have 10 sophomores and only four seniors. In our two games so far, we’ve battled. We have slow starts where we get behind, but there’s no quit in these kids.”

Pottsgrove first baseman Jacob Slanker (31) tags out Pottstown’s Kevin Zvodar for a pick off Wednesday. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Along with Spencer, Steven Rinda went 3-for-4 for Pottsgrove. Gardner-Sizer and Nick Freese each went 2-for-3, with John Ryan McMenamin and Cooper Fiore both 2-for-4.

Van Bramer scattered three hits and one walk over his five-inning stint, with six strikeouts to his credit. And the Falcon defense had just two errors to the Trojans’ five.

“I can’t say enough about Ryan,” Nash said. “We saw him in a couple scrimmages his freshman year. His fastball, which he mixed with his curve, was hitting his spots.”

Pottstown, in the meantime, is focused on getting varsity experience for its younger players. To date, Petro has been impressed with the work ethic his players have displayed in spite of their record.

“They’ve shown hard work and busted their butts,” he said. “We’re looking right now to grow and build a respectable program.”

Pottsgrove catcher Cooper Fiore, ground, asks for time after hitting a triple in the fourth inning, ahead of the tag of Pottstown third baseman Kevin Zvodar. (Austin Hertzog – MNG)

NOTES >> The newest amenities to the Pottsgrove ballpark — covered bench areas, aluminum bench seats for spectators along the third-base line — were on display for those who attended the game. “It gives more of a feel as a ballpark,” Nash said. … Spencer feels considerable joy about being back playing baseball after the 2020 shutdown. “Last year, having no sports in general hurt a lot of people,” he said. … Even with the extended third-inning at-bat, the game was completed in a brisk 91 minutes.

 

Pottsgrove 15, Pottstown 2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Pottstown 0 0 0 2 0 X X 2 3 5
Pottsgrove 1 1 11 2 X X X 15 16 2
Pottstown
Lineup AB R H RBI BB SO
Chin 2 0 0 0 0 0
Aiden Crowder 1 0 0 0 0 1
Miller 2 1 1 0 0 1
Murphy 2 1 1 0 0 0
Quiles 2 0 0 1 0 1
Zvodar 2 0 1 0 0 0
Hicks 2 0 0 0 0 1
Simons 2 0 0 0 0 1
Hartman 2 0 0 0 0 1
Robinson 1 0 0 0 1 0
Mackewicz
Totals 18 2 3 1 1 6
Batting

2B: Murphy
TB: Miller, Murphy 2, Zvodar
RBI: Quiles
ROE: Chin, Zvodar
CS: Chin
PIK: Zvodar

Totals

Team QAB: 7 (36.84%)
Miller, Murphy, Quiles 2, Zvodar 2, Robinson

Team LOB: 2

Fielding

E: Chin, Quiles, Zvodar, Hicks, Robinson

Pottsgrove
Lineup AB R H RBI BB SO
John Ryan McMenamin 4 2 2 2 0 0
Cooper Fiore 4 1 2 0 0 0
Avery Spencer 4 3 3 2 0 0
Yasir Gardner-Sizer 3 2 2 2 1 0
Steven Rinda 4 1 3 1 0 0
Zachery Tyson 2 1 0 0 1 0
Matt Bechtel 0 0 0 1 0 0
Glenwood Pysher 1 2 1 1 1 0
Mark Stofflet 1 0 0 0 0 1
Jacob Slanker 3 1 1 1 1 1
Nick Freese 3 1 2 3 0 0
Dylan Penot 0 1 0 0 0 0
Ryan Van Bramer
Totals 29 15 16 13 4 2
Batting

2B: John Ryan McMenamin, Avery Spencer 2
3B: Cooper Fiore
TB: Cooper Fiore 4, Nick Freese 2, Yasir Gardner-Sizer 2, John Ryan McMenamin 3, Glenwood Pysher, Steven Rinda 3, Jacob Slanker, Avery Spencer 5
RBI: Matt Bechtel, Nick Freese 3, Yasir Gardner-Sizer 2, John Ryan McMenamin 2, Glenwood Pysher, Steven Rinda, Jacob Slanker, Avery Spencer 2
SF: Matt Bechtel
ROE: Yasir Gardner-Sizer, Avery Spencer
HBP: Glenwood Pysher
SB: Yasir Gardner-Sizer, Avery Spencer

Totals

Team QAB: 18 (51.43%)
Matt Bechtel, Cooper Fiore, Nick Freese, Yasir Gardner-Sizer, John Ryan McMenamin 2, Glenwood Pysher 2, Steven Rinda 3, Jacob Slanker 3, Avery Spencer 2, Mark Stofflet, Zachery Tyson

Team LOB: 8

Fielding

E: Nick Freese, Steven Rinda

Pottstown
Pitching IP #P S% H R ER SO BB HR
Hicks 2.0 64 .500 9 10 9 1 3 0
Mackewicz 2.0 51 .686 7 5 3 1 1 0
Totals 4.0 115 .583 16 15 12 2 4 0
Pitching

L: Hicks
HBP: Hicks
WP: Hicks
Pitches-Strikes: Hicks 64-32, #30 51-35
Groundouts-Flyouts: Hicks 3-2, #30 2-3
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Hicks 10-19, #30 10-16

Pottsgrove
Pitching IP #P S% H R ER SO BB HR
Ryan Van Bramer 5.0 68 .750 3 2 1 6 1 0
Totals 5.0 68 .750 3 2 1 6 1 0
Pitching

W: Ryan Van Bramer
Pitches-Strikes: Ryan Van Bramer 68-51
Groundouts-Flyouts: Ryan Van Bramer 4-3
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Ryan Van Bramer 14-19

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