BENSALEM — It's been a crazy season thus far in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference.
The insanity continued around the league yesterday — Thursday, April 24.
Truman, a team that has struggled to win and even score runs, after blanking division leader Council Rock South 1-0 earlier in the season, somehow managed to get past Neshaminy 4-3 on its home field.
William Tennent (4-4), a team that started the season 1-4, has now recorded three straight wins including a 7-6 walkoff win over CR South (5-2) on April 23 and a 12-2 trouncing of CR North (4-4) the very next day. In their battle with the Golden Hawks that went to eight innings, the Panthers won, despite the fact they surrendered eight walks, made five errors and allowed 11 stolen bases.
South rebounded from its loss to Tennent by nipping the Ghosts, 7-6, the following day to get back to the top of the standings at 5-2.
Bensalem (3-4), a team that lost a 7-6 walkoff earlier in the week at Abington (4-4), bounced back from the loss to the Ghosts by beating Pennsbury, 12-8, on the Owls' home field.
Bensalem emerged victorious, despite making eight errors in the contest. The Owls won by pounding out 11 hits in the game against four Falcon pitchers.
"We just out-hit them,' Bensalem head coach Harry Daut stated, simply. "The errors? It was windy and the sun was glaring — a tough day to catch the ball, especially in the outfield but I think we should do better than that.
"These are just crazy games.'
"I will say this: this team never quits; they come to play.'
Pennsbury senior righthander Jake Goldberg, who had deadlocked the score at 8-all with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, could not contain Bensalem's bats in the bottom of the frame. Indeed, the Owls sent 10 batters to the plate in the home sixth.
While the game-winner came home on a wild pitch while Bensalem first baseman Bill Upoff was busy working Goldberg for a walk, the Owls tacked on three more insurance runs on consecutive run-scoring singles by catcher Andy Moser, third baseman Nick Mulvey and outfielder Bill Kohler.
Just like that, the Falcons trailed, 12-8. And while they loaded the sacks in the visitors' seventh, Pennsbury could not come up with the clutch hit needed to get any of those runners home.
While the Falcons scored four unearned runs in the contest, they surrendered the same amount to Bensalem and committed three errors in the contest including two in the third inning that saw three Owls cross the plate.
"We hit OK today but we didn't execute some bunts and some other offensive plays,' said Pennsbury head coach Joe Pesci.
"Defensively, we made some mistakes.
"On the mound, we were up and down. We were getting behind hitters; usually, we're pretty good at getting ahead. That makes it tough to pitch when you get behind hitters because they're gearing up for a fastball most of the time.
As good as Pennsbury (5-3) was earlier in the week in a 5-2 win over Neshaminy (4-4), the Falcons seemed to be chasing their tail throughout this one. Bensalem manufactured a run off Pennsbury starter Brody McFadden when it executed a successful double steal in the first inning that pushed leadoff batter Jay Mulvey — on board with a bunt single — home with the first Owls run.
Tied at 1-all, Bensalem took the lead again with three runs in the home third, scoring a run on a pair of errors at first base, yet another double steal that scored Mulvey and an RBI double by Upoff, who had a banner day at the plate, going 3-for-3 including a pair of RBI.
Trailing 4-1, the Falcons plated four runs in the visitors' fourth on just two hits — both, singles. With the sacks jammed, Pennsbury leadoff man Brendan Campbell came through with an RBI single then on a ball hit into the hole in right field, Owls second baseman Chris Reyes threw the ball past first base for an error that cost his team a pair of runs.
On an ensuing hit to right field by Justin Jacko, the Bensalem rightfielder, who had just been inserted into the game and was facing a glaring sun, failed to grab a very catchable ball to give the Falcons their first and only lead in the game.
The Owls did not wait long in re-taking the lead, however, loading the sacks with one out in the home fourth on a single by Kohler and walks drawn by infielders Chris Kilcoyne and Chris Reyes. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of centerfielder Jay Mulvey, who stroked a two-run single off of junior Logan Buell, who came on in relief of McFadden. A sac-fly to center field by Bensalem starter Brandon Wermuth and an RBI single by Upoff pushed the score to 8-5, favor: the Owls.
Pennsbury battled back however, drawing within a run with two runs in the top of the fifth on a pinch-hit double by Nick DeMarchis and an RBI single by catcher Kyle Marshall. Two more errors by the hosts helped the visitors' cause.
In the end, the Falcons could not get the clutch hit they needed with Campbell bringing the 5th-inning rally to a swift end when he hit into a 6-3 double play on a hard-hit ball to short.
"We didn't execute the way we normally do and Bensalem did a great job of taking advantage,' stated Pesci.
"Even though we didn't play that well, we still kept battling and we had a chance to win it in the seventh.'
On this day, the Owls relievers were just a little bit better than Pennsbury's, however. Reyes, who began the day at second base, came on with one out and a pair of runners on in the fifth, induced the double play, then limited the Falcons to a lone run on one hit — a single, while striking out three batters and walking four.
From the other side of the diamond, the Pennsbury relievers allowed six runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batsman in three and 2/3 innings of work.
The pitcher of record, Reyes receives the win while Goldberg sustained the loss. Pennsbury drops to 5-3 in the SOL National while Bensalem pushes to 3-4 in the league.
Bensalem 12, Pennsbury 8
(April 24 at Bensalem)
PENNSBURY 001 421 0 — 8 8 3
BENSALEM 103 404 x — 12 11 8
WP: Chris Reyes 2-2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 3 K, 4 W.
LP: Jake Goldberg 2/3 IP, 4 R, 2 H, 0 K, 1 W
MULTIPLE HITS: B—Jay Mulvey 2-for-2, Upoff 3-for-3, Kohler 2-for-3
EXTRA-BASE HITS: B—Upoff 2B; P—DeMarchis 2B.