Bucks County Herald

Baseball:

Palisades pockets “W”

JEFF MOELLER

All year, Palisades’ core group of eight seniors has set the pace for its torrid season.

So it was fitting when the seniors again took charge in their final home game on Friday.

The Pirates won their third consecutive contest and 14th overall with a convincing 14-1 victory over the nonleague Pennridge Rams in five innings on their Senior Day.

With the win, Palisades, which has only one regular season game remaining (at Saucon Valley on Wednesday; result unavailable at presstime), further tightened its grip on the top spot in the upcoming Colonial League playoffs; the Pirates are also well out in front in the District 11 Class AAAA power rankings.

A young Pennridge team, which has four wins on the season, was held to five hits.

It was another outstanding team effort by the Pirates (15-4), who scored 11 of their 14 runs in the last two innings.

“These guys have just kept picking each other up all season,” manager Gary Koenig said. “We have had our share of big innings this year. The seniors believed they were going to have a big year and they are proving it.”

Palisades broke open a 3-0 game in the third, exploding for six runs, highlighted by junior Ethan Brader’s bases-clearing double. The Pirates followed with a five-run fourth, mainly chipping away with singles as they sent 10 to the plate for the second straight inning.

Brader went 4-for-4 with five RBIs; senior Kyler Newton went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

“This is how it has been for us all year,” Brader said. “One guy gets us started and then we all come together. We wanted to have a big day for our final home game and we got it done.

“But we know we still have a lot more work to do,” Brader cautioned.

Tanner Pursell started on the mound for the Pirates and went the distance, needing only 71 pitches to pick up the “W,” his first of the season. Pursell, who has primarily worked out of the bullpen this year, kept Pennridge off balance all afternoon.

“I felt really comfortable out there,” said Pursell, who lowered his ERA to 1.85. “I changed things up a bit and went back to throwing sidearm like I had been earlier. I think that confused them a little.

“My fastball and curveball were working well and I had good movement,” Pursell added.

Koenig liked Pursell’s efficient approach.

“He made the most of his pitches,” Koenig said. “He has done a nice job for us all season and he is a valuable spot starter for us. Our pitching depth has helped us all season.”

Jack Goddess had an RBI double in the fourth for the Rams, who hold victories over Neshaminy, Upper Moreland, Central Bucks West and Central Bucks South in 2018. The wins over the Redskins and Golden Bears both came in extra innings.

“We made some mental mistakes and gave them some extra outs,” manager Tom Nuneviller said. “We have been struggling and we really don’t have a lot of experience. We’re going through some growing pains right now.”

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