By Richard L. Gaw
In baseball, sometimes the difference between wining and losing is impacted by a walk-off homer or a dramatic, come-from-behind rally in the last inning. On the picturesque spring afternoon of April 21 at Unionville High School, the game was decided when Coatesville's Vic Gabriel, the lead-off batter in the top of the third, reached safely...on a catcher's interference.
Gabriel was awarded first base when his swing was interfered with by the glove of Unionville catcher Ryan Barrett, which opened the floodgates to a four-hit, four-run inning off of Indian starter Tucker Reese, who had held the visiting Red Raiders scoreless through the first two innings. Following Gabriel's pass, a double by Bobby Kuehn, a single by Brian Griest, and doubles by Brady Carras and Bobby Stewart highlighted the scoring output.
Meanwhile, the crafty pitching of southpaw Kuehn stymied Unionville's hitting attack with an effective combination of fastballs and off-speed pitches that held Unionville to three hits through the first five innings. The Indians' only early-game scoring threat came in the second inning, when Matt Foster singled to center, and a sacrifice bunt attempt by Jon Karas pulled Red Raider first baseman Brian Brown off the bag on the ensuing throw. With two on and no outs, a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Jones moved Foster and Karas to second and third base, but Kuehn tossed his way out of a jam with consecutive strikeouts of Chris Koehler and Eric Takoushian, two of the five strikeouts Kuehn had on the day.
After a lead-off single by Alex Pechin in Unionville's half of the sixth, the Indians finally gave Reese some run support, on a two-run homer by Foster that clanged against the scoreboard in left center field, cutting the Coatesville lead to 4-2. Coatesville tacked on an extra run in the top of the seventh inning when Gabriel doubled and scored on a double by Griest.
For Coatesville, Carras and and Griest had two hits apiece, while Karas and Foster led Unionville with two hits each. The win raised Coatesville's overall record to 6-3 on the campaign, while Unionville sank to 5-4 overall on the season.