Warwick Phillies advance in New Era Tournament
The Warwick Phillies continued their postseason march into the Final Four of the New Era Tournament by eliminating Penn Manor, beating them two games to none in the opening best-of-three series.
In Game 1, a 10-1 victory, the Phillies road the arm of Nick Breznak as he threw a complete game, giving up only four hits and striking out six.
The offense was jumpstarted in the first as Adam Ricketts drove in Dagen Young who had singled, and Kyle Gibble who had walked, with a triple off the base of the fence in left. The offensive pressure continued as the Phils scored two more runs in the frame and entered the second inning with a 4-0 lead.
Penn Manor’s only threat of the game came in the top of the second as they loaded the bases with two outs. A base hit to center scored one, but Gibble’s throw to the plate cut down the trail runner for the 3rd out.
The Phillies added two more runs in the fourth and four runs in the fifth. Offensively, the Phils were paced by Brendan Martin (3-3, 1 RBI, 1 run), Nick Breznak (2-3, 1 run), and Adam Ricketts (1-2, 3 RBI, 1 run).
Game 2 was much more intense as the Phillies pulled out a 14-9 win in a back-and-forth game.
The Phils jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Adam Ricketts drove a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence, bringing in Colby Martin who had singled to start the game. Penn Manor reached Phillies’ starting pitcher Brock Fassnacht for a run in the bottom of the first with two hits.
The Phils tacked one on in the top of the second as Ethan Heller homered to right, then Ricketts drove in Gibble in the top of the third with a tape-measure two-run blast to center and the Phils had a commanding 5-1 lead.
Penn Manor refused to give in as the leadoff batter reached on an error and three straight hits followed, before a three-run homer and all of sudden PM had a 6-5 lead.
Caleb Heck responded to the threat with a solo shot in the top of the fourth to knot the game at 6-6. The Phils added three runs in the top of the fifth and held a 9-6 lead only to see PM tie it up 9-9 in the bottom of the inning.
Gibble, who has hit his share of dramatic homeruns, added another to his collection as he drove a 3-2 pitch out to left field to give the Phils a lead that they would not relinquish. They tacked on four more runs in the frame and held a 14-9 edge. The game ended with that score as Gibble, who had relieved on the mound, slammed the door in the bottom of the sixth.
The offense was paced by Gibble (2-3, 1 RBI, 3 runs), Ricketts (3-4, 3 RBI, 3 runs), Breznak (3-3, 2 runs), and Ethan Heller (2-3, 3 RBI, 1 run). Pitcher Fassnacht finished the evening with six Ks and only gave up three earned runs. Dagen Young and Gibble pitched in relief, as Gibble picked up the win.
Coach Eric Martin shared, "This team is battle tested and ready for the next round of postseason play. When we began our team practices in February, we set winning the New Era Tournament as a long-term goal. The players have played tremendous team baseball and the challenge to reach their goal lies in front of them. They will be ready to play."
The Phillies, the league’s second seed will now head into Mt. Joy’s Kunkle Field for the culmination of the New Era Tournament, a double-elimination format with Mountville, Warwick Phillies, Manheim Township, and SWS competing. Opening round will pitch the Phillies against Manheim Township in the late game (8 p.m.) on Monday, July 8.
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