Pennridge edges CB East on walk-off hit-by-pitch in 9th

**Note: This article originally published in The Reporter and on**

PERKASIE >> In a baseball game that featured an overturned insurance run, a ground-rule double that got lost in leaves and nine innings, any ending should not have come as a surprise. Then Pennridge’s Kyle Yoder stepped to the plate.

“A very good pitcher threw two pretty good curveballs,” Yoder said after the game. “So I’m thinking up there ‘I don’t know what’s coming next,’ and just reacted naturally.”

Yoder was hit by the 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded, resulting in a walk-off Suburban One League Continental victory over Central Bucks East by a score of 6-5 Thursday.

“Maybe I’ve seen it in a major league game, but I don’t know how often that is,” Yoder said. “It’s definitely a rare way to win but I’ll take it. A win’s a win.”

“I told Kyle we got some ice for him,” Pennridge head coach Tom Nuneviller said. “We’ll ice him up.”

Yoder finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a steal and the game-winning RBI.

The game was normal enough for the first five innings, as Pennridge (2-1, 1-0 conference) led 5-3 heading into the sixth. That’s when it appeared the Rams had an insurance run after CB East’s first baseman was ruled off the bag. However, the umpires got together and overturned the call, ending the inning.

As a result East carried the most momentum they had all game into the seventh, which turned into a lead-off single by CJ Gillmer and a ground-rule double by Andrew Collins. Gillmer scored on a throw to first after a strikeout, Collins scored on a wild pitch, and suddenly the game was tied at five.

“You gotta give East credit because they had momentum late in the game, scoring two against Danny Long,” Nuneviller said. “We were hoping to come away with a ‘W,’ but that was kind of a weird game all around.”

After a scoreless eighth inning, Pennridge junior Andrew Fantaskey led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. He moved station-to-station thanks to a Mitch McLeod single and a groundball to the shortstop that ended up being an error.

“Hats off to him,” said Nuneviller of Fantaskey. “He hasn’t got much time, he gets the leadoff (hit) and scores the run for us.”

Fantaskey entered the game in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter.

The bulk of Pennridge’s scoring happened in the second inning, when the Rams crossed the plate four times. Back-to-back doubles by Riley Hager and Luke Nuneviller drove in three runs — Nuneviller’s a two-run shot down the first-base line. McLeod knocked in the fourth run on a fielder’s choice.

“We hadn’t been scoring a lot in scrimmages and games, so we were happy to get four in that one inning,” Nuneviller said.

Those four runs held up into the seventh inning thanks to a gutsy pitching performance by Andrew Mayhew, who struck out nine CB East hitters in 4 1/3 innings. He also allowed nine baserunners, but worked his way out of trouble when he needed to.

Three Pennridge pitchers struck out a combined 15 Patriots in the game. Dan Long recorded five punchouts in 2 2/3 innings while Ian Kacergis added one of his own. Kacergis threw the final two innings for the Rams and earned the victory.

It was a weird way to get it, but the Rams start the SOL Continental season 1-0, hoping to build some momentum.

“We suffered a tough loss to Upper Perk 2-1 the other day,” Yoder said. “We know that this team can get rolling. We’re gonna get hot and we’re gonna make a run.”

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About Steve Richards

First and foremost, I love anything Philly sports; that includes the Phillies, Sixers, Eagles, Flyers and Union (that’s a soccer team). I’m also a fan of the English Premier League squad Manchester City. In the college ranks, I follow the football, basketball, and baseball teams of both Penn State and the University of Texas. I work for, where I am the COO. I also cover a variety of high school sports for The Reporter and as a freelance writer. On the broadcast journalism side of things I'm a co-host of the Prime Time Fantasy Football and Showcast podcasts on Next Level Radio. You can check that out right here. You'll also find me on Twitter discussing a multitude of things. Feel free to give me a follow over there.

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