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Baseball: Downingtown West defeates WC Rustinon big double from Quinn Henicle

DOWNINGTOWN >> On Wednesday afternoon at Downingtown West High School, the host Whippets improved their chances of a first-round bye in the upcoming District 1 6A playoffs with a 5-1 win over West Chester Rustin in Ches-Mont League action.

Downingtown West got a strong starting pitching performance from sophomore Zach Griffin, who went 5 1/3 innings, allowing the Golden Knights just two hits while striking out six.
Griffin also pitched out of trouble in multiple innings as the Golden Knights (5-11 Ches-Mont, 5-11 overall) left eight runners on base, including the bases loaded in the fourth inning.

The game was scoreless until the Whippets exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The big hit was a three-run double from Quinn Henicle that cleared the bases and gave West (11-5, 11-5) a 5-0 lead.

“I hit a fastball that was up,” Henicle said. “I was just trying to put the ball in play and I noticed their pitcher was throwing mostly off-speed stuff. When he gave me a fastball, I thought this was a good pitch to hit and I smacked it and it went down the (first base) line for a double.”

Griffin was trading zeroes with the Rustin’s Owen Crowe, who did not allow Downingtown West a hit through three innings, but left the game after the third with a sore arm. Charlie Hughes relieved for Rustin, who ran into a little bad luck in the fifth.

West started with a single by Cooper Young. After Nate Kern reached first a fielder’s choice, pinch-hitter Mike Jaszcak hit a slow roller to third base that was misplayed, putting runners on first and second with one out.

Hughes bore down and got Connor Blench to ground out to third with both runners moving up a base. Pinch-hitter Greyson Kovatch walked to load the bases with two out.
Matt Visoskas singled to score a run with the bases still loaded. Jack Benis singled in a second run, then Henicle cleared the bases with a sharp double down the first-base line, and suddenly, it was a 5-0 lead.

“Zach pitched really well today for us,” Downingtown West coach Scott Rambo said. “He may not have had his best stuff, but he pitched out of trouble and found a way to get the big out when he needed to. And then we get some ground balls and get two runs and Quinn gives us the big hit. We have been very fortunate in that our starting pitching has been very strong for us this season.”

Rustin mounted another rally in the top of the sixth. Drew Brown led of with a single to chase Griffin. Nate Kern came in to pitch and got Scott Ely to hit into a fielder’s choice for the first out. Nate Wooters worked out a walk to put two runners on.

Bryce Kelly was plunked with a Kern pitch to load the bases. David McClain ripped an RBI single to right field to make it a 5-1 game. Then, luck bit the Golden Knights again. Brendan Duffy hit a grounder that second baseman Visoskas fielded and tagged the Rustin runner on the foot before throwing to first to just get the double play and end the inning and another Golden Knights rally had ended without taking advantage of runners on base.

“We had our chances today and we could not get the big hit and that has been what has been happening all season to us.” Rustin coach Brad Harkins said.

Downingtown West 5, WC Rustin 1
West Chester Rustin  000 001 0-1
Downingtown West    000 050-x-5
WP-Griffin. LP-Hughes.
2B-Henicle.

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