CALN >> With just two weeks until the District 1 playoffs, teams are hoping to be playing their best baseball of the season going into the tournament. Monday night at Atkinson Field, Coatesville looked like they will be more than ready for the postseason as the Red Raiders rode a superlative five inning pitching performance from Alex Kuehn and pounded out 11 hits to roll over Bishop Shanahan 11-0, in five innings.
Coatesville (12-4 Ches-Mont, 12-5 overall) jumped on Bishop Shanahan starter Will Conrad early, and after two innings the Red Raiders had a 5-0 lead and were well on their way to the convincing triumph.
“We had a meeting on Friday after we lost to West Chester East the day before,” Coatesville catcher R.J. Rickabaugh said. “We just talked things out as a teaming established what our goals were for the rest of the season and tonight things just seemed to click for us.
“And Alex was very good. His slider was really working well and he was doing a real good job of spotting his fastball and his changeup was keeping them on their toes.”
Coatesville scored four first inning runs on three hits while the Eagles (6-8, 6-9) contributed to the Raiders’ cause by committing five errors for the game. Jake Stewart led off the first for the Red Raiders by getting an infield single. Magnus Krueger then walked to put two men on with no one out. Rickabaugh ripped an RBI single to left field to score the first Red Raider run. Conrad then balked in the second Coastesville run and it already looked like a long night for the Eagles.
A walk, a sacrifice, a passed ball and an RBI single from Spencer Ferguson rounded out the Coatesville first inning and the Red Raiders leaped out to an early 4-0 lead. Coatesville made it 5-0 in the second inning when another big Bishop Shanahan error led to a run.
Kuehn was in complete control for Coatesville as he allowed just two singles for the game while striking out seven Bishop Shanahan batters in five innings of work. The Raiders’ senior was effectively mixing his pitches and the Eagles did not hit a ball hard all night.
The Red Raiders put the game away in the bottom of the fourth inning as they sent 10 batters to the plate and scored four runs on three hits. This fourth inning uprising came after the Raiders had added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning and knocked Conrad from the game.
“We really put the ball in play today,” Kuehn said. “Conrad is a good pitcher and to get all those early runs on him was a good thing for us. It seems like all my pitches were working well tonight, especially the slide. I was setting things up with my fastball and it seemed to work out well.”
The Coatesville fourth inning that saw 10 men come to the plate salted the game away. The Raiders got big hits from Rickabaugh, Kuehn, Ferguson and a long sacrifice fly from Joey Mozzone. Bishop Shanahan pitcher Cole McKeon also walked two Red Raiders and all that was left was for Kuehn to hold the Eagles down in the top of the fifth for a mercy rule win.
Kuehn started the top of the fifth by getting Dom Kendrick to ground out to Mozzone for the first out. Kuehn struck out Stephen Furia for the second out and after walking Danny Cerebilli, was working on Jack O’ Day. But Cerebilli took off for second base and Rickabaugh gunned him out and the Red Raiders had a very impressive 11-0 victory.
“I hope we are starting to put things together,” Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. “But in this league I tell the kids all the time that if you do not bring your A game you are going to get beat. It was not Shanahan’s night but we put pressure on them by putting the ball in play.”
Coatesville 11, Bishop Shanahan 0 (five innings)
Bishop Shanahan 000 00 — 0
Coatesville 412 4x — 11