**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on GameTimePA.com**
PERKASIE — Despite a strong pitching performance from Andrew Mayhew, the Pennridge baseball team was unable to get the hits it needed late in a 3-2 eight-inning loss to Hatboro-Horsham Monday.
The Rams (13-5 overall, 8-5 conference) stranded runners at second and third in both the sixth and eighth innings, and one more at second in the seventh. Those five runners left in scoring position proved to be the difference in this one-run game between Suburban One Continental foes.
“That’s tough,” Pennridge head coach Tom Nuneviller said. “We have to try and get that run in somehow. Credit to their pitcher — he threw a nice changeup and got a strikeout and then gets the six-hitter out.’
Eric Lane was the Hatboro-Horsham pitcher who got the credit from coach Nuneviller. He went seven innings, allowing just the two earned runs on 99 pitches. He struck out 10 and walked none on the day.
“The fact he’s able to have second and third with one out in the sixth inning and bear down to get out of it was huge obviously,’ Hatters’ head coach Pete Moore said.
Lane’s opposite number was Pennridge’s Mayhew. The sophomore got through six innings himself, allowing two runs as well (one earned). He scattered six hits while striking out four and walking one.
“He’s pitched really well for us the entire season,’ Nuneviller said. ‘˜’˜It’s his first varsity experience this year and he’s stepped in and has been a shot for us. Every time he goes out he gives us an opportunity to win baseball games.’
“I knew they could really hit the ball,” Mayhew added. ‘˜’˜I just wanted to keep it low.’
The only hitter who was really able to get to Mayhew was also the offensive hero of the day for Hatboro (12-7, 10-3). Kevin Barron went 3-4 with a double, three runs scored and a game-winning solo home run in the eighth inning that gave the Hatters a lead they wouldn’t give back.
“As a team, overall we’ve been practicing really hard and working on hitting,’ Barron said. ‘˜’˜Today it just felt good.’
“We continue to have good at-bats throughout the game whether or not we’re putting up runs,” Moore said. ‘˜’˜We continue to battle, our pitching and defense keeps us in games and we’re able to find a way to score runs in the end. I can’t say enough about Kevin Barron, who works as hard as anybody. Real nice to see him rewarded with a 3-4 and that big home run for us.’
Pennridge did get out front in the first inning thanks to an RBI groundout by David Tatoian, but even in that inning the Rams left opportunities on the field.
“We had a couple guys on; it would have been nice to be able to get a crooked number up in the first inning,” Nuneviller said. ‘˜’˜Every time we scored they seemed to answer right after us. You have to give them credit; they’re a very good team…we were exchanging punch-for-punch out there.’
While Pennridge got their runs on a groundout in the first and an RBI single by Dave Long in the third, Hatboro responded with their on two sac flies by Justin Gregorio — who has “come light-years as a baseball player’ according to his coach.
Hatboro-Horsham’s next contest will be at North Penn, while the Rams will look to bounce back at Quakertown Wednesday. Pennridge knows it’s time to get on track and start winning for the playoffs.
“At some point we’re going to work our way out of the playoffs,” Nuneviller said. ‘˜’˜I hope, for our sake, if we get in we can do a little bit of damage. But we’re scuffling a little bit right now.’
Hatboro-Horsham 3, Pennridge 2 (Final/8)
Hatboro-Horsham — 010 100 01 — 3 7 0
Pennridge — 101 000 00 — 2 8 2
WP: Eric Lane — 7 IP 6H 2R 2ER 0BB 10SO 1HBP — 99 pitches
LP: Dan Shane — 2 IP 1H 1R 1ER 0BB 4SO
S: Ryan Murphy — 1 IP 2H 0R 0ER 0BB 1K
HR: HH-Barron; 2B: HH-Barron; P-Long, Tatoian; SB: P-Hager
Hatboro-Horsham: Barron 3-4, 3R, RBI; Gregorio 0-2, 2RBI
Pennridge: Long 3-4, RBI; Tatoian 2-4, RBI; Nuneviller, Tommy 1-3, R; Horne 1-3, R