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Wilson earns Berks I baseball title with victory over Gov. Mifflin

After helping Wilson claim the Berks I baseball title for the first time since the 2020-2021 season, junior Christo Hunsicker aptly encapsulated the gravity of Friday’s 10-3 victory over Gov. Mifflin at Shillington.

“The rivalry has been going on for years and we were excited to play them,” Hunsicker said. “They’re good competition, and to be the best you have to beat the best.”

Indeed, Hunsicker helped his team do exactly that against the reigning BCIAA champions, as the junior hit a solo home run in the first inning off of University of Connecticut commit and junior Bryce Detwiler to give the Bulldogs (9-3, 13-6) a 1-0 lead. He also struck out five batters while earning the win on the mound.

Wilson's Christo Hunsicker rounds second after hitting a solo home run in the top of the first inning on Friday against Gov. Mifflin at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Wilson’s Christo Hunsicker rounds second after hitting a solo home run in the top of the first inning on Friday against Gov. Mifflin at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

“I saw it out of his (Detwiler’s) hand early and luckily I put the barrel on the ball,” Hunsicker said. “I’m excited if we play them again and have to face him (Detwiler) or Ethan Grim.”

Hunsicker also hit a solo home run in Wilson’s 6-5 win over the Mustangs (9-3, 14-3) on April 15, and the two head-to-head victories served as the tiebreaker at the top of the division for Wilson.

Should these two powerhouses meet for a third time this season in the BCIAA playoffs, the Bulldogs will be ready for a matchup with even bigger implications according to Wilson coach Bill Underwood

Gov. Mifflin defeated the Bulldogs 6-3 in last year’s BCIAA final.

“It feels good because you come into this game every year, twice a year, knowing that it could go either way,” Underwood said, “and when you play your rival and beat them, it’s always, always nice.

“But you get a division crown and people say, ‘Well, congratulations on the division crown.’ And that’s great, but we’re looking for a county title. For a district title.”

Aiding in the offensive charge Friday for Wilson was sophomore Jack Gabel who went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, and senior Nick Fiorini who went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for the Bulldogs.

Holding a 1-0 lead following Hunsicker’s home run, an explosive four-run third inning gave the Bulldogs enough momentum to carry through with the victory.

With two outs in the top of the third, Fiorini hit an RBI single to make it 2-0, before the next two batters reached base on fielding errors and a third run came home for Wilson in the process. Senior Matt VanOstenbridge then hit an RBI single to right field that scored two runs for the Bulldogs.

Wilson's Matt VanOstenbridge hits a two-run single in the top of the third inning against Gov. Mifflin on Friday at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Wilson’s Matt VanOstenbridge hits a two-run single in the top of the third inning against Gov. Mifflin on Friday at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Gov. Mifflin committed four errors in the top of the third and finished the game with seven total. Detwiler earned the loss and struck out five batters over five innings and also allowed seven hits and six runs (three earned).

“We’ve had games this year where we definitely have not helped ourselves with the defense,” Mustangs coach Chris Hole said. “Today was probably the exclamation point of that circumstance, unfortunately, with the huge number of errors that we put up, that made Bryce throw so many extra pitches and gave them some momentum.

“Credit to them, they capitalized on that.”

Fiorini hit his second RBI single in the fourth to make it 6-0.

Hunsicker had a no hitter going until Dylan Barrett hit an RBI double to right field to put Gov. Mifflin on the board with one run in the bottom of the fourth.

He finished the game with just three hits allowed, three runs surrendered (one earned) and three walks given over five innings.

Wilson pitcher Christo Hunsicker earns the win Friday against Gov. Mifflin at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Wilson pitcher Christo Hunsicker earns the win Friday against Gov. Mifflin at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

“I might make them (Wilson’s defense) comfortable; I don’t know about that,” Hunsicker said. “But they definitely make me comfortable and I always love pitching with them behind me. I know that if a ball goes on the ground, they’re gonna make the play.”

Wilson shortstop Jack Gabel turns a double play in the bottom of the sixth inning against Gov. Mifflin on Friday at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Wilson shortstop Jack Gabel turns a double play in the bottom of the sixth inning against Gov. Mifflin on Friday at Rulon Griffith Field. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Back-to-back RBI singles by Branson Adams and Travis Jenkins cut the Mustangs’ deficit to three and closed out the scoring for Gov. Mifflin in the fifth.

Despite the brief shift in momentum, the Bulldogs responded with more insurance down the stretch.

In the top of the seventh, CJ Fernandez hit an RBI single that scored two for the Bulldogs and a throwing error to first base allowed two more to score after a hard hit ball back up the middle by Hunsicker.

“Putting it in play was a big idea for our team,” Hunsicker said. “We put it to work and it worked out for us in the end.”

VanOstenbridge, a left-handed starter and Penn State commit who threw a no-hitter over five innings against Exeter last week at Owls Field, has not thrown against the Mustangs this season.

Ben Kulp allowed two hits and struck out one batter over two innings of relief work for Wilson Friday.

“We know what Matt can bring to the table, but we also know that Christo can throw a lot of strikes,” Underwood said. “As long as we play defense behind them, we can be successful. We had Mattie ready to go today if we needed him in the end.

“I felt like Ben was going to give us what we needed in the end.”

With postseason baseball around the corner for both teams, championship aspirations remain high at both Shillington and West Lawn.

“We talked to the boys and said, ‘You just can’t let a loss like this define you,” Hole said. “And that’s the great thing about baseball: there’s a new day. We got a good group of seniors, a good group of captains and I have confidence that they’re going to get us refocused and come back and play better.”

“It’s a nice accomplishment and it’s a goal to be at the top of your division,” Underwood said. “But we also know that if we play well enough throughout the season, and we win the games we should, then we’re going to be in counties and we’ll take care of business when we can.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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