‘Stoga baseball continues to playoffs after smashing win
By Matt Paolizzi, Co-Sports Editor
The Pioneers built off of their win on Saturday against Germantown Academy and beat Upper Darby on Monday. It was Senior Day for the Pioneers as the older members of the squad had their final regular season matches. Seniors Andrew Burger, Rich Fitzgerald, Will Gillespie, Kurt Mentzer, Lenny Watson and Jack Rietnour and Captains Ryne Ogren and Brendon Little all were honored before the game. The game started well for Little, the starting pitcher. Apart from a few mishandled balls, the defense played a solid game and Little was a dominating force.
The Pioneers came out swinging in the bottom of the first, huge hits by leadoff man Jona Siegel, Tom Fogarty and Ryne Ogren along with a sac-fly from second basemen Tim Miller gave Conestoga a 2-0 advantage. But by the top of the fifth inning, Little became noticeably tired and frustrated, giving up walks and letting up a run in the fifth, making the score 2-1. Little was replaced by Miller who was then replaced at second base by Junior Matt Heron. Little had a solid game though, getting eight strikeouts and throwing good tactile pitches throughout. Miller was rock steady for the rest of the game, building off his dominating game against Haverford last Wednesday.
The deciding inning of the match was the bottom of the fifth where four Pioneers were hit by pitches, opening up a scoring frenzy. RBI’s were batted in by Fogarty and freshman stud Luke Czepiel who hit a towering triple. A sac-fly by Greyson Avots also helped bring in a total of six more runs for Conestoga, making the score 8-1. For the remainder of the game, ‘Stoga played an excellent defensive match and Miller shut down Upper Darby’s hitters. The game ended with a jubilant Pioneer squad rushing from the dugout and celebrating with the rest of the team on the pitcher’s mound. The team officially clinched the Central League Championship and Avots was ecstatic.
“No one thought we could be where we’re at right now. It meant the world to us to win the Central League Championship, something we haven’t done since 2008,” Avots said.
The Pioneers are now on their way to the District Playoffs and Coach John Vogan wants the team to be happy about the win and not to think about districts just yet.
“Right now, we are going to enjoy this…we’re going to worry about the playoffs another day,” Vogan said.
Vogan was in good spirits after the game, his trademark humor coming out when the topic of seeding for districts was brought into the conversation.
“That’s all numbers, quadratic formulas, supply and demand, equilibrium; I don’t understand any of that stuff,” Vogan said.