Good baseball teams can beat you in many different ways. Sometimes, it is with great pitching, sometimes it's defense, sometimes it's a power display and other times it's speed.Great Valley is a good baseball team, and the Patriots used all these elements this past Monday afternoon to down Avon Grove, 11-5, in a Ches-Mont League matchup of division leaders.
Great Valley rode the seven-inning, seven-hit, no-walk pitching performance from Chris Campbell and combined that with six stolen bases and three extra-base hits to throttle the National Division leaders.
Bill Pommerer led the Great Valley parade by smacking two hits, including a two-run triple, and swiping two bases for the Patriots (12-3 league, 13-3 overall).
"It is great to have a team with the speed that we have", Pommerer said. "When a guy hits a single or walks it is like they have a double and he is in scoring position. We like to run the bases."
Great Valley jumped out to a 4-1 lead on the Red Devils (13-2, 14-2 overall), and starter Andrew Harrison, after two innings. But Avon Grove came back in the top of third with a rally to tie the game.
Cory Snyder led off the inning with a sharp single up the middle. Mike Rooney then hit a ball to second base that was booted by Kyle
Stackhouse, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Jake Hoffstein then laid down a perfect bunt single to load the bases for the Red Devils.
Jeff DiEnno followed with an RBI single, and after Joe Wendle hit into a force out, Eric Kukoda laced a two-run single to right to tie the game at 4.
With the game tied, Avon Grove coach Tim Rector went to his bullpen for sophomore Colin Taylor. Great Valley greeted the young hurler with a two-run inning, the big hit being a tworun double by Campbell to push the Patriots to a 6-4 lead.
The big inning was yet to come for the Patriots. In the bottom of the fifth, Great Valley put the game away.
Taylor walked Pommerer to start the inning. The senior quickly stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a john Nurthern grounder to make it a 7-4 game.
Walks to Seth Houston, Mike Douglas and Kyle Stackhouse set things up for the Patriots again. Singles by Brian Mikus and Tom Rafetto plated two more runs and Great Valley had a 9-4 lead.
With all this going on, Campbell set down nine straight Avon Grove batters with an nice breaking ball. The Patriots hurler did not walk anybody and he kept the potent Red Devils off balance.
"Chris pitched a great game for us today", Great Valley coach Matt Schultz said. "He used his off speed stuff to set up his fastball and he kept them off base by not walking anyone. Avon Grove has a very good lineup and Chris did the job for us."
Great Valley tacked on two more runs in the sixth on a long two-run homer to left field by Nurthern, and the Patriots had defeated the team generally regarded as the best in the Ches-Mont.
"We like beating the bigger schools", Pommerer said. "Avon Grove is the leader in the big school division and we wanted to show people we are the best team in the Ches-Mont."
Schultz said it was a good win for his team but he did not take any extra satisfaction from beating the large-school Red Devils.
"We are a smaller school, that is a fact", Schultz said. "But, we just go out and play. We know Avon Grove is a very good team and we just wanted to get a win."
Rector said although his young hurler got roughed up a bit he was pleased with the sophomore's poise.
"Colin is only a sophomore and he does not pitch much for us", Rector said. "But, I thought he did a good job after he settled in and he is going to pitch a lot for us next year. That Great Valley team can flat out hit the baseball."