Knights sweep doubleheader against rival Bucks County

By Andrew Hunter

Knightly News Sports Reporter

The Central Penn College Knights were victorious in both games of a doubleheader on Monday, sweeping the Bucks County Community College Centurions and extending their winning streak to seven games.

Game 1

The game started with a double from Bucks County’s Evan Hill to start the Centurions’ bats. After another single by Evan Urglavitch, Hill scored to put Bucks County up one at the top of the first inning. The Knights responded immediately in the bottom of the first, with Owen Zell scoring on a passed ball.

This led to a see-saw battle over the next several innings. In the top of the second, Bucks County had the bases loaded, and Knights starting pitcher Wyatt Koser threw a wild pitch to advance the runners. One run would score for Bucks County to give them a 2-1 lead. Once again, the Knights came right back. After freshman Brian Lowen was hit by a pitch, and after back-to-back stolen bases, Lowen would score off catcher Cameron Smiley’s groundout to second base.

This scoring streak for both teams would continue, with Bucks County scoring two more in the top of the third, but the Knights answered with four more runs in the bottom half of the inning. The runs scored were a team effort, as the Knights sent eight batters to the plate. Hits by Zach Boyer, Jefrandy Montero, David Thomas and Lowen all plated runs.

From there, Koser shut down Bucks County. In total, Koser pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out five in an impressive outing.

The remainder of the game was a relative chess match, with relievers Zachary Haefner for the Knights and Luke Redding for the Centurions exchanging clean innings. While in the bottom of the fifth, the Knights were able to push a run across on a passed ball, the bats for both teams were quiet across the final three innings.

Haefner was dominant in closing out the game, allowing no hits and one walk over the final 2 1/3 innings. This propelled the Knights to a 7-4 victory in Game 1.

The Knightly News Player of the Game was designated hitter Jefrandy Montero. Montero was 1-for-3 on the day, with a run, an RBI and three stolen bases. Zach Boyer was 1-for-3 with two runs, two steals and an RBI.

Game 2

With the momentum from Game 1, the Knights turned to junior lefty pitcher Colten Zerby, who retired his first five batters, striking out four of them. Zerby allowed a double to Bucks County in the second inning, which turned into a run for the Centurions after a costly error by the Knights. Once again, the Knights were down early.

Zerby continued his impressive pitch arsenal throughout his five-inning outing. However, the Knights could not get any hitting going on the offensive side. This was the story until the fourth inning, when Zach Boyer started the Knights off with a single, and the bats came alive. Back-to-back hits from Gabe Kaufman and Brady Park helped score Boyer to tie the game at the bottom of the fourth inning.

The game continued to be tied until the top of the sixth inning when Bucks County’s Alex Fantaskey hit a triple into the gap and then later scored on a Ruggiero single to put the game at 2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth.

After being hit by a pitch, freshman Nick Joseph would score off another big hit from Zack Boyer to tie the game 2-2. The Knights would then load the bases, and freshman Tanner McCoy came into pinch hit. The moment was not too big for McCoy, as he hit a sacrifice fly into center, allowing Boyer to score. The Knights led 3-2 going into the top of the seventh.

With Harvey McClain III and Colby Criswell in the sixth and seventh innings, the Knights bullpen avoided some baserunners and closed the game down with a 3-2 victory.

The Knightly News Player of the Game was Zerby, who pitched an impressive five innings, striking out eight and allowing only two hits.

On the offensive side, Boyer was 2-for-3 with two runs, one steal and an RBI. Park was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.

After the two-game sweep, Coach Robert Stern said, “It showed that we can be down runs and not give up.” This is a fair statement, as the Knights trailed for significant stretches in both games, only to find their resiliency and retake the lead in both games.

With the victories, the Knights improved to 8-4 on the season. Bucks County Community College fell to 1-11.

The Knights will travel to Penn State Fayette on Tuesday and Christendom on Wednesday in hopes of keeping their winning streak alive. Central Penn College returns home on April 1 for a matchup against ESAC rival Manor College.