Indians Baseball and Knights Baseball picked up wins in the second round of the Bux-Mont Baseball Classic on Wednesday. The two teams will meet Friday at Lansdale Memorial Park at 7 p.m. (Senior photo provided by Indians Baseball.) Knights Baseball/Allentown RBI photos provided courtesy of Geanine Jamison. Check back for a gallery of photos.
INDIANS BASEBALL 11, CASEY’S PLACE HOOLIGANS 0 (5 innings)
Brian Reiner couldn’t have written a better script.
The recent Souderton grad did it all for Indians Baseball in game two of the Bux-Mont Baseball Classic on Wednesday at Harleysville Community Center. Reiner notched the win on the mound with three dazzling innings to open the game, and he also had a pair of hits, including a two-run home run in the third inning.
“Brian Reiner was unbelievable,” Indians’ baseball coach Mike Childs said. “He was supposed to pitch two innings, and then he said, ‘Coach, I’m feeling great. Can I pitch a third?’
“I let him pitch because it was Senior Day. He did awesome. He struck out (seven) guys in three innings, and he hit his first home run on the field. His whole family was there because it was Senior Day. It was great.”
Reiner made the most of his extra inning, fanning three straight batters and closing out his stint on the mound with five straight strikeouts.
“I felt really good going into the game,” Reiner said. “I know a lot of kids on the other team, so I felt really loose and comfortable.
“The first inning – that’s key for me, and I started off feeling good. My pitching led into my hitting, so I felt confident when I was hitting.”
The slider was Reiner’s money pitch on Wednesday with Ty Everitt’s one-out single in the first the lone hit for Casey’s Place.
“I probably threw one ball total with my slider – it was very on today,” he said. “I was able to locate it good.”
Reiner was one of seven seniors on the squad honored prior to the game, and the night was especially significant to the Penn State Harrisburg-bound senior. His father, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered in October, was able to walk on the field for the ceremony.
“Tonight meant a lot,” Reiner said. “My dad (Frank Reiner) being there – he wanted to use his wheel chair originally, and then he pulled out the walker. It was a lot harder because it was on grass, but he pushed it. I wanted to play very good today.”
The Indians put a run on the board in the second when Ryan Canfield, who singled to lead off the inning, scored on a sacrifice fly by David Overpeck. They added six more in the third. Conlan Wall led off the inning with a single to center and stole second, setting the stage for Reiner’s two-strike blast over the left field fence.
“As soon it went off his bat, I had my hands up in the air like – it’s out,” Childs said.
Reiner wasn’t nearly as confident.
“I was sprinting,” he said. “I saw the outfielder going back, but my first instinct was to get at least a double, so I came out of the box going for at least a double.
“I didn’t see it go out – I wasn’t watching the ball, but I saw Conlan on base jogging, and I know he would never be jogging.”
The Indians added four more runs before they were retired, opening up a 7-0 lead after three innings. Matt Benner’s two-run double and a two-run single by Overpeck highlighted the four-run burst. They tacked on four more runs in the fourth, setting the stage for the early finish.
Wall – on the heels of a three-hit effort in Monday’s win - had another good night at the plate, collecting a pair of singles and scoring a pair of runs out of the leadoff spot.
“Those two are just carrying it,” Childs said of Wall and Reiner. “Other kids are contributing too, but those two are taking the bull by the horns and leading the charge. It’s just awesome.
“It sets a precedent for the younger guys to see this is what it takes. There are other kids too, but in the first game, you had Conlan doing his thing and Brian with four RBIs. Tonight Conlan gets two hits and Brian has the awesome pitching for three innings and then has a home run.”
“Playing these games – they’re like playoff games,” Reiner said. “There’s only one way of playing. Conlan and I are two very competitive people, and we always want to win.”
Senior Joe Fresta did not allow a hit in two scoreless innings in relief.
Indians Baseball will take on Knights Baseball in a battle of the tournament’s lone undefeated teams at Memorial Park on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Casey’s Place will be on the road at the Buckingham Patriots on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
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KNIGHTS BASEBALL 14, ALLENTOWN RBI 2 (5 innings)
To say Alex Kee is a gamer would be an understatement.
The recent North Penn graduate had every reason to head back to the dugout instead of stepping to the plate in the third inning of Wednesday’s second round game in the Bux-Mont Classic.
“I was in the hole and I was watching Kolby (Barrow) bat, “ Kee said. “When I have an ocular migraine starting, I can tell. It’s very subtle, but I can tell it’s starting.
“I knew it was starting. It doesn’t get too bad right away, so if I got up to bat early enough, I would do fine, but I couldn’t necessarily focus straight on the ball when I got up to the plate. I had to focus on an area to the side of the ball if I wanted to see the ball because I couldn’t see where I was exactly focusing.”
Kee – who singled in the first - didn’t get a hit but did get all of a pitch and hit a ball to center that was snagged by the outfielder.
“I was very surprised,” Kee said.
Coach Kevin Manero acknowledged that he knew nothing about Kee’s ocular migraine until he returned to the dugout.
“He didn’t want to lose his at-bat,” the Knights Baseball coach said. “He smoked a ball to the centerfielder, and afterwards, he said, ‘I have an ocular migraine, and I couldn’t even see in the box.’
“I said, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ He said, ‘I didn’t want to lose an at-bat.’ If (North Penn) had a season, he was going to compete for time at first base. He was one of the guys that was going to be in competition for playing time.”
Kee made the best of things when his final high school season was cancelled, taking two jobs.
“It was sad and all, but I couldn’t do anything about it,” Kee said. “I still went out and practiced. When I found out we were playing, I was all about it.”
Kee’s two-out, two-run single spotted Knights Baseball a 2-0 lead in the first. They added three more runs in the second to go on top 5-2, benefitting from four free passes and a hit batsman as well as a single by Colby Chan. A six-run third was followed by a three-run fourth.
“We came out swinging the bat, which we wanted our guys to do,” Manero said. “No sense in waiting around. We’re not going to be here forever.
“I think the turning point in the game was – we went up 5-2 in the bottom of the second, and in the top of the third, junior left-handed pitcher Gavin Mikulski came in and he put up a zero. It was a big shutdown inning, and that changed the tide. The first couple of innings were back and forth, a lot of pitches and a lot of base runners. He came in and shut the door in the third, and from there, our pitchers took over.”
Allentown RBI – comprised of players from William Allen – was a late entry in the tournament.
“We’re super grateful for Allentown coming into this tournament because we were stuck without a sixth team, and they were real excited to come in and be a part of it,” Manero said. “They have a bunch of guys that swing the bat and play hard too, and they get after it. It was a good night for baseball all around.”
Wednesday’s big win sets up a showdown against Indians Baseball on Friday at Memorial Park. The 7 p.m. game will be preceded by special recognition of the team’s seniors at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s great – I’m telling everybody to go to the game, but the sad thing is there’s a person limit,” Kee said. “I’ve made sure to do anything I can to take off work. If we get rained out on Friday and get pushed to Sunday and no one can cover for me on my one job, I would rather quit the job than miss the game.”
Allentown RBI will travel to Perkasie Baseball Club Friday for a game at James Memorial Park at 7 p.m.
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