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Boyertown Stuns West Lawn With Ninth Inning Rally

The crew was at Bear Stadium in Boyertown last night to take in the second round match-up in the Berks County League playoffs between fourth seeded West Lawn and top seeded Boyertown.  In front of a large raucous crowd, two rivals squared off for a right to head to the tournament's winners bracket final on Sunday evening.

Boyertown, with top starter Steve Price on the mound, fell behind in the first when a two out walk to Andy Ravel.  Dylan Boll followed up the base on balls with an RBI double to deep left-center field.  The Bears answered back in the bottom of the first against Ravel, the Owls starter.  Matt Purnell laced a one out single, and after a stolen base and wild pitch, a Travis Kreitz RBI sacrifice fly knotted the score at one.

West Lawn put up three big runs in the top of the third inning with a three hit attack, all singles, by Kyle Gaynor, Dylan Boll, and Collin Gombos.  The Bears defense aided in the big inning, as two consecutive throwing errors by first baseman Andrew Gehringer.  On two attempts to force a runner out at second, Gehringer first threw the ball into left field and on the subsequent play hit the baserunner with the throw, allowing another run to score.  The Owls left the inning fired up and with a three run lead.

Boyertown catcher Josh Schnell led off the bottom of the third with a base hit and reached second on a wild pitch.  Travis Kreitz laid down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown past the first baseman by Gombos, allowing Schnell to score.  In what turned out to be a very bad inning for the infield on both teams, Gombos had another error on the next play, allowing Chris Werner to take first on the play.  After a Gehringer sacrifice, a Paul Mills groundout netted the Bears their second run of the inning.  A two out RBI single by DH Colby Hartman tied the score up at four.

The Bears jumped out into the lead in the next inning, after a one out walk by Matt Purnell, another stolen base, and an RBI double by Travis Kreitz.  The Owls answered in a big way with their next at-bat, with three runs and three hits.  Gombos started things off with a one out walk, with Erik Bowers following that up with a base hit.  Chris Sponagle ripped an RBI double which also put two runners in scoring position.  Nate Smith didn't waste any time knocking those runners in with a hard hit double which netted him two RBIs.

Boyertown played a bit of their patented small ball to get a run back in the bottom of the fifth.  Gehringer led off with a double.  A sacrifice bunt by Mills and a sacrifice fly by Hartman pulled them back within one.  But, as they had done all night, the Owls answered in the very next at-bat.  With young Dan Woodley on the mound for the Bears, a lead off walk to Gaynor and a fielder's choice put a runner at third with just one down.  Boll increased the lead to two with an RBI single.  Another fielder's choice on the throw home and an RBI base hit by Bowers put the visitors up by three.

Bears reliever Brock Hallman came in to settle down the West Lawn offense by getting the final eight outs for his team without giving up a run.  Owls starter Andy Ravel pitched eight strong innings, throwing 138 pitches for his team. Much to the delight of the visiting crowd, he kept Boyertown off the board for the next three innings before turning things over to Gombos in the ninth.

After some heated moments on and off the field, Bears right fielder Travis Kreitz led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk.  Chris Werner singled as the tension grew on both sides.  Despite ripping the ball, Andrew Gehringer's line drive was snagged by the left fielder for the first out of the inning.  Paul Mills roped a 2 RBI double to bring Boyertown within one.  Colby Hartman delivered one of the biggest hits of the season with an RBI double down the right field line to tie the game and sent the hometown crowd into a frenzy.  After Ronnie Mauger relieved Hartman at second, nine hole hitter Cameron Ferreri blooped a single into right to put runners at the corners.  With no other options, the Owls brought their infield in for lead off hitter Ryan Schwager.  He delivered with a hard hit base hit through the left side to send Boyertown into the winner's bracket final tonight.

Brock Hallman got the win for the Bears, with Gombos taking the loss for the Owls.  Paul Mills and Colby Hartman had 3 RBIs for Boyertown while Travis Kreitz had two.  Smith had 2 RBI for West Lawn, as did Boll.  Boll also delivered four hits for his team.

West Lawn will now take on second seeded Shillington in the second game of the day Sunday, with the loser being knocked out of the tournament.  Boyertown will take on Twin Valley in the winner's bracket final Sunday evening at Owls Field in West Lawn.

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