Bucks County Herald

Baseball:

Faith Christian repeats as district champs

DON LEYPOLDT



Faith Christian gathers with the District One Class A trophy. The Lions won their second district title in as many years last Wednesday at Villanova Ballpark. Faith squeezed past Delco Christian, 8-7.

There weren’t many perfect innings thrown in last Wednesday’s District One Class A final.

But Faith Christian’s David Forscht picked a great time to toss one. Bearing down in the top of the seventh at Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth, Forscht notched a strikeout, induced a weak grounder to the mound and caught a pop-up to preserve a 7-7 tie with No. 2 Delco Christian.

“The sixth inning warmed me well and getting some runs on the board really picked it up for me,” said Forscht, who relieved starter Carter Heller in the fifth.

Centerfielder Josh Hodnett led off Faith’s (16-6 overall) seventh with a walk, went to third on a balk and passed ball and scored on Parker Curry’s single. The top-seeded Lions defended their district crown with the 8-7 win.

“I came up knowing there was a guy on third and thinking anywhere I can put the ball in the outfield or the right side of the field would score him,” Curry offered. “Let’s take this home.”

“Our three words all year were: discipline, aggression and perseverance,” Faith skipper Ed Curry said. “We needed all three to get through this one.”

Faith’s 6 through 9 hitters reached base in eight of their 15 plate appearances.

“We’re locked in,” said Hodnett, a first-team all-Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) pick and 6-hole hitter. “That was our motto all year. We pulled together like brothers.”

“But today, everybody stepped up,” added Parker Curry, the 8-hole hitter and another first-team all-BAL selection.

The Knights jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Heller’s third-inning sacrifice fly plated Faith’s first run and Forscht’s groundout scored shortstop D.J. Cesario, who had doubled. Delco Christian tallied a run in the fourth; Faith took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the frame when Zach McCauley’s RBI single preceded Jacob Davis’ scoring on a wild pitch.

Delco Christian beat Faith, 11-8, on April 23 and it looked like the same result would occur. The Knights led off the fifth with five walks or singles; they plated three.

Faith retorted with its own three-spot in the fifth. A Josiah Smith sacrifice fly scored Heller. Forscht scored on an error, and Hodnett adroitly slid home from third when Davis was caught in a rundown. It put the Lions up 7-6.

“I saw [Davis] at first base fooling with him and getting into a rundown,” Hodnett said. “Then I saw him throw to third and I knew I had to go home. Aggressive play has been a big thing that we’re doing this year.”

Faith advanced seven bases on steals or defensive indifferences.

Delco Christian knotted the game at 7 in the top of the sixth. Unlike April, this game would go Faith’s way.

“What played in our favor is that they didn’t see the two pitchers who pitched today,” Ed Curry said.

“Delco is phenomenal and they’ve had an incredible season. But the whole goal is to make the playoffs and be playing your best when you get there.”

Faith’s championship triumph extended its winning streak to nine. The Lions allowed nearly as many runs in their first 14 wins (11) as in win No. 15 against Delco Christian. The pitching of BAL MVP Heller was a big reason for that.

“It’s how strong our infield is and how we can put the bat on the ball when we want to,” Forscht noted. “Everyone can hit. I think that’s the secret sauce.”

The Lions halted District 12 champion Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), 8-2, on Monday at La Salle College High School in the first round of the state playoffs. Faith, which picked up its first state win in program history, will meet District Four champ Sayre Area in this Thursday’s quarterfinals.

The Lions appeared to get a nice boost from their victory in districts.

“This one is a little bigger, I think, because you’re on Villanova’s home turf and dugout,” Forscht said, comparing the two district titles. “Coming out with a championship here is a good memory.”

“Having the No. 1 seed is more of a target on your back. That was a challenge for the boys,” Curry shared. “Also, our verse for the year was John 3:30: ‘He must increase. We must decrease.’ It’s been to play hard for Christ.”

It’s a noble sentiment, to be sure. But right now, Faith is increasing.




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