Knights squander lead and drop heartbreaker at home


Pitcher Jack Picozzi strikes early, sitting down the first three batters in order

TOWAMENCIN – North Penn jumped on Souderton early in their 5th game of the season, showcasing all of their immense offensive and defensive strength and running out to a 6-0 lead. Over the course of the next 6 innings, they watched that lead slowly slip away.

The North Penn Knights (4-1) came into yesterday’s baseball game against the Souderton Indians (3-2) having won all 4 games to start the season, most recently beating up on Central Bucks West High School 12-3. It looked like this game was going to go the same way for the Knights after they got off to a fast start in the first inning. First, the Knights’ starting pitcher Jack Picozzi set aside the Indians 1-2-3 in the top of the inning. Then the Knights came out swinging on the first pitch in the bottom of the inning as Justin Egner reached second base on an error and was eventually brought home by a single from Chase Jones. Two more runs were knocked in by a Ben Farley line drive to center field. The onslaught continued as the Indians walked 3 more runs in, knocking the Indians’ starting pitcher from the game before the first inning ended 6-0.

However, Souderton cut into the lead after doubling in a run in the second inning and scoring another on a ground out in the fifth inning to make the game 6-2. Later, the Indians exploded for 4 runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game at 6.

Despite allowing the Indians to get back into the game, North Penn was able to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Henry Wetzel doubled in Ben Farley to make the game 7-6.

With the Indians down to their last out, the Knights had several chances to end the game. After walking a batter to put runners on first and second base, North Penn still had a chance to escape with the victory. Unfortunately for the Knights, a pop fly to shallow left field excruciatingly landed between the shortstop and left fielder, allowing Souderton to tie the game 7-7.

North Penn squandered another chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Senior Mario Sgro was stranded on third base after a strikeout ended the inning.  

The game went to extra innings, with Souderton scoring on a sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the eighth inning to take the lead 8-7. North Penn was able to escape further damage on a nice throw by right fielder Henry Wetzel to first baseman Ben Farley, who fired the ball to catcher Brady Dolder. Dolder was then able to tag out the baserunner attempting to score from third. However, the momentum from the inning-ending double play did not carry over to the bottom of the inning, when the Knights went down in order to end the game. After the game, the Knights’ head coach Kevin Manero lamented the lost opportunities to put the game away.  

“It’s frustrating to lose a lead like that, but it’s frustrating also to know that we had a lot of chances that we could have put more runs on the board,” Manero commented.

The loss was North Penn’s first of the season, but it does not diminish expectations of a great season for the Knights. North Penn will try to bounce back to their winning ways when they host Central Bucks South High School on Thursday at 3:45 PM. Manero says the team has been practicing all of the right plays and remained positive after the game that the team will respond to the opportunity to improve.

“I would much rather see us learn from today and respond on Thursday than get beat up by today,” Manero said.

North Penn is back on the home diamond on Thursday to face C.B. South at 3:45.