Avon Grove tops Unionville, 9-2, behind Gerenser's pitching
For the past several decades, the New York Mets and New York Yankees have reserved one early April afternoon in their 162-game schedule to travel upstate, where they flip-flop visits every year to play an exhibition game against West Point, at Doubleday Field on the campus of the United States Military Academy.
By the spring of 2019, Avon Grove Junior Ryan Gerenser will begin his freshman season as a pitcher at West Point – where he has already committed to – so it is fairly likely that sometime during the course of his college baseball career, he will face the likes of Aaron Judge and Yeonis Cespedes. On Monday afternoon, however, Gerenser faced Unionville on a sunny, windswept day and was magnificent, scattering just three hits in a six-inning effort that led to a 9-2 Red Devil win.
“I really wanted that last inning, but the coaches told me that I had reached my 85-pitch limit,” Gerenser said after the game. “I really wanted to finish it off. My goal was just to get ahead and allow my fielders to do the job that they can do, and get them back in the dugout so that they could keep hitting.”
While Gerenser was holding Unionville hitless during the first three innings, his teammates staked him to a 4-0 lead. In the top of the first, Avon Grove touched Unionville starter Brady Horne for a run in the first that came when Andrew Brady led off with a single to left, stole second, and scored on a double by Shane Kelleher.
In the top of the third, Avon Grove loaded the bases for Bryce Porter, who grounded to first baseman Joe Zubillaga, who threw to catcher Zack Kennedy for the force at home. In an attempt to double up Porter at first, Kennedy threw wide of the bag, which scored Matt Greenjack, who had singled earlier. The Red Devils' third run came on a double by Bryce Carey, who plated Ryan Arrell, who had walked.
Unionville scored their only runs of he game in their half of the fourth inning, when Zubillaga walked and came around on a double by Horne, who then scored on a double by Mike Papiernik.
Gerenser faced his only real challenge in the sixth inning, when Unionville loaded the bases on a Zubillaga single, and walks to Joe Love and Jason Moore. With the bases loaded and two outs, however, Gerenser got pinch-hitter Peter Murphy to fly out to end the scoring threat.
In the Avon Grove half of the seventh, the Red Devils pushed across four more runs off of Indian reliever Noah Kirkland to add insurance for Gerenser, who surrendered pitching duties to Alex Ei in the last inning. Singles by Porter and Carey were followed by a double by Brady, a walk to Pat Campbell, and singles by Keller and Jacobs.
Kelleher and Jacobs each finished with three hits apiece, while Brady, Carey and Greenjack knocked two hits each. Zubillaga had two late-game singles for Unionville
Gerenser's performance was a lot more complicated than a game of catch with his batterymate Jacobs. He yielded some long fly balls which were snagged on great catches by Brady, Arrell and Carey.
“They played a huge part in the win,” he said. “Without them, not a lot of things would be able to get done, and without them catching those balls, the game might have created a different story.”
Both teams currently cling to an outside chance at post-season play. Avon Grove moved to 9-9 in the National Division of the Chest-Mont, while Unionville fell to 10-10 in the Ches-Mont American Division.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.