Game Recap: Conestoga @ Penncrest
Fri March 28, 2014
By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting
Penncrest 8, Conestoga 7
“I’m not putting this gear back on today!” screamed catcher Billy McCarthy as Penncrest returned to its dugout following a two-run top of the seventh that saw Conestoga tie the ballgame. The co-captain’s words proved to be prescient when 2015 OF Andrew Sardella, hitting in the 8-hole and generously listed at 5-foot-6 on the roster, lined an opposite-field single over the drawn-in Conestoga infield for a wild, walk-off victory.
Conestoga’s bus didn’t pull up to the field until seventeen minutes before the scheduled game-time, and, even though first pitch was delayed nearly ten minutes, the pre-season #2 team in class AAAA still got a late start. Penncrest took advantage of two bases loaded walks in the first inning and then sent ten men to the plate in a five-run second to forge what appeared to be a commanding 7-0 lead.
Penncrest thoroughly outplayed Conestoga early on, throwing more strikes, playing cleaner defense, and picking up two-out RBI. 2015 LHP Rob Brown set the tone, cruising through three innings, working down in the zone and pitching to contact. Conestoga got its potent offense going after that, scoring three times in the fourth, twice in the sixth, and twice more in the seventh on a scorched triple to left-center by 2015 IF Ryne Ogren (2-4, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI).
Sardella and 2015 1B Matt Briner both reached base safely three times to pace the Penncrest offense, while Navy-bound Stephen Born, College of Charleston-bound Tommy Richter, and Davidson-bound Andrew Born did the same for Conestoga.
Ron Di MatteoDuring the penultimate inning of the game, McCarthy took a brief respite from encouraging his troops to approach me and declare that this would be the most exciting game I watch all year. While he will have to wait a few more months to find out whether or not this proclamation comes true, the bar has been set quite high.
•See the Pennsylvania Scout Blog for measureables and scouting notes on uncommitted 2014 Penncrest thumper Ronnie Di Matteo, as well as a quartet of southpaws who took the hill.