In its quest to repeat as Schuylkill-Berks American Legion Baseball League champions, Wyomissing fell just short on Sunday.
Pine Grove defeated the Warriors 6-3 in Game 2 of the best-of-three championship series to capture the 2022 league title at Timothy Bridegam Field in Kutztown.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Grovers coach Joe Drumheller said. “I’m really proud of the boys.”
Pine Grove won 7-5 over Wyomissing in Game 1 Saturday before completing the sweep on Sunday. According to Warriors coach Phil Santoro, playing six postseason games in five days caught up to Wyomissing on Sunday.
“They battled,” Santoro said. “They gave everything they had. We just ran out of gas at the end here.”
The Warriors, the league’s South Division champions, jumped to a 3-1 lead after two innings. They benefited from extra-base hits from Darren Brunner and Aidan Cirulli, who each hit RBI doubles to propel Wyomissing to the early lead.
“To make it to the end here and play in the championship, it’s certainly an honor and a pleasure to be here,” Santoro said. “Our expectation from the first practice (of the season) was that we were going to be here and win.”
The Grovers responded in the bottom of the third with a four-run rally, relying on small ball to manufacture runs. Pine Grove’s Daniel Zimmerman started the scoring burst with an RBI single, He finished 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
“Credit to our guys, we hit the ball,” Drumheller said. “We didn’t quit.”
With a 5-3 lead, the Grovers relied on stout pitching from Hunter Deichert, who earned the complete-game victory. Deichert scattered eight hits and allowed three runs in seven innings of work.
“There was a momentum shift,” Drumheller said about the game after his team’s third-inning rally. “After that, Hunter took control and took us home.”
Deichert commanded the strike zone and contributed on offense, going 1-for-3 with an RBI. He brought home what proved to be the game-winning run with an RBI single in the third inning, which gave Pine Grove a 4-3 lead.
“I knew we were going to hit, (and) I knew I just had to provide for the team,” Deichert said. “It’s awesome.”
Deichert silenced the Warriors over the final five innings, preventing them from mounting a comeback. Despite falling short in the championship series, Santoro was proud of the way his team played all season long.
“We were dedicated to a big purpose and that was carrying on a tradition of winning here at Wyomissing,” he said. “We have a lot of great kids.”
Pine Grove added an insurance run in the sixth before cruising to the victory, their third league title in program history and first since 2015.
“We played great,” Drumheller said. “We played our hearts out”.
Source: Berkshire mont