By: Brad Vangeli
The Neshaminy Redskins, a team who came in with a cumulative .325 team batting average, were held to only five hits in a match up of Suburban One League National foes on Wednesday at Neshaminy High School. The Redskins were able to capitalize on four Pennsbury errors to come away with a 7-4 win.
Neshaminy (9-0, 6-0) sits alone atop the SOL National, putting themselves one game ahead of Pennsbury (8-3, 5-1).
“We put pressure on people in all aspects of the game,” Neshaminy head coach Dan Toner said. “We don’t have to come out and hit every time. We can run the bases; play small ball and we can drive the ball pretty deep. We’ve been very successful at numerous things and that is why we are where we are right now.”
Pennsbury jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning off a solo home run to right field by junior third baseman Sam Ruta.
Neshaminy quickly responded in the bottom half of the frame, as Chris James (courtesy running for catcher Joe Kaleck) scored on an RBI double by first baseman Dalton Turner.
Pennsbury looked as if they took the lead back with a home run down the left field line by R.J. Huth in the second inning, but the home plate umpire ruled it a foul ball, much to the dismay of Falcons head coach Joe Pesci. There were numerous calls made throughout the game that frustrated both teams, resulting in a handful of coach’s discussions with umpires.
“We try to let everything go in one ear and out the other,” Turner said. “Just let everything go and keep playing our game.”
“They’ve had a level head the entire time,” Toner said of his team. “They just come out here and play and they don’t let other things really affect them that much.”
After the Redskins took a 2-1 lead in the second, Turner stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third with a runner on first. The right-handed swinging first baseman drove a fly ball the opposite way to right field. Pennsbury right fielder Ethan Karel gave chase, but eventually watched it fall just over the fence, giving Neshaminy a 4-1 lead.
Turner finished 2-for-3 with a double, home run and three RBI’s.
“It felt good off the bat,” Turner said, speaking of his third inning home run. “I just always try to focus on right field. He threw me a fastball on the outside corner. I said to myself ‘drive it to right field’ and that’s what I did.”
“He’s a stud,” Toner said of Turner. “He’s not trying to hit home runs. He’s trying to spray the ball and hit it where it’s pitched and that’s why he’s having so much success right now.”
Neshaminy added three insurance runs in the fourth inning on just two hits, giving them runs in each of the first four innings.
Pennsbury would threaten in the fourth, as they chased Neshaminy starting pitcher Jake Fehrle out of the game with runners on first and second and nobody out. Junior Max Temple entered the game and while he did allow both inherited runners to score, he gave up just one other run in his four innings of work to pick up the win.
“Max could easily be a starting pitcher, and he’ll get his chance,” Toner said. “We’ve had Dan Errigo pitch, and the Max closes it out, or Jake (Fehrle) pitches, and Max closes it out. The second our number one guy gets tired, Max steps in and you’ve got to beat another number one pitcher.”
At 9-0 overall and the last unbeaten team left in the SOL National at 6-0 (Souderton is the only other SOL school without a conference loss), Neshaminy figures to see every team’s best from here on out.
“These guys know that people are coming after them every single game,” Toner Said. We’ve had guys that have been in the program for a long time. We were very young last year and these guys have had a whole season. Some of them have had three seasons to get here, so they have a very good understanding of what varsity baseball is and what they have to do to win these games.”