PLYMOUTH MEETING — Central Bucks West’s Julio Ermigiotti came into Monday’s PIAA Class 6A first-round game against Wilson on a mission.
The Bucks’ ace threw only 80 pitches in his first career perfect game, striking out nine in a 3-0 victory over the Bulldogs at Villanova Ballpark.
“I was very nervous in the last inning and I knew when I got in deeper innings I’m like, ‘Okay I got this going for me,’ ” said Ermigiotti, a senior and Lehigh University commit. “I knew I had to keep focusing on the next pitch. I didn’t want to focus on the end result. I focused on the next pitch and got what I needed to do done.”
Ermigiotti dominated from the first pitch.
“Just like we drew it up,” Central Bucks West coach Brian Weaver said with a laugh. “We did a lot of scouting in advance and had a feeling that our pitching might be up for the job, but this certainly is beyond anything we could have ever imagined.”
“Julio has been great all year. Him and (catcher) Max (McGlone) are really symbiotic. Max calls a great game and Julio executes. All their prep work really paid off today.”
While Ermigiotti was dictating the game on the mound, the District 1 champion Bucks (20-6) also were able to get it done on offense.
CB West scored all its runs in the fourth inning and had baserunners in every inning but the fifth.
In the fourth after a quick groundout, the Bucks hit three consecutive singles to load the bases. A groundout by Jack Hogenauer to third base drove in Alex Valdes.
Shortstop Kevin Bukowski then lined a single to left to drive in two more runs.
Wilson pitcher Matt VanOstenbridge got out of the inning with another groundout.
The District 3 runner-up Bulldogs (19-9) were not able to get anything going at the plate against Ermigiotti.
“Tip your cap to him,” Wilson coach Bill Underwood said of Ermigiotti. “He did a fantastic job throwing his fastball for strikes and had us on our heels. We couldn’t compensate for that. There were curveballs for strikes that had us off-balance and he did a really good job.”
Bukowski went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Hogenauer had one RBI for CB West.
For Wilson, VanOstenbridge allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three in 5.2 innings.
The Bucks will look to use the momentum of the perfect game moving forward.
“Throughout the whole tournament prior to this, we’ve just been rolling and I think that carried into this game definitely,” Ermigiotti said of the Bucks’ momentum. “I don’t think anyone can stop us now. We just got to keep doing what we’re doing and the way we’ve been playing. I don’t see anyone stopping us.”
The Bucks will play District 12 champ Father Judge, a 6-2 winner over Plymouth Whitemarsh Monday, in the quarterfinals Thursday, site and time to be announced.
As for the Bulldogs, their season came to an end. Wilson was 7-6, but came back to win 12 of its final 15 games and play for the Berks and District 3 titles.
“A great group of guys,” Underwood said. “Obviously not how we wanted to end our season but what we learned here on the baseball field can transfer to real life. … We didn’t have a great season last year so a lot of building upon that and we were able to put together a pretty successful season and get in the state playoffs.”