Knights top Rams 7-2, headed into Districts with first round bye


Anissa Gardizy

BASEBALL- Senior Hunter Hamlin collects two hits in the second half of the Knights vs Pennridge game.

TOWAMENCIN/PLYMOUTH MEETING –  It is quite rare for a team in Pennsylvania to benefit from a thunderstorm during baseball season. However, it benefited North Penn as the Knights trailed by two runs in the top of the fifth against Pennridge on Tuesday afternoon. Because of weather, the game was suspended and picked up again on Thursday, where the Knights put up seven runs in two innings. Winning the game 7-2, the Knights improved their record to 16-3 overall, 13-1 in their league, and 12-0 in their conference.

Tuesday 5-15

The Rams started against senior pitcher Danny Kirwin with some energy, but when catcher Evan Freed attempted to steal second after a single, it ended up being a quick three outs for the Knights.

With shortstop Zach Miles not in the line up, the Knights changed up their batting order and catcher Jake Drelick led off at the top. Followed by left fielder Ryan Bealer and third baseman Tyler Siddal, it was a short first inning for North Penn.

In the top of the second, North Penn had a cleaner defensive start as compared to their last game where they had four errors. Siddal and shortstop A.J Patterson both got outs to first baseman Billy Collins and Kirwin took care of the third on the mound.

In the bottom of the second, North Penn loaded the bases as Collins and Atlee Hasson were walked and Hunter Hamlin smashed a single. However, with two outs, Rob Weiss knocked off two fouls to left field before hitting a fly to left for the third.

Kirwin started off the third with three strikes to shortstop Ray Knight for the first out. First baseman Jason Petrik hit a single to left field, and he was followed by third baseman Mike Simpson who walked after battling through a full count.

Then back to back errors hurt the scoreboard for North Penn. Siddal missed a throw to second base, allowing Petrik to score, and another misread by Siddal loaded up the bases. Kirwin helped the Knights escape the inning after the Rams scored one more run by throwing the last out to Collins.

Down by two runs, the Knights quickly loaded up the bases. A deep double by Bealer hit and missed the Rams’ glove in the outfield, and that was followed by a dropped ball at first base to get Siddal on a bag. Siddal stole second with Picozzi up at bat who ultimately was walked. With bases loaded, Collins stepped up to the plate, only to end the momentum as Pennridge executed a double play from home to first base.

The fourth inning was all about Kirwin as he dealt strike after strike to Pennridge. He struck out the first two batters, and as a hit popped off of his leg, he threw the last out to first base.

Despite a strong inning by Kirwin, North Penn’s offense did not have the same momentum. The Knights got no one on base and still trailed by two going into the top of the fifth. An early error allowed one baserunner, but North Penn’s defense cleaned up and it didn’t do any damage to the scoreboard.

It wasn’t energy on the field that saved the Knights from a 2-0 loss- it was energy in the atmosphere. Lightning had the game suspended, and it was resumed on the following Thursday in the early afternoon.

Thursday 5-17

On Thursday, the Knights came onto the field with newly found momentum. 

Drelick, Bealer, Hamlin, and Weiss got the Knights’ offense going as they each earned two hits each. Drelick and Picozzi each recorded one RBI and Hamlin collected two.

“We definitely got some help from the weather this time around, but I was glad to see our guys come out ready to play today and capitalize on some good fortune,” said head coach Kevin Manero.

The Knights allowed Pennridge no more runs in their second meeting with help from Kolby Barrow who threw two shutout innings in North Penn’s 7-2 win.

“Pennridge is a well coached team, and they played us very tough on Tuesday. That’s a reflection a quality program and quality leadership. We caught a break against them this time around, but we know we need to get better between now and next Wednesday,” explained Manero.

The Knights earned a first round bye in District playoffs and will play the winner of Conestoga vs Harry S Truman on Wednesday, May 23rd.