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By Scott Huff
WARMINSTER – Just your typical spring day for Suburban One League baseball.
On a day that began with snow flurries, the game between host William Tennent and Pennsbury was played on an overcast day with temperatures in the 40s.
And with a biting wind that brought the wind chill in the 30s and tears to the eyes of players, coaches and spectators in attendance, Pennsbury scored four unearned runs in the fourth inning to claim a 7-1 SOL National Conference victory.
“I really didn’t feel the cold at all,” said Pennsbury second baseman Eddie Budnick, who delivered three hits – including a key two-run double in the fourth inning. “This was a big win for us. We haven’t been outside all that much, and we have four days off until our next game.”
“This is what we get every spring as far as the weather goes,” shrugged Pennsbury coach Steve Nielson. “It teased us a little earlier in the year with a couple of nice days, but it always end up with us playing on days like today.
“We got a couple of big hits by Budnick and (Steve) Shelinsky to break open the game,” added Nielson. “We worked hard on our hitting this week, and to be honest, I thought we would have swung the bats a little better today.”
Pennsbury got on the board with a couple of runs in the first inning. Ed Los led off with a walk and Budnick followed with a single. Shelinsky walked to load the bases, and cleanup hitter John Kobal drove home both Los and Budnick with a single.
“We had a chance to break the game open in the first inning,” said Nielson. “But we left them stay in the game.”
William Tennent scored what proved to be its only run in the bottom of the first inning to shave the lead to 2-1.
Brandon Roman – who was a perfect 3-3 for the contest – was hit by a pitch to open the game. A pitch also hit Mike Corrigan, and Pat Traczykiewcz was safe on an error to load the bases.
Roman scored the only run of the game for the Panthers when he scooted home on a wild pitch.
“We had our chance to score more runs in the first inning,” said first-year Panther coach Chris Marchok. “But you have to give Pennsbury credit – they play good baseball.”
Tennent had its chances to take the lead in the second inning, but a runner was thrown out at third base on a steal attempt by Falcon catcher Julian Faria. The inning ended when a Panther runner was thrown out at the plate by Pennsbury center fielder Chris Wiertz.
“It was important that we were able to execute defensively there,” said Nielson. “If we don’t, it could have been a different ballgame.”
“We want to play aggressive baseball,” said Marchok. “These kids have been trained to run hard, and if our kid (Matt Doll) doesn’t trip on his way to the plate, we would have tied the game.”
The game remained competitive until the fourth inning when Pennsbury erupted for four unearned runs.
With two outs, Zack Stegers walked and Jordan Caiola was safe on an error that allowed Stegers to score.
Los walked to put runners on first and second, and Budnick delivered the critical hit of the game with a blistering double in the gap to score two runs.
“It felt good right off the bat,” said Budnick. “I felt good at the plate the whole game.”
The final run of the game came when Shelinsky singled home Budnick with the fourth run of the inning.
All of the runs came the expense of Panther lefty Dan Doyle. Doyle did a commendable job throwing five innings and striking out eight Falcon hitters.
“Their lefty did a real nice job,” said Nielson. “We were able to string some runners together after he got the first seven kids out.”
Pennsbury added a solo run in the seventh inning to conclude the scoring.
Cory Harris led off the inning with a walk – stole second base – and scored on a ringing RBI double off the bat of pinch hitter Conor Flannery.
Both teams huddled together after the game for a brief post game talk.
After all, the sun was going down, as was the temperature. It was just a typical spring day for Suburban One baseball.
Pennsbury 2 0 0 4 0 0 1 - 7
William Tennent 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
Pennsbury: Ed Los dh 2 2 0 0; Evan Fitzpatrick ph 1 0 1 0; Eddie Budnick 2b 5 2 3 2; Steve Shelinsky rf 2 0 1 1; John Kobal 1b 4 0 1 2; John Sibel 3b 1 0 0 0; Cory Harris lf 0 1 0 0; Chris Wiertz cf 3 0 0 0; Julian Faira c 4 0 0 0; Zack Stegers 3b 2 1 0 0; Conor Flannery ph 1 0 1 1; Jordan Caiola ss 3 1 0 0. Totals 28 7 7 6.
William Tennent: Brandon Roman ss 3 1 3 0; Mike Corrigan c 2 0 0 0; Pat Traczykiewicz cf 3 0 1 0; Jordan Weintraub 1b 4 0 1 0; Cameron Goodell lf 3 0 0 0; Ryan Calhoun lf 3 0 0 0; Steve Gardner p 0 0 0 0; Dan Doyle p 3 0 1 0; Tim Reinboth rf 2 0 0 0; Matt Doll 2b 0 0 0 0; Dylan Malitsky 2b 2 0 1 0. Totals 26 1 8 0.
Inn R ER W K
Steve Monahan 3 1 0 3 1
Chris Rupprecht (W) 3 0 0 2 1
Blake Montgomery 1 0 0 1 2
Steve Gardner (L) 1 2 2 3 0
Dan Doyle 5 4 0 5 8
Ryan Calhoun 1 1 1 2 2
2B- (P) – Budnick, Flannery. SB – (P) Budnick, Shelinsky, Sibel, Harris. (WT) – Roman, Traczykiewicz, Goodell. LOB – (P) – 10. (WT) – 10.