Knights end season with win over Rams


Prasham Jobanputra

Colby Chan was 2-2 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs, including a home run.

TOWAMENCIN- It might’ve been closer than expected in the end, but either way, the Knights said goodbye to the 2019 season and the baseball class of 2019 with a win on Wednesday afternoon.

The North Penn Knights (9-10) beat the Pennridge Rams (5-14) 4-3 after a well done senior ceremony that honored 16 seniors.

“They’re a fantastic group.  This is not how we normally end our season, this is not typical for us and they know that and they didn’t want it to end this way but they’re just awesome people.  I would invest in them as people.  I expect them to be close with us for a very long time because they’re just that kind of people.  I’ve had a lot of good teams, we’ve had a lot of different kinds of teams come in and out of here in the last many years but as far as character and the kind of people they are, they’re as good as anybody by far,” Head Coach Kevin Manero said.

The game started off with a bang from both teams.  In the top of the 1st, Ray Knight hit a home run over the left field fence and gave the Rams an early 1-0 lead.  But it did not last long as first baseman Colby Chan responded with a homer of his own to tie the game at 1.

“I’ve been seeing the ball pretty well lately and I was just sitting fastball and he gave me a hanging curveball and I hit it out,” Chan said.

The Knights then built a lead in the 3rd inning by sending 8 men to the plate and scoring 3 runs.  Center fielder, Kyle Schulze, hit a sac fly to score Alex Gilbert. Then, Chan continued his big day at the plate with an RBI single.  Kolby Barrow kept the inning going with a single and then Connor Ertel brought in a run off a double.

The Knights sent four pitchers to the hill in the win.

“I just thought we were going up there ready to hit early, we don’t want to sit around.  They tend to throw us a lot of breaking balls, they’ll throw us backwards a lot so we didn’t want to go out of the strike zone or anything like that,” Coach Manero said.

The ace, Joe Valenti, started on the mound for the final time as a North Penn Knight.  He threw 5 and two thirds of an inning allowing 4 hits, 1 run, and 1 walk while striking out 6.  Coach Manero then tried to let some of his other seniors get some time on the mound one last time as Ertel, Josh Lowe, and Mike Jones all came in to pitch.

However, in the bottom of the 7th, the Knights ran into some trouble.  Jack Goddess came into score after a couple of stolen bases in a first and third situation.  Trent Fisher later got an RBI with a single and brought the Rams to within 1 run.  The comeback was not completed though as Valenti re-entered the game to get the final out.  Valenti therefore picked up the win and the save in a unique occurrence.

“I actually didn’t even know I was allowed to go back in so I was kinda confused at first and then I got out there and just focused and tried to get the job done,” Valenti said.

The Knights did not make district playoffs this year meaning this was their last game, a much quicker end to the season than most expected.

“We were a little inconsistent, we had some injuries, got a slow start.  It’s tough to start slow in this league because it becomes very difficult to climb out.  And we started climbing out a little bit and I thought we were really close and if we had a few more weeks, different story, but the season is short, it goes fast and you can’t give games away and we just gave a couple too many games away for us to continue this year,” Coach Manero said.