03/27 2004 Coatesville 4, Spring-Ford 3
03/28 2004 Coatesville 9, Carroll 8
03/29 2004 Baseball squads loaded again
03/31 2004 Downingtown West rallies for Ches-Mont victory
04/08 2004 Red Raiders Hold On
04/09 2004 Bishop Shanahan 7, Coatesville 6
04/15 2004 Coatesville 7, Downingtown East 5
04/16 2004 Raiders lose close one to Shanahan
04/17 2004 Coble, Hackett's RBI doubles lift East
04/18 2004 Coatesville 11, Methacton 1
04/20 2004 Five-hitter from Garrison leads Red Raiders to 7-0 win over Downingtown West
04/22 2004 Lights go up at CASH baseball field
04/22 2004 Raiders edge Cougars 7-5
04/22 2004 Fox Tales
04/23 2004 Coatesville 15, Upper Merion 1 (5 innings)
04/25 2004 Coatesville 14, Conestoga 7
04/28 2004 West Chester Henderson 11, Coatesville 10
04/29 2004 Garrison, Raiders demolish West 7-0
04/30 2004 Coatesville hands sloppy East first loss of season
05/03 2004 Mark Yearsley - High School Athlete of the Week
05/05 2004 Walton provides relief for Coatesville
05/06 2004 Raiders hand West Chester East first loss
05/07 2004 Coatesville 6, Downingtown West 2
05/13 2004 Raiders overpower Cougars 10-5
05/13 2004 Yearsley pitches Raiders past Whippets
05/14 2004 Coatesville 8, West Chester Henderson 5
05/19 2004 Vikings clinch Ches-Mont title
05/20 2004 Raiders defeat Warriors
05/21 2004 Coatesville 8, Downingtown East 0
05/25 2004 Coatesville 4, Wissahickon 1
05/27 2004 Feisty Coatesville succumbs
06/03 2004 Raiders win opening game of districts
06/10 2004 A look back on the 2004 Raider baseball season
2004 News Index
Coatesville 4, Spring-Ford 3
Pinch runner Kyle Hume scored the winning run to lead the Coatesville High School baseball team past Spring-Ford 4-3 in eight innings Friday in the season opener for both squads.
Running for Matt Jamison, Hume scored on Matt Gallis' single. Jamison led Coatesville with two hits and a run scored. Gallis added three hits and three RBI.
For Srping-Ford, B.J. Engle had a hit and two runs scored.
Coatesville 9, Carroll 8
Coatesville (2-0 overall) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to win the nonleague game. The Read Raiders overcame a 7-1 deficit.
Matt Jamison led off the seventh with a double and went to third on a bloop double by Matt Gallis. Vince Belnome hit a two-run double to tie it. After Jeff Cellucci was intentionally walked, Mark Yearsley doubled in the inning run. Chad Walton gained the pitching victory in relief.
Baseball squads loaded again
Chester County is the premiere baseball county in southeastern Pennsylvania, consistently putting out the best high school baseball year after year. And this season should be no different.
West Chester East, following it's scintillating state title victory, will face a very competitive field in the Ches-Mont League. The Coatesville Red Raiders look to be back to their glory days, and West Chester Henderson and the two Downingtowns should be nipping at their heels.
In the SCCL, it will be the usual free-for all, with many teams in the title mix.
Coatesville (10-10 last season)
Coach: Hal Ziegler
Coatesville is always known as a team that can hit the cover off the baseball. This year the Red Raiders aslo have the pitching to go along with their potent offense.
Seniors Mark Yearsley and Jeremy Garrison will be counted on by Ziegler to handle the mound duties. Each has excellent command. Jeff Cellucci will do the catching and the infield looks strong with Colby Shesko, Gary Walton, Matt Gallis, and Ross McNiel holding down the fort.
Ziegler is cautiously optimistic about his team and thinks they can content with West Chester East and Henderson for the league crown.
Downingtown West rallies for Ches-Mont victory
DOWNINGTOWN -- They say the first time is a charm. It certainly was for Downingtown West High School baseball coach Brian Chenger on Tuesday afternoon.
The first-year coach led his Whippets to a come-from-behind 9-6 victory over Coatesville in his initial Ches-Mont League game.
Downingtown rallied from a 3-0 deficit on the strength of four runs batted in by Ryan Werkheiser and the crafty pitching of Jason Bowman.
"I played at Downingtown and I know how important all Ches-Mont games are," Chenger said. "I know what a quality program Coatesville has and I have a lot of respect for them and coach Ziegler."
Things did not look so rosy for Chenger and the Whippets early on. The Red Raiders (0-1 Ches-Mont, 2-1 overall) jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a long home run off the bat of Ron McNiel to lead off the second inning. McNiel took a first-pitch fastball from Bowman and drove it to deep right-center field to put the Red Raiders out in front.
Coatesville plated single runs in the third and fourth innng to stake themselves to a 3-0 lead. But Downingtown West (1-0 Ches-Mont, 3-1 overall) struck back in the bottom of the fourth. After Bryan Riggins reached base on a Coatesville error, Ryan Caso drove a Jeremy Garrison fastball to right field for a double, putting men on second and third with none out. Werkheiser then doubled, scoring both runners, and Downingtown West crept to within one run. Bowman then tripled to right field, scoring the tying run. A fielders choice by Paul Culbertson gave the Whippets a 4-3 lead, an edge they would never relinquish.
Garrison got in trouble again in the bottom of the fifth inning. A lead off walk was followed by a throwing error by Mark Yearsley, putting runners on second and third with no one out. After Riggins flied out to left field, Garrison dropped the ball while attempting to pitch to Caso. The balk scored the fifth Downingtown West run.
"I donít know what happened on the balk," Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. "It was pretty wet out there." Garrison then walked Caso and Matt Reinert to load the bases. Werkheiser then drove Garrison from the game with a line shot which plated two more runs and gave the Whippets a commanding 8-3 lead.
"Ryan can hit the ball," Chenger said. "I have known these kids since the seventh grade and coached them in eighth grade." I know what they can do and what they canít, but I hope we are a good hitting team."
Bowman settled down and got into a groove until the seventh inning. With Downingtown West holding a 9-3 lead, Coatesville started a rally.
Yearsley led off with a double. Chris McGinley walked and Chad Walton stroked a RBI single to leftfield. That was it for Bowman, who allowed nine hits on the day but got the big out when needed in the early innings.
"That is the way he pitches," Chenger said. "He is not going to overpower anyone but he is a super kid and he gets a lot of fly-ball outs." The Red Raiders flied out 10 times against Bowman and left five people on base in the first three innings.
Culbertson came on and set down the Red Raiders after two more runs scored in the seventh and the Whippets held on for their win.
"We left too many guys on base," Ziegler said. "And the defensive lapses, we should not have had."
Chenger was pleased to get the first Ches-Mont League game in the win column. "These kids work hard and to beat Coatesville is a big plus for us," he said.
Red Raiders Hold On
CALN -- Many times the race goes to the one who gets out of the gate first. This could apply to Wednesday nightís Ches-Mont League baseball battle between Coatesville and West Chester Henderson high schools.
Coatesville pounced on Henderson starter Brian Rostick for five runs in the first two innings and held on for a tense 5-3 victory. The Red Raiders (1-1 Ches-Mont, 3-1 overall) banged out three first-inning hits, including RBI doubles by Jeff Cellucci and Ross McNiel. Rostick also walked two men in the inning, and the Red Raiders had a 4-0 lead after one inning.
Matt Jamison led off the second with a hard double to right field, and came in to score three batters later on a Warriorsí (0-1, Ches-Mont, 3-1 overall) error. "You canít spot a good team like Coatesville funs runs," Henderson coach Luke McNichol said. "They got out on us early tonight."
McNichol went to his bullpen in the second inning, calling on Scott Wajda to stem the tide. Wajda responded by shutting down Coatesville (0-1, Ches-Mont, 3-1 overall) the rest of the game, allowing only three hits while fanning five. "We stopped hitting after the first two innings," Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. "That kid did a nice job for them, but you have to continue to execute and we didnít."
Fortunately for Coatesville, their starting pitcher Mark Yearsley was in quite a groove. Yearsley set down the first 12 men he faced, and Coatesville took a 5-0 lead into the top of the fifth. The right-hander was keeping his ball down low and hitting his spots, while the Warriors looked helpless at the plate. Things changed in a hurry in the fifth. Jeff Anderson led off with a towering double to dead center. Mark Misipio then walked and Matt McGreevy singled. Bret Shapot sent a shot to right field, scoring two Henderson runners, but McGreevy was cut down trying to go to third on the single. Brian Dixon and John Lunardi both singled, making it a 5-3 game.
But Yearsley got John Costello to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. "We got our hitting shoes on in the fifth,í McNichol said. "It was a matter early on of our bats not being where the ball was pitched."
While Coatesvilleís bats stayed silent, Henderson tried to come all the way back against reliever Jeremy Garrison. With one out in the sixth, Tim Connor singled to center. But Brian Kingsland grounded into a double play to end the inning.
"Mark (Yearsley) was at about 70 pitches so I went with the senior Garrison because he has been through these wars enough," Ziegler said. Henderson had one last gasp in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, McGreevy stoked a double down the rightfield line, bringing Shapot to the plate. Shapot hit a sinking liner that left fielder Chris McGinley came in on and made a nice catch, then threw to second to nab McGreevy and end the game.
"It was nice to see our defense make some plays to get our pitchers out of situations," Ziegler said.
Bishop Shanahan 7, Coatesville 6
Mike Dunn scored the winning run on a ball that got by the catcher with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Eagles (3-0) to the non-league victory.
Dunn was pinch-running for Dave Browh, who singled. Shanahan scored four runs in the last two innings.
For Coatesville, Chris McGinley scored three runs.
Coatesville 7, Downingtown East 5
Mark Yearsley went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, two RBI, a double and a triple to lead the Red Raiders (2-1 Ches-Mont, 4-2 overall) in Chest-Mont League action. Yearsley also closed the game after a strong pitching performance from Chad Walton.
Mike Sweet, Jim March, Josh Marks each recorded two hits for the Cougars.
Raiders lose close one to Shanahan
DOWNINGTOWN -- Coatesville jumped on Shanahan starting pitcher Dave Koczirka as Vince Belnome walked and Chad Walton grounded to right and when the ball was bobbled, Belnome advanced to third with Walton moving to second.
Koczirka uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Belnome to score with Walton moving to third. Another wild pitch plated Walton.
Chris McGinley then walked, promptly stole second and scored as Jeff Celluci singled to right, giving the Raiders a 3-0 lead.
Shanahan came back to tie the game in the home second as Dave Brown doubled to left. Garrett Grejdus then took a Walton pitch and drove in down the left field line, high and long, but the drive hooked just outside the 329 foot marker.
Walton then bore down to stike out Grejdus, but Koczirka hit a ringing double to the gap in left center, Brown scored to make it 3-1. Frank Berrodin drove in Koczirka with a double, and Brian Brugger added yet another double, driving in Berrodin with the tying run.
The Raiders came right back in the top of the third to take the lead, 4-3, as McGinley walked, advanced to second and third on wild pitches. He then scored as Celluci put down an rbi scoring bunt single.
With Walton settling in on the mound after the shaky second inning, the Raider bats tacked on two more runs in the fifth as Dom Fantanarosa, pinch hitting for Yearsley, singled to left, stole second and moved on to third on a wild pitch. McGinley walked and stole second. With two on and no outs, Andrew LeVasseur was then brought in relief of Koczirka. Celluci then walked to load the bases. Justin Urban then flied out to deep right field to score Fantanarosa and McGinley scored on a passed ball, giving Coatesville a 6-3 lead.
Shanahan got two runs back in the last of the sixth as Dave Brown doubled to center. Sean Flanagan, running for Brown, scored on a double by Ross Nicolini. Mark McElwee then singled and Nicolini scored to make it a 6-5 contest.
LeVasseur kept the Raiders off the board in the top of the final inning as the Eagles went to work. Brugger singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Ward. Brown then singled home Brugger with the tying run. Nicolini singled, Brown moving to third. Flanagan then walked to load the bases. LeVasseur then grounded sharply to short, but the ball was misplayed, allowing Brown to score the winning run for the 7-6 final.
"We worked all week long on grounders," said Coatesville head coach Hal Ziegler. "You have to to able to field and throw. We didn't do that."
"We played a good team," said Shanahan head coach George Hadfield. "It was a measuring stick on how good we are. We got down in the first inning and it was important to see how we could come back. And we did with some nice defensive play."
The game was played under cloudy theatening skies, with the final two innings played in a steady rain. Wonder what the umpires would have done had Shanahan only tied the game, not won it outright?
The umpires also faced a disputed call decison as, in the Shanahan fifth, Brugger hit a grounder to short. He was initially called safe by the infield umpire, who ruled Urban's foot was off the bag at first. Ziegler protested and after an exchange by the umpires, home plate ump ruled Brugger out. This brought protest from the Shanahan side, but the ump's decision stood.
Shanahan joins the Ches-Mont League next year, and it could prove interesting the next time the two teams meet on the field.
After winning the game, the Eagles celebrated on the first base side by piling on each other. "They won the World Series. You notice," said Ziegler sarcastically.
Coble, Hackett's RBI doubles lift East
West Chester East's Jim Coble and Justin Hackett each hit two-out RBI doubles in a three-run third inning and the Vikings held off a late inning surge to capture the 3-2 baseball victory over Ches-Mont rival Coatesville Friday.
Vikings top pitcher Brian Muldowney had another strong outing, going 6 2/3 innings and striking out three Red Raiders batters.
The Vikings remain perfect on the season, with a 7-0 record (4-0 Ches-Mont).
Coatesville 11, Methacton 1
Vince Belnome had a three-run triple and a RBI double to lead Coatesville to a nonleague win over Methacton.
Mark Yearsley had a two-run single for the Red Raiders (5-3). Matt Gallis also had two hits and two runs scored.
Five-hitter from Garrison leads Red Raiders to 7-0 win over Downingtown West
CALN -- The Coatesville High School baseball team made a very loud statement Tuesday night.
The Red Raiders put the rest of the Ches-Mont League on notice that they are a force to be reckoned with this season.
The Red Raiders (3-2 Ches-Mont, 5-3 overall) rodea superlative five-hit pitching effort from Jeremy Garrison to a 7-0 whitewashing of Downingtown West.
Coatesville jumped all over Whippet (3-2 Ches-Mont, 5-4 overall) starter Paul Culbertson right from the outset.
"That was the difference tonight," Downingtown West coach Brian Chenger said after the loss. "Garrison pitched a great game. He stayed ahead of the hitters all night."
Vince Belnome started the offensive part of Coatesvilleís night off with a ringing double off Culbertson in the top of the first inning.
Belnome came around to score on an RBI single by Chris McGinley.
Belnome knocked in the second Coatesville run with a single in the second inning.
Coatesville put the game away in the fourth inning and Belnome started it all off with a leadoff double to right field.
Chad Walton and Mark Yearsley then singled to make the score 3-0.
Jeff Cellucci knocked both of them in with a double to center and Coatesville was cruising at 5-0.
Cruising is also the word to describe the way Garrison was pitching also.
The senior used a good fastball on the outside part of the plate to stymie Downingtown West.
Garrison only walked one Whippet while striking out five.
"That is what you have to do to win ball games," Garrison said. "You have to keep ahead of the hitters and keep them off balance."
When the Whippets did hit the ball hard, the Red Raiders fielders did the job tracking it down.
Matt Jamison made two nice plays in center field behind Garrison.
"I feel very comfortable with the guys behind me," Garrison said. "The guys can make the plays."
Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler was very pleased with not only Garrison, but his entire squad.
"I expect Jeremy to pitch that way," Ziegler said. "He is a senior and we need people to step up like he did tonight."
"You have to have intensity in these Ches-Mont games. I want to drive these kids as far as they can go."
Chenger knows his team has to bounce back in the tight Ches-Mont League race.
"We have to get right back out there and know this is only one game." he said.
The Red Raiders are tied with Downingtown West for second place behind West Chester East.
Lights go up at CASH baseball field
McCool was a member of the Coatesville Area Senior High School (CASH) baseball team and in the 2001 season, the Raiders dedicated their season to his memory. The team carried a banner with McCool's number, No. 6, emblazoned on it to every game the team had, and in addition, had the No. 6 sewn on the sleeves of their jerseys.
During that season, at one of the team's home games, Coach Hal Ziegler presented one of McCool's jerseys enclosed in a glass case to McCool's parents, Bill and Kim McCool.
But for the McCools, who live in West Caln with their son, Ryan, 20, Brandon's connection with the Raiders had begun much earlier. "Since he was 9 years old, he always dreamed of playing at CASH. His biggest goal after he turned 16 was to play there," said Bill McCool. For that reason, he said on the day that Brandon died, he and his wife decided that they wanted to do something to give back to the team. They began raising money for lights to be put up on the CASH varsity baseball field. By April 2001, they had raised $23,000, and then from an auction in October 2001 held at the high school, they raised another $36,000.
The varsity team plays night games at Giant Field at Caln Park, but has never had lights on its own field. "It's important that we have our own home field," said Coatesville Area Senior High School varsity baseball head coach Hal Ziegler. Occasionally, conflicts have arisen with other games at the Caln field, which is run by the Caln Athletic Association. "It will be nice to have our own field," said Ziegler.
One hurdle, though, had to be jumped before that could be done and that was getting the approval of the Coatesville Area School Board. That finally came in April 2003 by a narrow 5-4 vote. Caln Township also approved the lights, dugouts and fencing for the field. At debate was how the lights would affect neighboring residents. According to Craig Pappas, president of the Coatesville Baseball Booster Club, the lights, which are being done by GE Lighting - the same team which did the Phillies new stadium - designed the lights so that the light is directed down towards the field.
In total, the McCools through the Brandon McCool Memorial Lighting Fund raised over $77,000 that will go toward the $88,000 needed for the lights. That cost includes a crane which is being used to set up the lights, with five 70-foot poles and two 90-foot poles being installed.
Dedication of the lights, and the team's first night game at CASH, is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 29 against West Chester East. However, that could be delayed until the first week in May, Pappas said Tuesday morning.
"We would have liked to seen it earlier, but the weather hasn't cooperated at all," said Coatesville head baseball coach Hal Ziegler. (Also Bill McCool said originally they were looking to get the lights from another company, but then that fell through. The contract for the lights wasn't signed until January, as a result.) "Right now we're at the liberty of the weather," said Ziegler. "We'd like to play a minimum of one game underneath the lights on the home field before the season ends."
The Coatesville Baseball Booster Club is also raising money to put in dugouts at the field, on both the home and visitor's side, and fencing for about $15,000. "In October of last year, we decided to at least go for the dugouts. We enough people with construction background that we thought we could keep that in-house," said Pappas. Now because of that, the booster club has installed the dugouts, which are almost finished. Pappas said the cost would have been close to $17,000, but was done for $5,000 because club members did the work. Club members also laid almost 6,000 feet of wire for lights, said Pappas. "We saved almost $20,000 doing that," said Pappas. "They work very hard for their kids," said Ziegler of the club. "They do everything for them." Pappas said, though, it is the least they could do for Ziegler, who always wanted dugouts and lights on the home field.
Bleachers also are being put in on both sides, said Pappas. Seating will be about 125 on the home side and about 50 on the visitor's side, he said. The club is also looking to install fencing around the field, and is selling 3-foot by 6-foot vinyl banners that will be hung on the fence to businesses for $500 for three years. "We have sold about 20 signs so far and are trying to get 40 to 50 total," said Pappas last week.
In all, both Pappas and Ziegler said as of last week an additional $13,000 was needed to pay for everything.
In addition, Fantanarosa Insurance has donated a new $6,000 electronic scoreboard for the field, and the school district is purchasing sod to be put in front of the dugout and is putting stone in front of the dugout as well as hooking up water for the field.
"This is like a dream come true," said Pappas, and Bill McCool agreed. "It is like a dream come true." However, he said getting the lights up also had been a battle, from getting the approval of the school board to getting the contract for the lights. In the end, though, it all worked out, he said. "Even with the battle Brandon had, he didn't give up," said Bill McCool. "I can't wait for it to happen - for those lights to go up in his name." That was expected to happen yesterday with a crane coming in to put the lights up on the poles.
"He knows," said Kim McCool. "I think he'd be very proud. His goal was to be a big part of Coatesville baseball and now he will be forever. We always said he'll be shining down on everybody."
If interested in helping donate to the Brandon McCool Memorial Lighting Fund, donations can be sent to 100 Winston Way, Coatesville, Pa. 19320. The McCools have an account set up through First Financial Bank. For those who want to contribute for the dugouts and field improvements, donations can be sent to the booster club, which is a 501 (c)(3)tax exempt charitable organization, so all donations are tax deductible. For more information on contributing to the booster club, contact Hal Ziegler at 610-384-3608, Craig Pappas at 610-857-3559 or Bob Yearsley at 610-383-6653.
Raiders edge Cougars 7-5
Cellucci was referring to starting pitcher Chad Walton who pitched a strong game before being relieved in the seventh inning. Coatesville jumped on top in the opening inning, as Vince Belnome beat out an infield grounder to short. Walton moved him over to second with a nifty sacrifice bunt down the third base line. Mark Yearsley then drove a deep fly ball toward the fence in right. East right fielder Tim Smith appeared to loose the ball in the lights, and by the time he recovered, the ball clattered off the fence, just out of Smith's reach, Yearsley going to second, Belnome stopping at third. Chris McGinley grounded back to the box, but Belnome got caught too far off third and was caught in a run down and finally tagged out. Cellucci reached base, as the Cougar shortstop was unable to make the play, loading the bases. Yearsley then scored as East shortstop Kyle Roberts booted a grounder by Ross McNeil. Walton worked the first three innings allowing just one hit. Walton struck out just one batter but his low stuff caused the Cougars to beat the ball into the ground and a strong Raider defense backstopped Walton's effort.
Coatesville tacked on another run in the home third, taking advantage of two more East errors. Walton reached first on an error at second, but was then erased as Yearsley grounded into a force play with Walton out at second. McGinley singled to right, Yearsley moving to third. He then scored on an error at short, giving the Raiders a 2-0 lead. East broke through in the top of the fourth as Mike Sweet singled and Rob DeRafelo doubled to the gap in left center, Sweet stopping at third. He then scored on Josh Marks sac fly to Matt Jamison in center. The gates opened in the Raiders fourth as, with one out, Matt Gallis grounded a single to right. Matt Strow came in as a pinchrunner. Strow was safe at second as the East shortstop was unable to get to thebag in time, Belnome reaching first. Yearsley drove both runners home with a triple down the right field line. McGinley was safe on a grounder to short, Yearsley scoring the third run of the inning and a 5-1 Raiders lead. McGinley stole second and scored as Cellucci singled to left, upping the score to 6-1. East got one run back in the sixth as DeRalfelo walked and moved to second on Jim March's ground single up the middle. Marks singled to right to load the bases and Smith's sac fly to left center scored DeRalfelo.
Coatesville negated the East run with one of their own as Belnome walked and scored on Walton's drive to the right field gap. With the Raiders holding a 7-2 lead, East threatened in the seventh as Calvin Setar looped a single to right to lead off the inning. After Roberts fanned for the first out, Sweet lined a single to right and DeRafelowas hit by a pitch, loading the bases. March hit a sharp grounder through Yearsley's legs at third, allowing both Setar and Sweet to score. Marks then hit a grounder up the middle but it struck Walton on the foot. Walton tried a couple of pitches with coach Hal Ziegler looking on. After trying to throw, Walton moved to first base, with McNeil moving over to third and Yearaley in to take over for Walton on the mound. With the bases full of East runners, Yearaley had early trouble finding the strike zone, walking Brian Karcewski and forcing in DeRafelo and moving East to within two at 7-5, bases loaded, still just one out. But Yearsley bore down, getting Smith to pop to second and then fanned Smith to wrap up the win for Coatesville. Walton commented afterward that he "just tried to throw strikes and hit my spots."
Ziegler smiled noting, "It got ugly near the end, but the pitchers threw strikes. We hit and played good defense. We just haven't put the whole package together yet." "Our defense put us an early hole," East coach Russ Wren said. "You don't make plays on defense you can't expect to win." "He hit his spots," said Cellucci of Walton and speaking of his teammates, he added, "I thought we did a good job of putting the bat on the ball throughout the game. We did a good job of getting prepared. It's a big getting ready for Downingtown," Cellucci commented.
Seeing Walton walking over to him, Cellucci repeated with a grin: "Chad threw a heck of a game."
The Vikings won the game 3-2, but lost ace left-hander Dave Lutz. The second batter of the game hit a line drive that deflected off the pitcher's glove and fractured his jaw.
Of course, the line drive was struck by an aluminum bat, which is about the same as a rocket launcher. The move to aluminum bats was an economic move for high schools and colleges since they don't have to be replaced. I question whether that balances against the personal safety of defensive players, especially pitchers. Ask Dave Lutz and his family how they feel about the money-saving move.
Aluminum bats have altered the college game where World Series scores are constantly in the teens. A checked swing results in a 380 foot run. Then the same players go to the pros and wonder where all their power went. To compensate, they become steroid abusers.
The East Vikings had a solid 1-2 pitching rotation, which is now dependent on the prognosis for Lutz' return. Regardless, the health of the young athlete should be everyone's primary concern.
Coatesville 15, Upper Merion 1 (5 innings)
Vince Belnome hit two doubles and knocked in four RBI to lead the Red Raiders (7-3) to the nonleague win.
Coatesville's Justin Urban was 2-for-3 with three RBI, and Mark Yearsley pitched a complete-game two-hitter for the win.
Coatesville 14, Conestoga 7
Bob Jenkins went 2-for-5 with two RBI to lead the Red Raiders (7-3) to the nonleague win. Vince Belnome added two doubles and two runs scored for Coatesville.
Matt Rogers was 3-for-3 for the Pioneers. Scott Wham went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored for Conestoga.
West Chester Henderson 11, Coatesville 10
Zach Dandrea hit a three-run homer in the second to help lead the Warriors (3-4, 7-4) to win the Ches-Mont League win. Jeff Anderson knocked in two runs with a double in the fifth inning, Bret Shapot had a two-RBI triple, and Scott Wajda pitched 4 2/3 relief innings to earn the win for Henderson.
Matt Gallis hit a bases-loaded, three RBI triple and Ross McNiel scored three runs for the Red Raiders.
Garrison, Raiders demolish West 7-0
With the victory, which came at Giant Field in Caln Park in Thorndale, the Raiders upped their Ches-Mont record to 3-2.
"The kids played a complete game tonight," coach Hal Ziegler said after the win went into the record books. "And that's what we're looking for. Jeremy threw the kind of game you expect as a senior."
Lead off hitter Vince Belnome went 3-for-4 on the night, including two doubles to help key the Coatesville offense. Belnome doubled to right to lead off the game and, with two out, scored on Chris McGinley's single to right center field, giving the Red Raider a 1-0 lead after one inning.
Coatesville tacked on another run in the second as designated hitter Ross McNeil walked and advanced to second as Justin Pappas dropped a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. McNeil scored as Belnome doubled to right to up the score to 2-0. With Garrison in firm control of the Downingtown West offense, the Red Raiders exploded for five more runs in the fifth inning. Belnome again keyed the offense with a leadoff double to the left field fence. Chad Walton singled to left and Mark Yearsley then hit a sharp grounder to short. Belnome scored as Yearsley beat out the throw. That made the score 3-0. McGinley was then intentionally walked, loading the bases. Jeff Cellucci plated the second and third runs of the inning with a double to left, as McGinley stopped at third. The score was then 5-0.
Ross McNiel closed out the scoring with a double to right center, McGinley and Cellucci scoring to up the score to 7-0.
The Whippets were never able to get an offensive threat going against Garrison and the Raider defense. Paul Culbertson's lead-off single in the top of the first was erased as Coatesville ended the inning with a second to short to first double play.
Ryan Caso lead off the fourth inning with a single to center, but was erased as Coatesville closed out the inning with another double play.
Jason Bowman and Brian Riggins added the only other visitor's hits. The Whippets also struck out four times in the game.
"Hats off to Coatesville," West coach Brian Chenger said after the game. "They hit the ball and flat out beat us." Downingtown's Ches-Mont record dropped to 3-2. "We just have to come back strong like good teams do," Chenger said, adding "and we're a good team."
"To win a ballgame you have to pitch right, keep the batters off balance," said Garrison after the game. He also credited his teammates. "The offense is stepping it up and the defense is getting better. Everyone's just stepping it up." Coatesville third baseman Mark Yearsley gave credit to Garrison and his teammate's defense. "Jeremy pitched a great game. Belnome got key hits and we played good defense," he said.
Coatesville hands sloppy East first loss of season
THORNDALE -- Coatesville left fielder Chris McGinley said it is every Coatesville baseball playerís dream to defeat West Chester East.
The Red Raiders lived the dream Thursday night.
Coatesville used a seven-run sixth inning to outlast the previously undefeated Vikings, 14-10,in a Ches-Mont League offensive marathon Thursday night at Caln Park.
McGinley was 2-for-3 in the game with a double and two RBI. McGinley drew a bases-loaded walk and scored in a pivotal sixth inning that erased a 10-7 Vikings lead.
"I feel relief," McGinley said. "We were the only ones to beat them last year."
Last season, the Vikings were the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AAA Champions. This season, West Chester East was 9-0 overall and 6-0 in the Ches-Mont entering the game. The Vikings appeared to be on their way to a perfect 10-0 start after a five-run rally in the top-half of the sixth inning put them up by three.
"We had to stick together," Coatesville catcher Jeff Cellucci said. "I donít think anyone was down. We needed to step it up."
Cellucci followed up McGinleyís walk in the sixth inning with a two-RBI single that scored second baseman Vince Belnome and first baseman-pitcher Chad Walton to put the Red Raiders up for good, 11-10.
The Red Raiders (4-3, 8-4) posted the seven runs on four walks and three hits. There was one Vikingsí error in the inning and five total for East in the game.
Head coach Ed Pappas knew that playing poor defense would eventually hurt the Vikings.
"We have not been playing good defense for a week," he said. "It finally came back to bite us. We just didnít field well at all. They outplayed us and they deserved to win."
Coatesville head coach Hal Ziegler said the time was right for the Red Raidersí offense to finally bloom.
"We were waiting for this offense to come through," he said. "The wheels were turning tonight. You need everything you got against East."
The Red Raiders still trail the Vikings by two games in the Ches-Mont. Ziegler acknowledged that West Chester East is still the "top dog" in the league but was happy to see the character of his team.
"Itís nice to coach a bunch of guys who donít quit," he said. "They donít think the gameís ever going to be over."
Pappas, meanwhile, said he hopes the loss is a "wake-up call." "Weíre gonna play better," he said. "Theyíre a good bunch of guys. Theyíll bounce back."
Walton pitched two relief innings to earn the win for the Red Raiders. Starting pitcher Jeremy Garrison left after the second inning due to soreness in the his pitching elbow.
Dave Lutz suffered the loss for the Vikings. Lutz pitched in his first game since being drilled by a line drive in the face earlier this season against Coatesville. Lutz pitched with a protective guard that resembled a catcherís mask.
Brian Muldowney started for the Vikings and left after surrendering five runs in 4Ō innings.
Justin Hackett was 3-for-4 for the Vikings with a home run and three RBI. Third baseman-pitcher Mark Yearsley nailed a home run for the Red Raiders.
Four consecutive walks in the top-half of the sixth inning provided the fuel for the Vikingsí rally. Center fielder Nick Napiecek nailed the first hit of the inning, a double down the left-field line, to score two runs and put East ahead 8-7. Shortstop-pitcher Ryan Ebersole followed Napiecekís lead and hit a line-drive single to center field to score two more to put West Chester East ahead 10-7.
Coatesville sophomore Belnome ripped a double to the left field wall to spark the Red Raidersí four-run fourth inning. Yearsley walked in a run that was followed by a McGinley RBI double. Right fielder Bob Jenkins finished off the rally with an RBI-single that scored designated hitter Ross NcNiel.
Walton provides relief for Coatesville
UWCHLAN -- The Coatesville Area High School baseball team pounded out 16 hits and received a sterling relief performance Tuesday afternoon from Chad Walton.
It added up to a big 10-5 victory over Downingtown East in Ches-Mont League action.
Coatesville (5-3 league, 9-4 overall) trailed Downingtown East early on as the Cougars (2-6, 3-13) scored four runs in the first three innings off of Coatesville starter Kyle Hume.
A home run from Rob DeRafelo gave Downingtown East a 4-1 lead and provided a scary moment.
Matt Jamison made a gallant attempt to corral DeRafeloís bomb, banging into the fence and laying on the ground for several minutes. He was taken to the hospital for evaluation.
The homer signaled the end of Humeís day and the start of Waltonís.
"Kyle canít get behind hitters the way he did today," Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. "He canít pitch like that. He has to get ahead."
Walton set down the Cougars in the third, and the Coatesville offense came out of its slumber in the top of the fourth.
Mark Yearsley led off by taking a 2-2 fastball from Brian Karcewski over the center field fence to cut the lead to 4-2.
After Chris McGinley grounded out, Jeff Cellucci hit a grounder to third baseman Mike DeRafelo, who booted the ball, giving Cellucci first base. Karcewski struck out Ross McNiel for the second out of the inning, but the fireworks were just beginning.
Justin Pappas laced a liner to right for a single. This brought up Bobby Jenkins, who entered the game as a replacement for Jamison.
Jenkins stroked a double to right, scoring two runs and tying the game.
Matt Gallis followed with a single and Vince Belnome reached first on an error by second baseman Mike Sweet. Walton and Yearsley both singled in runs and Coatesville took a 7-4 lead.
"We didnít pitch well and we did not play good defense," a disgusted Downingtown East coach Russ Wren said.
"You have to make the plays, and we opened the door for them."
Walton held the Cougars at bay the rest of the way, giving up just one run on two hits.
The reliever stayed ahead of the hitters with a nice curve ball and kept them off balance.
After the game, Walton said he does not mind coming in the game in a relief role.
"I just try to be ready and get my intensity up," Walton said. "Thatís all you can do is get your intensity up and try to stay ahead of the hitters."
The offensive explosion pleased Ziegler, especially the bottom third of the Coatesville line-up going 7-for-14 with 5 RBI.
"I keep telling the guys everybody is going to get a chance to play and you have to be ready," he said. "That is why a team is 18 guys."
Wren was disappointed with the way his young team played in the field and on the mound.
"We did not make enough plays, and how many games are you going to win giving up 16 hits?" he said.
Raiders hand West Chester East first loss
The West Chester East High School baseball team found that out last Thursday night against Coatesville the hard way. In a pivotal sixth inning, the Coatesville Red Raiders used four walks to their advantage and, along with some clutch hitting, downed the previously unbeaten West Chester East Vikings, 14-10, under the lights at Giant Field in Caln.
A seven run Coatesville rally in the bottom of the sixth inning saw the Raiders overcome a 10-7 deficit, after the Vikings had taken the lead by scoring five runs in the top of the inning to assume the lead.
The Coatesville rally was the third lead change in the see-saw Ches-Mont League game. For the second year in a row, the loss was the first for the league leading Vikings, and the defending state champions.
"It was a great win," Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. He said that the Raiders dropped a 3-2 game earlier in the season to East. "We came together after that game," he said. "We're still fighting and that's a good sign."
Before the sixth inning fireworks, Coatesville tallied four times in the fifth inning to wipe out a 5-3 East lead.
Vinnie Belnome, as he has done many times this season, ignited the rally with a single to left and when East's Justin Hackett had trouble getting to the ball, Belnome moved to second. Chad Walton grounded out to first with Belnome moving to third and then scored as Mark Yearsley fly to right dropped in for a single.
East's Dave Lutz then came on the relieve starter Brian Muldowney. Chris McGinley greeted Lutz to the game by lacing hit first pitch to left as Yearsley tallied the tying run. McGinley moved to third as the ball was mishandled on the play and then scored as Ross McNeil reached on an error by the East second baseman.
Rob Jenkins singled to center and scored McNeil for a 7-5 Coatesville lead. That set the stage for the sixth inning fireworks. In the top of the inning, the Vikings regained the lead 10-7. Yearsley, who had come in relief for starter Jeremy Garrison, gave up four walks and a single that gave the Vikings an 8-7 lead.
Then Walton came in and gave up a single to designated hitter Jim Coble, who drove in the final two runs of the inning to give East a 10-7 lead.
Lutz was unable to hold the lead however. He started by walking Matt Jamison and Belnome. Walton then doubled to the gap in left to score Jamison. That pulled the Raiders within 10-8.
Lutz then walked Yearsley to load the bases and another walk to McGinley and the Raiders edged closer at 10-9. Jeff Celucci then singled to center to score Walton and Yearsley and give the Raiders an 11-10 lead.
The hit chased Lutz off the mound and brought in Ryan Ebersole for East. With McNeil up to bat, Celluci stole second and on the throw, McGinley scored to give the Raiders a 12-10 lead. Celluci then scored on a passed ball to increase the lead to 13-10. McNeil singled and Jamison brought him in on a ground out for the final run of the Coatesville rally.
Walton then slammed the door on East by striking out the side in the seventh. "They outplayed us," East coach Ed Pappas said after the loss. "They outplayed us and they outpitched us. We played horrible on defense. We had six errors according to our book and we can't do that."
"We all played together the whole game and we never let up," said Belnome. Cellucci summed up his teammates' feelings following the win. "It makes the win so much better when you beat a quality opponent," he said.
Game Notes: In the sixth inning Ziegler got into a heated argument with the home plate umpire and was nearly tossed from the game. Ziegler explained that he was upset as what he saw as a shrinking stike zone. "I thought the zone got tighter as they game got closer," Ziegler said. "I told him what I thought but then I also told him he did a good job after the game."
Mark Yearsley paced a ball 11 hit Coatesville offense with a 2-for-2 performance including a solo home run in the third inning, his shot clearing the fence in center. Belnome (2-3), Cellucci, (2-4, 2 rbi), and Jenkins (2-4) also added multi-hit performances.
Coatesville 6, Downingtown West 2
Mark Yearsley pitched a six-hitter and Chris McGinley had three hits for Coatesville (6-3, 11-4) in the Ches-Mont League victory. Vince Belnome and Jeff Cellucci had two hits apiece.
For Downingtown West (3-6, 6-7), Jason Bowman pitched a complete game, while Ryan Werkheiser and Casey Matthews both had doubles.
Raiders overpower Cougars 10-5
DOWNINGTOWN -- The Red Raiders unleashed a 17-hit attack, backed by an outstanding relief effort from Chad Walton. Walton moved from first base to take over pitching chores from a struggling Kyle Hume with a runner on and no outs in the third inning and Coatesville on the short end of a 4-1 score. Walton allowed just one unearned run over the next four innings. Mark Yearsley worked the seventh inning and threw a 1-2-3 inning to secure the victory.
"It was a tough game, but the pitching got better," Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. "Hume works best when he's working ahead in the count, and he struggles when he gets behind. Walton threw real good. It was two good relief outings in a row for him."
Mike Sweet lead off the home first for the Cougars as his grounder to Yearsley at third was overthrown, Sweet moving on to second. He moved to third on a sacrifice by Josh Marks and, with two outs scored on a double by Jim March.
East tacked on two more runs in the second as Jim Curley walked and Calvin Setar singled to left. Singles by Sweet and Marks brought the runners home. Trailing 3-0, Coatesville broke into the scoring against East starter Brian Karoewski as Justin Pappas reached base on an error at third and moved to second on Matt Jamison's sacrifice. Pappas scored on Matt Gallis' single to center. The Cougars got the run back in their half of the third as Rob DeRafalo hit a long shot to center. Jamison broke back but in trying to make the catch ran at full speed into the fence. Left fielder Chris McGinley quickly called for assistance as DeRafalo circled the bases. Jamison, apparently stunned with the impact of the fence, was finally able to stand up. He left the game and went for testing at Brandywine Hospital, which later proved negative.
With Walton taking care of holding the Cougars off the board, the Red Raiders went to work with the bat in the top of the fourth inning, plating six runs on seven hits. Yearsley began the rally with a 365-foot shot over the right centerfield fence for a 4-2 score. Jeff Cellucci reached base as the third to first throw pulled Curley off the bag at first. Pappas singled. Robby Jenkins, in the game for Jamison, tied the game at 4-4 as his fly ball to right dropped just out of the reach of Tim Smith. Gallis' single scored Jenkins and gave the Raiders a 5-4 lead. Vince Belnome singled just out of the reach of the second baseman and Walton followed with a single to score Gallis. Yearsley added his second hit and RBI of the inning with a single, scoring Belnome and giving Coatesville a 7-5 lead.
East closed out their scoring in the home fourth as Setar tripled and then scored on a Coatesville error on a grounder by Sweet.
Three more Coatesville runs on five hits closed out the scoring and the 10-5 final. Pappas drove in one run in the inning and Belnome brought home two with his second hit of the game.
"We didn't hit the ball well enough, didn't pitch well enough, and we didn't play good defense," East coach Russ Wren said. "The defense opened the door and Coatesville got a lot of hits"
Wren left Karoewski in the game for six and a third innings before bringing in Kevin Massey, who was charged with giving up all three Coatesville runs and all five hits. "It was Karoewski's game to win or lose," Wren said. "He's the best we got." "We have a lot of young guys, but they should have made better plays. The kids are close, but they're not there yet."
East shortstop Kyle Roberts echoed Wren's comments. "The errors just killed us," he said. "But give them credit. Coatesville hit the ball real well and played a good game. We just have to put our game together and when we do we can play anybody. We're better than we played today."
Yearsley pitches Raiders past Whippets
DOWNINGTOWN -- "Getting the first pitch strike and with my slider, I was able to keep them off balance," Yearsley continued. "We played great defense, Ross McNeil made a great play on defense to get us out of an inning and Justin Urban's play at first base saved some overthrows."
Urban was substituting for Chad Walton who was serving a one game suspension for throwing an elbow in the previous game. Urban made at least three plays to save high or wide throws to the bag from his infield teammates to help short circuit potential West hits.
The Raiders jumped on top in the first inning as Vince Belnome was hit by a pitch by Whippet starter Ryan Caso. He moved to second on a sacrifice by Colby Shesko and scored on Yearsley's double to right center.
West answered right back in their half of the inning as Paul Culbertson singled and scored as Ryan Werkheiser doubled to right center.
Caso and Yearsley then took command as the matched three up, three down innings. Coatesville broke the spell in the fifth as Matt Gallis worked a two out walk.
He promptly stole second and moved to third on Belnome's single to short. Gallis scored the go-ahead run when Culberson dropped Shesko's infield pop. The Red Raiders added two more runs in the sixth as Chris McGinley singled to right and stole second. Jeff Cellucci reached on an infield single to deep short, McGinley moving to third. McGinley scored as Cellucci broke for second on a Caso pitch. The return throw home from second, got past the catcher and Cellucci motored into third. He scored on an infield out by Justin Pappas.
West then broke through against Yearsley. Casey Matthews doubled to left center. Bryan Riggins followed with a single to left. Trailing 4-1, Matthews stopped at third. He scored as Clayton Sharpless singled. Sharpless moved to second on a Culbertson sacrifice and a walk to Werkheiser loaded the sacks with just one out. McNeil halted the rally as he flagged down Matt Reinhert's ground shot up the third base line. He gloved the ball and quickly fired home where Cellucci grabbed the throw and gunned a throw to Urban for the inning-ending double play.
The play quickly halted a potential big inning. Holding a 4-2 lead heading into the final inning, the Raiders added two more runs, again sparked by Belnome. He doubled to left and, when the ball was mishanded, he moved to third. Belnome scored as Shesko singled. Matt Strow, running for Shesko scored on singles by Chris McGinley and Cellucci. Leading 6-2, Yearsley efficiently retired the Whippets with another three up, three down inning.
"We're getting better, " Coatesville coach Hal Zielgler said. "We're playing complete games now and that's what it takes. Early in the year we only played a couple of good innings a game. Now we're playing all seven and you have to do that in the Ches Mont. It's tough league."
The win ups Coatesville to 6-3 in the Ches Mont League. With the loss, Downingtown West falls to 3-6.
"We didn't execute today defensively," said Downingtown West coach Brian Chenger. "We had the right plays at the right time but didn't execute. We can't have defensive lapses against teams like Coatesville and we did that today."
Coatesville 8, West Chester Henderson 5
Mark Yearsley was 2-for-4 with a solo home run to lead the Red Raiders (7-3, 12-5) to the Ches-Mont League victory.
Jeremy Garrison pitched five innings to earn the win on the mound for Coatesville. Jeff Cellucci added two hits and two RBI to the Red Raiders' cause.
Zack Dandrea had two hits and a double for Henderson (5-6 Ches-Mont). Paul Golisz was 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Warriors.
Vikings clinch Ches-Mont title
EAST GOSHEN -- It was well worth the wait for the West Chester East baseball team.
The Vikings overcame a 7-1 deficit, two weather delays that totaled nearly 90 minutes, and a suspension from Monday evening to defeat Coatesville 15-9 on Tuesday at East High School.
The win clinched the third straight Ches-Mont League championship for the Vikings (10-1, 16-2-1), who avenged their only league loss this season. Coatesville had defeated the Vikings 14-10 on April 29. The Red Raiders (7-4, 12-6) will have to settle for second place in the league.
West Chester East head coach Ed Pappas said it was "terrific" to clinch the teamís third straight league crown against Coatesville.
"To beat the team thatís trying to take it away from us is pleasing and exciting," he said.
Vikings starting pitcher Eric Chamness had his first career two-homer game to help spark the teamís comeback. Chamness drilled a 1-1 fastball off of Coatesville starting pitcher Jeremy Garrison over the left-field fence in the bottom of the third inning to cut the Red Raidersí lead to 7-2. His second homer was another solo shot in the sixth inning.
Chamness said the 26 hours from the time the game began to when it ended was well worth it.
"Definitely, it was the longest game ever," said the senior. "We came back. We bounced back. We were waiting to explode and it was perfect."
Pappas said that even though Chamnessí home run only made it a 7-2 game, "for some reason it got us charged up."
The home run sparked an eight-run third inning that eliminated the deficit and put the Vikings up 9-7 through three innings.
In that eight-run rally, the next seven batters after Chamness reached base. East center fielder Greg Babinecz nailed a three-run triple that scored Jim Oakes, Nate Napiecek and Mike Froncillo to cut Coatesvilleís lead to 7-6. First baseman Dave Lutz (three hits) and shortstop-pitcher Brian Muldowney tallied back-to-back RBI singles off of relief pitcher Mark Yearsley to put the Vikings ahead 8-7.
Muldowney said he was "in the zone," going 4-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored, a three-run home run, and five RBI. And he was confident the Vikings could rally.
"I knew there was no quit in this team," he said. "The bats were going to start clicking eventually."
Coatesville head coach Hal Ziegler said his teamís six errors against a team of Eastís caliber led to the comeback.
"Itís all in lack of concentration," he said. "I think we got up 7-1 and thought the game was over. Youíve got to come to play and play your best ball."
Ziegler refused to use the delays as an excuse for the loss. The Red Raiders were up 4-0 in the second inning when the game was suspended Monday evening.
"If you want to win and play, then no delays are going to bother us," he said.
The Vikings battled through injuries (Lutzís broken jaw, Chamnessí chronic hamstring pull) and illness (Babinecz earlier this season) to win the Ches-Mont. Pappas said the third straight title is "pretty close" to being the most satisfying of the three.
"To continue to battle back, itís very gratifying," he said. "I donít know if we were the favorites coming in."
Raiders defeat Warriors
"The whole season comes down to the West Chester East game Monday (May 17th)." Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said after the Coatesville Red Raiders edged visiting West Chester Henderson 8-5 under the lights at Caln field on May 13.
"We all have come together to make the last games important," Ziegler said. "The kids played all seven innings and that's what it takes to win games at this stage of the season."
Ziegler went on to say that "earlier in the year, we didn't always do that," Ziegler also had kudos for losing coach Luke McNichol. "Luke's team came to play. We have a lot of respect for them."
The game was a typical showdown of Ches-Mont rivals as both Henderson and Coatesville battled throughout with timely hitting by both teams and superb fielding efforts highlighting the game.
Both starting pitchers, Jeremy Garrison for Coatesville and Scott Wajdo for Henderson, got nicked for first inning runs, with the Warriors holding a 2-1 lead after one.
A heads-up play by catcher Jeff Cellucci and Garrison ended the first inning. With two down and Jeff Anderson on third, Garrison's pitch got by Cellucci, Anderson breaking for home on the passed ball. Cellucci quickly located the ball and flipped to Garrison covering the plate. Garrison turned and applied the tag to get out of the inning.
Coatesville's score came as Vince Belnome led off with a walk, and with two outs, Chris McGinley hit a sharp grounder off the third base bag and caromed down the left field line. Belnome running at the crack of the bat scored McGinley stopping at second. The inning ended as Ross McNiel fanned.
Garrison settled down in the second, recording a 1-2-3 inning. The inning featured a heads-up play by first sacker Chad Walton and Belnome at second. An infield grounder by Phil Wharton bounced off Walton's glove. Belnome quickly picked up the ball and tossed it back to Walton for the out at first.
A five run rally in the bottom of the second gave Coatesville the lead.
Justin Pappas started things off with a double to the left center field netting. Matt Jamison droped a bunt down the third base line and beat the throw to first, Pappas moving to third. Matt Gallis doubled to the base of the left center field fence to score Pappas.
Walton grounded a single through short for an RBI single and a 3-2 Raider lead as Jamison scored. It quickly become 6-2 as McGinley reached on an error.
Gallis scored on the play and on the throw to the plate, McGinley moved to second. Cellucci doubled to left to plate Walton and McGinley.
Henderson reached Garrison for two more runs in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Wharton and a Paul Golisz single to edge to 6-4.
The Raiders got one of the runs back in their half of the inning on an RBI single by Pappas, who went 2-for-4 on the game.
After Henderson scored a run in the fifth inning to creep within two runs at 7-5, Mark Yearsley relieved Garrison in the top of the sixth.
Yearsley preserved Garrison's win with two innings of shutout pitching. Yearsley also tallied the final run of the game as a he hit a Wajda pitch over the centerfield fence for the 8-5 final.
Garrison, who left the West Chester game on April 29 after pitching two innings, said he sprained the ulna nerve in his elbow. After the Henderson game Garrison said the elbow was fine and had no effect on his pitching. As for the game, Garrison said "we all came together and we played all seven innings. When one man's down we all pick him up."
Game notes: The Coatesville win gives the Raiders a 7-3 Ches-Mont league record, 11-5 overall. Henderson drops to 5-6 in the league, 9-6 overall. Coatesville closes out the regular season schedule with W.C. Est and last night at home with Downingtown East... Seedings for district play were scheduled for today (Thursday). Next week's edition will carry recaps of those games.
Coatesville 8, Downingtown East 0
Chad Walton pitched a five-hit shutout to lead the Red Raiders (8-4, 13-6) to the season-ending Ches-Mont league win.
Jeff Cellucci was 3-for-4 with a double and Justin Urban was 2-for-2 with an RBI for Coatesville.
Tim March was 2-for-3 with a double for the Cougars.
Coatesville 4, Wissahickon 1
Vince Belnome had a pair of doubles, a run scored and an RBI in leading the Red Raiders to the win in the opening round of the district playoffs.
Also for the 15th seed Coatesville (14-6), Jeff Cellucci had two doubles and two RBI.
Feisty Coatesville succumbs
DOYLESTOWN --Central Bucks West head coach Mike Schaefer couldn’t help but remember how the Bucks’ season ended abruptly in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
"It was the same kind of day, cloudy and cool, we took an early lead and lost it, it’s been a roadblock for our guys ever since. Today was different."
Indeed, it was different for the Bucks this time around. C.B. West held on Wednesday to defeat Coatesville 7-5 in second-round action of the District 1, Class AAA playoffs.
Coatesville was victimized by four errors and surrendered too many extra chances to an already dangerous offense.
"You can’t give up too many extra opportunities to a great team like this. The defense just flat out made too many mistakes," Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said.
The No. 15 seeded Red Raiders were making their first appearance in the district playoffs in five years, but West was out to make another team feel like they did last year.
However, it wasn’t easy against a feisty Coatesville team that would not surrender.
Constantly chipping off of the Bucks’ six-run lead, Coatesville managed to get the tying run to the plate twice, once in the sixth and then again in the seventh.
"This was our hardest game by far this season," Boyer said. "We jumped out to a big lead and then sat back for the rest of the game. Luckily, they didn’t get too far."
Coatesville showed a balanced attack offensively, with four different players getting two hits apiece, including pitcher Mark Yearsley.
Yearsley was charged with seven runs, however, only four were earned because of the costly defensive mistakes committed by the Raiders.
Despite the disappointing loss for Coatesville, Ziegler stressed the importance of his team’s playoff run.
"Getting back to the playoffs was huge for this program. It was especially big for the reserves and JV kids that got to look on and be a part of the whole experience. This run will be instrumental in their future as well as the team’s," Ziegler said.
La Salle University-bound Dennis Burge and John Rickards powered the West offense, which used an early surge to take a 7-1 lead in the third inning.
After that, it was a nail-biter until Frank Vesci’s 104th pitch landed in catcher Phil Boyer’s glove.
Faced with a sticky situation, Schaefer committed to Vesci, a junior, for the entire game.
Having pitched his ace, Burge, on Monday and with a potential game on Friday, Vesci had to do his team’s pitching staff a favor. He did just that.
Vesci had control problems throughout the game, but he managed to throw the complete game, scattering 12 hits and striking out six. Sixty-eight of his 104 pitches were thrown for strikes, but two Red Raiders’ runs were scored on wild pitches.
Raiders win opening game of districts
COATESVILLE --After the first inning, Garrison allowed just four hits as Coatesville recorded a 4-1 win over visiting Wissahickon last Monday.
The game was the inaugural game played on the new Atkinson Field on the grounds of the Coatesville Area School District complex.
In the top of the first inning, lead off batter Cody Kauffman lined a double down the right field line.Chris Sammons followed with a single to center to give the Trojans runners at the corners and no outs.
Garrison recorded his first out, as Tim Johnson grounded out Mark Yearsley to Chad Walton. On the key play of the inning, Trojan starting pitcher John Clayton grounded to Vince Belnome at second base.
Belnome charged the ball and fired to catcher Jeff Cellucci, who applied the tag on the sliding Kauffman.
Garrison worked out of the jam, getting Tyler Coulter to ground out, short to first, Matt Gallis to Walton.
In their opening at bat, the Red Raiders gave Garrison some breathing room as Belnome walked to lead off the inning. Walton advanced Belnome to second by dropping a sacrifice bunt down the third base line. After Yearsley popped to second for the second out, Cellucci doubled to left, scoring Belnome. Chris McGinley followed with a single to score Charlie Johnson, running for Cellucci, and giving Raiders a 2-0 lead.
Wissahickon nicked Garrison for a tally in the third as Tim Regetta doubled to right. Kauffman followed with a single to center. Matt Jamison's throw to Cellucci was right on target but Regetta managed to avoid the tag at home. Kauffman tried to move to second on the play but was thrown out as Cellucci rifled a throw to Gallis covering. Gallis applied the tag for the first out and Garrison got out of the inning, holding a 2-1 lead.
Coatesville got the run back in its half of the inning. Yearsley tripled to deep right center to start the inning. Cellucci then bounced a ground rule double over the left field fence driving home Yearsley and giving the Raiders a 3-1 lead.
Coatesville added their final run in the home sixth. Robby Jenkins, pinch hitting for Colby Shesko, singled to center. Jenkins moved to second on a sac bunt by Jamison. Gallis singled to left to put runners at the corners. Belnome followed with an RBI double to left, Jenkins scoring.
Garrison retired the side in the seventh, three up and three down, to lock up the 4-1 Coatesville win, sending them to the next round of the District playoffs.
"I thought we did a good job defensively," Cellucci said after the game. "Jeremy pitched a good game. We still need to work on getting better with getting guys on base in."
"We did pretty well," coach Hal Zielgler said. He echoed Cellucci comments, saying, "I'd like to have seen us more offensive minded. We left entirely too many guys left on base." As for the pitching he said, "Jeremy threw a real good game for us today."
Wissahickon coach Tim Stokes said, "we were in a position where we could have scored runs, but their pitching and defense stepped up and made some plays. Our hitting didn't step up."
Game notes: Coatesville left eight runners on base for the game to back up Ziegler's and Cellucci's comments...The Raiders backed Garrison's pitching by turning a double play as Kauffman's fifth inning liner was caught by Belnome who threw to Walton to record the twin killing...In the sixth, Coulter was out stealing as Cellucci threw on base to Gallis, who applied the tag at second...Wissahickon is a member of the Freedom Division of the Suburban 1 League. Asked for a comparison, Stokes said that Coatesville would have easily won the Freedom Division. "Coatesville plays in a tough league. In the Ches-Mont League the teams just beat each other up when they meet. It's tough competition."
A look back on the 2004 Raider baseball season
COATESVILLE --Baseball has always been my favorite sport and in following and writing about the Coatesville Red Raiders baseball team I was able to view it from two perspectives: as a fan and also as a writer.
For the season ending review here's a look at the 2004 Red Raiders from a fan's perspective.
Starting with the coach, Hal Ziegler. While his team lost in the second round of the District 1 Class AAA playoffs, the Raiders didn't give up without a fight. Coatesville entered the playoffs seeded 15 and lost 7-5 to 2 seed Central Bucks West.
One of the trademarks of Ziegler's team all year long is that when one player is down, the team rallies to pick him up. Falling behind in the district playoff and trailing by six runs, Ziegler's squad rallied only to fall short at the end.
It was the first appearance by the Red Raiders in the District 1 playoffs after a five year absence. But, Zielgler would remark later, being in the playoffs gave this year's squad and the JV players a chance to see and experience the next level of competition.
Just how good is Hal Zeigler? A friend of mine and I were talking recently.
He had a son graduate from West Chester Henderson who played baseball for four years. After watching his son's games and closely following the Ches-Mont League, my friend remarked during our discussion, "After East coach George Pappas, comes Hal Ziegler as a coach."
I've found the coach always available for a comment after games. The kind of coach and the way he wanted his team to play was reflected on the field by Ziegler's 2004 squad.
And now your 2004 Red Raiders baseball team:
Pitching, senior Jeremy Garrison. Turned in many fine performances. When hitting his spots and working ahead in the counts he was tough to beat. Always ready to credit his teammates on defense.
Catcher, junior Jeff Cellucci. Solid defensive catcher. Has a gun for an arm. Baserunners advised to take lead at own risk. Cellucci's quick release and throw to first or third kept many baserunners honest. Throws to second were on the bag and waiting for the incoming runner attempting to steal. Heady batter with ability make contact and make pitcher work. In the game at Downingtown West, and the Raiders leading by a run, Cellucci worked a 3-2 count before singling to center to drive in insurance run. With a 3-2 count, and two out, Cellucci made contact on eight more pitching, fouling off all eight. He got his hit on the 14th pitch of the at bat.
First base, pitcher, junior Chad Walton. Solid in the field, good glove defensively. Hit with power. Threw complete game shutout against Downingtown East in the final Ches-Mont game of the season. Also fired four innings of shutout ball against Downingtown West that gave the Raiders a chance to come from behind and win. Look for him to be one of next year's team leaders.
Second base, sophomore Vince Belnome. Lead off hitter. When the Raiders needed a spark Belnome usually provided it. After watching the Ches-Mont all season, I couldn't find a better lead off man in the league. Solid glove, heady player.
Third base, pitcher, senior Mark Yearsley. Solid, consistent defense at third. Hit with power, provided clutch hits when needed. On the mound, solid effort expected as a senior member of the pitching corps.
Shortstop junior Matt Gallis. I watched him improve his defense after early season problems. As the weather warmed up, so did he. Good range at his position and with Belnome good up the middle infield defense. Hitting from the nine hole provided some clutch hits.
In left field, senior Chris McGinley. Solid hitter and in the outfield covered alot of ground. A sliding catch on the first bounce cut off a down the line hit in one game and a quick release to the cutoff man held batter to a long single.
Center field, senior Matt Jamison. Good hitter, strong defense. With his speed, he covered a lot of ground to reach balls hit into the gaps. Combined with McGinley, from the left field line to right center field not many balls reached the ground that were within their range. With Jamison in center, and in the infield middle solid, the Red Raiders had the up-the-middle defense teams strive for.
Right field, senior Justin Pappas. Good defensive player. Always gave best effort on defense and provided many clutch hits when Raiders needed them.
First base, senior Justin Urban. When Walton pitched, Urban played first. His defensive performance at Downingtown West stood out. Urban turned three possible throwing errors into outs with his efforts around the bag. Also provided some key hits.
Ross McNiel, junior, third base, first base. Used mostly as the designated hitter, he was able glove man at the corners. Going back again to the West game, McNiel cut off a hard grounder down third base line. Quick relay to home and Cellucci's relay to first, sparked inning ending double play to get Red Raiders out of a jam.
Also deserving mention, senior Kyle Hume, senior Matt Strow, junior Colby Shesko, Dominic Fantanarosa, Robby Jenkins, Charlie Johnson, and Mike Gulli. Jenkins saw time in the outfield and as a pinch hitter as did Shesko. Early in the season I kept hearing this voice from the Coatesville bench, providing constant chatter to his teammates. I finally discovered it was senior Kyle Hume yelling the encouragement. Hume said, while we were waiting for food at the fast food place near the Caln field, "I know I'm not a starter, but it really feels great to be part of the team. We work hard and we're friends off the field too." With returning players and incoming JV's look for the Raiders to again push West Chester East for the Ches-Mont crown.