High school baseball: Bald Eagle Area cruises past Penns Valley

rgery@centredaily.comApril 11, 2014 

— With the bases loaded in the first inning, Penns Valley’s Ryan McElwee ripped a line drive to the left side of the infield.

But the hard-hit shot went right at Bald Eagle Area shortstop Bryce Greene, and Penn Valley’s threat was over. The Rams remained scoreless, still searching for the big hit that’s eluded them early in the season.

“That’s baseball,” Penns Valley coach Chuck Romig said.

Penns Valley never threatened again and couldn’t keep pace with the Eagles, who cruised to a 15-0 win in four innings Thursday at Bald Eagle Area. The Eagles (3-3) exploded for seven runs in the second inning and scored four more in the fourth to finish off the blowout win. Ryan Dyke drove in four runs, Jordan Kobularcik went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Ryan Guenot finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Bald Eagle’s offense. Eleven different players scored for the Eagles.

Penns Valley (0-2) went hitless in the final three innings. The Rams struggled to crack Bald Eagle Area pitcher Jeff Bennett, who benefited from a pair of double plays in the last two innings. Penns Valley starting pitcher Kevin Butts had trouble holding down the Bald Eagle Area lineup, and McElwee walked five and allowed four runs in the fourth.

“Things went our way today,” Bald Eagle Area coach Jim Gardner said. “Obviously, not so much for Penns Valley. It was just one of those days. I kind of feel bad the way things went for them because they’re not that bad a ball club, and those are tough days for them to handle I’m sure.”

After escaping the top of the first, Bald Eagle Area dominated.

Penns Valley’s Wyatt Sharp led off with a slow roller to second base and advanced to second on a throwing error. Anthony Montresor knocked a single up the middle to move Sharp to third. After a strikeout, Cameron Tobias drew a walk to load the bases.

But they remained stranded after a strikeout and McElwee’s lineout.

“We haven’t hit all year,” Romig said. “It’s only been three games, but we’ve struggled to get the big hit. And once we do, we’ll loosen up. I think we’re all tight. Everybody knows that we’re searching for that big hit and everybody wants to get it, but we’re pressing a little bit.”

After taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Bald Eagle Area came through with big hit after big hit in the second inning.

Bryan Greene drilled a bases-loaded single into center field to score Guenot. Tyler Schall worked back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk, plating another run. With two outs and the bases still loaded, Dyke lined a two-run single into right field.

“If we all keep it up,” Dyke said, “I’m willing to pass the bat to anyone.”

The Eagles led 6-0, and Dyke’s teammates continued the two-out rally.

Kobularcik followed with another RBI single. Guenot attacked the first pitch he saw, sending another line-drive single into left field to make it 8-0. Brandon Gettig came through with an RBI single to push the lead to 9-0.

“That’s what’s gonna score runs for us is the balance,” Gardner said. “When one guy’s 4-for-4 and then four batters later, another guy’s 3-for-4, you don’t score runs that way. You got to bunch them together and that’s what we were able to do today.”

Romig said his pitchers needed to mix speeds better to keep Bald Eagle Area off balance. The Eagles looked for fastballs, worked good at bats and stayed aggressive as a result.

Though Bald Eagle Area didn’t hit for power, managing just one extra base hit, the Eagles put together their best hitting performance of the year.

And when Gardner called for pinch hitters in the fourth inning, they stayed patient and kept it rolling. The Eagles drew five walks before Kobularcik clinched the win with a single into left field.

“As far as a total team hitting approach, today was the best,” Gardner said. “We’ve scored a fair amount of runs in different games, but today was the best offensive, consistent throughout the lineup. We just kept pressure on them, and that’s what you need to do.”

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