**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on GameTimePA.com**
HATFIELD TWP. — A wild contest between Lansdale Catholic and Father Judge had a fittingly wild finish that saw Judge go home with a 9-8 victory Thursday.
With two outs in the 7th LC had already cut a 2-run deficit to one when Kyle Diseroad laced a single to centerfield that had ideas of scoring the tying run from second. The lead runner was held at third however, which the trail runner didn’t see. Father Judge catcher Tom Penko received the throw from the outfield and executed a perfect rundown to nab the trail runner at second and end the game.
“I saw the right call made by our third base coach to hold the runner,’ LC head coach Dave Scott said after the game. “We had to hold him there. Obviously hindsight had we known the throw was going to be as offline as it was we would have sent him and tied the game.’
Father Judge may have been a part of that same critical play, but from a different perspective.
“We had to rush that ball in from the outfield, which we did,’ Judge head coach Tim Ginter said. “I would have liked to have seen them hit the cutoff man but not hitting the cutoff man caused the guy from second to get overly aggressive. They’re looking to win, you kind of see where the runner is coming from. At the same time my catcher made an unbelievable play not just to throw the ball and to actually run at him…I’d like to say it was coaching but those things are instinctual.’
Penko also happened to be the offensive star on the day. The leadoff hitter went 2-4 with a walk, 3 RBI and a run scored to boot. He was the run supplier in one of Judge’s two crooked innings that established an 8-1 lead.
“Our approach on offense is always the same and it is patience,’ Ginter said. “We take balls and hit strikes. There’s nothing more simplistic than that. We don’t have big-time boppers; I’d love to have guys that would live in the gap and run the bases all day but we have to get guys on base and get those key hits. We preach do your job and trust the guy behind you is going to do theirs and this was one of those days where a couple of guys were very patient, they got their bases and the next guy came up and got that big hit.’
Of course when any game that starts 8-1 ends 9-8, even the team that comes away with a loss has some positives to take away. Scott sees this game that way as well.
“Positives would definitely be the comeback effort and the energy of the team…we easily could have rolled over and died and instead they battled.’
Brian Logan carried a hot bat on a frigid day, going 3-4 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI and a run scored.
Father Judge travels home to get some much needed rest for their team, specifically their pitching staff.
“The key to our win today was our pitching staff,’ Ginter said. “This was our third game in three days because of the weather and we needed to dig deep. Especially Tommy Demilio at the end — he really stepped up big for us. We said from the very beginning that you got to be ready when your number is called and these guys were ready for when their numbers were called.’
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