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District 1 Class A Baseball: Chow, Delco Christian finally earn an answer for Faith Christian

Delco Christian poses with the District 1 Class A title after beating Faith Christian, 7-6, at Eastern University Thursday.

ST. DAVIDS — Jeremiah “Jerry” Chow had all the belief in the world that he would deliver in the moment.

Bases juiced. Nobody out. Bottom of the seventh inning. Tie game.

Oh, and Delco Christian needed one run to win a District 1 baseball championship for the first time since 2007.

No pressure, right?

Chow, who had a game-tying RBI knock earlier in Thursday’s District 1 Class A final, was determined to come through with the biggest hit of his life.

“That’s Jerry. My man is laser focused up there,” longtime DC coach Jeff Wisnewski said. “When he came up with the bases loaded, I said that if we don’t win right here with Jerry, something’s wrong.”

Chow hit a chopper over the drawn-in infield, chasing home Josh Freiling with the winning run as a mobbed Chow and No. 1 Delco Christian celebrated a 7-6 victory for the District 1 Class A title at Eastern University. The Knights also clinched District 1’s only berth in next month’s PIAA Class A tournament.

“I can’t really put it in words. This is the most exciting thing I’ve ever felt,” said Chow, who went 2-for-4 and was the winning pitcher. “I knew my teammates were out there and I just had to stay within myself, hit the ball and good things will happen.”

After moving in from shortstop, Chow threw two shutout innings in relief of starter Robert Lucas, who struck out five and allowed six runs (two earned) on six hits. You could say that Chow did a little bit of everything for his team Thursday.

“He’s one of our best bunters also,” Wisnewski said. “We talked earlier that maybe we’d have a chance to bunt. He said, ‘Coach, their first baseman crashes in.’ I just told him not to worry about it, just hit the ball and let’s win this game.”

At last, Delco Christian overcame Bicentennial League rival Faith Christian in a district final. Faith had beaten the Knights in each of the previous two District 1 Class A title games and was looking to win its fourth consecutive championship.

“We were waiting two years for this,” Wisnewski said. “All of the seven games we’ve played the last three years, the greatest margin of victory was three runs. Hats off to them. They’re a big pressure team so we know we have to give everything we got.”

Most of the Knights were varsity starters as freshmen and sophomores the last two times the teams played for the district crown.

“The past couple years they’ve really had our number, getting walk-offs against us both years (in 2018 and 2019),” Chow said. “It was a great battle … and it feels great to come on top.”

Faith plated the first run thanks to an error in the first inning. DC tied the game on a Faith fielding miscue, then slugger Josh Dell’Arciprete smacked an RBI single to make it 2-1 after one inning.

The teams were on the see-saw the entire way.

The Knights grabbed a 4-3 advantage when pinch-hitter Blake Tanis belted a two-out, two-strike, two-run single in the fourth inning.

Faith sent eight batters to the box in the fifth and regained the lead. The Knights once again struggled to field the ball cleanly as Lucas overshot a throw to first baseman Dell’Arciprete, enabling Faith to score the tying and go-ahead runs. Brett Kling’s RBI single made it 6-4.

Despite the defensive mishaps, the Knights never lost confidence at the dish and always had an answer for Faith Christian pitching.

Chow’s first big hit happened in the fifth inning after Faith opted to intentionally walk Dell’Arciprete (they would do it again to get to Chow in the seventh). Chow socked one down the line, knocking in two runs to even the score at six.

“We wanted this all season,” Lucas said. “It feels good that we finally won. We all did it for each other.”

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