best buy dre beats headphones Conestoga beats Lionville twice to win Legion crown
The Conestoga American Legion baseball team pretty much did the unthinkable on Tuesday night, as they captured the Chester County League championship in dramatic fashion.
And boy did they earn it.
Conestoga won two games of a doubleheader, doing so in 21 innings totaling over six hours on a humid day with temperatures in the 90s, twice beating a Lionville team that had only lost once in its previous 15 games.
After staving off elimination and keeping their season alive with a pulse pounding 12 11 win in 12 innings of Game 1 of the championship series, Conestoga rolled to a 10 2 victory in the second game of the double elimination Chester County League playoffs over Lionville to clinch the league title at Spring Ford High School’s Ram Stadium.
Conestoga (20 10 overall) also clinched a berth in the Pennsylvania Region 3 Tournament, along with host Spring City. Lionville (21 9), meanwhile, saw its terrific season come to a close with the pair of heartbreaking losses.
Conestoga’s Matt Cowell earned the pitching victory in both games to help lead his team to the crown. He threw 3.2 innings of relief in the first game, allowing just three hits and no runs as Conestoga kept its season alive. Then Cowell started the second game, working six innings while surrendering only two runs on five hits.
“Our backs were against the wall today, but we knew exactly what we had to do,” said Cowell. “We felt that if we got the first game, there was no way we were going to lose the second one.
“It’s a great feeling winning the title. I never would’ve expected personally to get the win in both games. I can safely say I’ve never done that before. Everyone really had my back out there in the field, and this was a total team effort.”
Conestoga center fielder Brendan O’Reilly had a monster day. He finished 7 for 10 in the doubleheader with four runs scored and five RBIs.
O’Reilly was the hero in the first game. After Lionville rallied from an 11 6 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game, O’Reilly caused plenty of trouble in extra innings.
With the game still deadlocked at 11 11 in the top of the 12th inning, O’Reilly laid down a bunt trying to catch Lionville off guard with one out and nobody on. He not only reached when the Lionville pitcher overthrew first base, but also took second base on the error. O’Reilly quickly moved up to third base on a passed ball before scoring the eventual game winning run on a controversial play.
With Conestoga clean up hitter Justin Roman ahead in the count 3 0, Lionville’s coaching staff called out to their catcher to go ahead and intentionally walk Roman at that point. However, in doing so, the umpire called a balk on the throw home and O’Reilly was awarded home plate to give Conestoga a 12 11 lead.
“It was kind of a weird, lucky play,” said O’Reilly. “I was just happy I got in and scored on it.
“After winning that game like that our coaches told us to just go ahead and try and jump on them early in the next game.”
Conestoga did exactly that, as they stormed out to a 6 0 after two innings of play. Herron (4 for 9) all had big days at the plate for Conestoga in the doubleheader. Roman also had a key two run double in the second inning of the second game to help Conestoga rush out to a lead it would never relinquish.
Lionville had entered the day 4 0 in the double elimination tournament, and 14 1 in their last 15 overall, and needing to be beaten twice to lose out on the league title.
It was a tough day for the Hillcats, who put together an improbable rally in the first game to come back from five runs down in their last at bat to force extra innings. But after suffering that tough loss, they seemed deflated in the second game.
Shawn Moffitt (3 for 10 with three RBIs), Drew Taylor (4 for 11 with two RBIs) and Ryan Ficca (4 for 9) all had strong days at the plate.
Conestoga is now looking for more after claiming the league title. They’ll open play in the Region 3 Tournament this weekend.
“We definitely want more now,” said O’Reilly. “We are feeling pretty good about ourselves after beating a team like this twice in one day.”
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Google+
ArticlesUpdate: Radnor Police investigating fatal hit and run; Victim ID’dRadnor High School grad killed when tree falls on car during snow stormSupporters rally for embattled Radnor School Board memberNAGL: Our kids aren’t safe in America, and it’s our faultArdmore man charged with possession of child pornographyHaverford’s Lisa Thomas Laury tells about her life in new memoirWestern Main Line hit hard by winter storm RileyZoning changes on the horizon for Lower Merion institutionsValley Forge Military Academy College announces new presidentOfficials ID victims in Wayne murder suicide