WEST CHESTER >> West Chester Henderson has been playing very good baseball as of late, and its winning trend continued Friday afternoon with a 9-2 win against Avon Grove at Bob Owens Field.
Henderson pitcher Jackson Snyder threw a four-hitter, and Eric Angle (three hits, five RBIs) led the attack for the Warriors (11-4 overall, 11-2 Ches-Mont National), who remained in first place in the Ches-Mont National Division.
The Warriors got out early against Avon Grove (7-5, 7-5) freshman hurler Bryaden Gregg. Henderson plated three first-inning runs on three hits. Eddie Smink and Brett McCartney singled, then were brought home by a two-run double from the torrid bat of Angle.
“We like to get out early on teams and have them chase us,” Angle said. “We just look to put the ball in play and I was seeing the ball real well today. I changed my approach a little at the plate and concentrated on getting my hands down early and smacking the baseball.”
Avon Grove was playing its fourth game in five days, due to the Red Devils losing two weeks of play because of COVID-19 concerns.
The Red Devils came back with a threat against Snyder in the top the third inning. JJ Jones led off with a double to center field. Owen Yoder bounced back to Snyder for the first out with Jones holding at second base, but Jones went to third on a wild pitch. and scored when Rob Weer hit a ground ball to second to make it a 3-1 game.
The Warriors’ hot bats went to work again in the bottom of the fourth inning against Gregg. Logan Laurento led off the inning with a walk. Pinch runner Pat Esemplare stole second and scored on an RBI single from Angle. After Snyder walked, Zach Klein laid down a perfect bunt, which scored Angle.
Smink, who roped two doubles and a single for the game, said the Warriors are playing good baseball right now and he credited the Warriors coaches.
“I saw the ball well today and got my foot downed put the barrel on the ball,” Smink said. “And it is all due to working with the coaches. They put us in these positions and we are playing very good fundamental baseball right now.”
The Warriors banged out five hits on Avon Grove reliever Jason Stretch in the bottom of the fifth inning. Smink, McCartney, Angle, Klein and Laurento all joined the hit parade and after five innings West Chester Henderson held a tidy 7-2 advantage. The Warriors tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for the 9-2 final.
“These kids all have played with each other for a long time,” West Chester Henderson coach Luke McNichol said. “We say at practice we have 18 starters on this team. This group makes it a lot of fun to come out to the field every day.”
For the Red Devils, it was their second loss in a row. Avon Grove will play four more games next week in an effort to get its whole schedule in.
“It is frustrating from a baseball point,” Avon Grove coach John Bellavar said. “But millions of people have lost their lives over the virus and this is just baseball. Henderson is a very good team, but we felt good with Brayden on the mound. He has great stuff and he is a big part of our future and present.”
West Chester Henderson 9, Avon Grove 2
Avon Grove 001 100 0 – 2
WC Henderson 300 222 x – 9
2B-Smink 2, Angle, Jones.