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PIAA Baseball 6A: WC Henderson routs Olney Charter in opening round

ASTON >> Usually when a baseball team scores at least one run in every inning, good things happen for them.

Monday afternoon at Neumann University, in the first round of the PIAA 6A playoffs, West Chester Henderson scored a run in every frame and it translated into a 12-2, six inning mercy-rule win over Philadelphia Olney Charter. The Warriors will now face Cumberland Valley Thursday in round two at a time and place to be determined. Cumberland Valley defeated Mount Lebanon 7-0.

The Warriors pounded out 12 hits in the shortened game. And starter Jackson Snyder went three scoreless innings before head coach Luke McNichol pulled him with a 7-0 lead and after just 31 pitches. The Warriors turned to Nick Cugino to finish things off.

“Well, when I come into the game with a lead like that, I am just trying to throw strikes and pound the strike zone and get us out of here as quick as I can,” Cugino said. “And you can relax a little because you have that kind of cushion.”

Henderson (22-2 overall) jetted out to a 2-0 lead against Olney (13-7) starter David Esteves in the bottom of the first inning. Eric Lintelman started things off with a one out single and he scored when Dean O’Neill roped a long RBI triple to center field. O’Neill then scored when Esteves uncorked a wild pitch and the Warriors had an early 2-0 lead.

The Warriors plated a single run in the bottom of the second inning as Ethan Giangiulio started things off with a single to center field. Pinch runner Conor McCartney stole second base and scored the third run when Zach Klein delivered an RBI single to make it 3-0.

“It was huge for us to score early on them and we did that,” Warriors’ coach Luke McNichol said. “I was saying to Coach (Joe) Oleykowski in the dugout that (Olney Charter was) getting some good short swings on us and they were putting the ball in play — so yes, it was great to get those early runs.”

Snyder allowed the Trojans just two hits in his three innings of work and he had plenty of run support from his teammates. The Warriors broke the game open in the bottom of the third when they scored four runs on three hits. Cugino had an RBI single, and Giangiulio hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly. Olney helped the Warriors cause with two errors and when the inning was over it was 7-0.

Cugino set the Trojans down in order in the top of the fourth inning but ran into trouble in the top of the fifth. The Trojans scored two runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly, and had two men on with two runs in when Jorge Hernandez came to the plate. The Trojans’ three hitter sent a long fly ball to right center field but Klein saved the day by laying out and robbing the Trojans of two more runs.

“I was really relieved when Zach caught that baseball,” Cugino said. “He covers so much ground out there it is unbelievable. He really saved me on that one.”

The Warriors scored a single run in the bottom of the fourth and two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 10-2 lead. The Warriors erupted for two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as Lintelman belted his third hit of the day to score Cugino and Logan Laurento, who both had singled.

“Jackson was real good today,” Warriors’ catcher Ethan Giangiliuo said. “His change-up was good and he was breaking his curveball off for strikes. And I was seeing the ball really well at the plate myself today. It was good to get those first and second inning runs and not give (Olney Charter) any confidence.”


West Chester Henderson 12, Olney Charter 2

Olney Charter                                  000 020 — 2

WC Henderson                               214 122 — 12

2B – Wheeler. 3B — O’Neill.

WP — Snyder. LP — Esteves.PIAA

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