Bucks County Herald

Blazers sweep their way to title

DON LEYPOLDT

The Quakertown Blazers played formidable baseball last week.

Or is that four-midable? Two road doubleheader sweeps in two best-of-three playoff series gave the Blazers its first Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League title since 2005.

Entering the playoffs as the No. 4 seed, Quakertown swept the three-time defending champion and No. 1 seed Allentown Railers 5-2 and 6-4 on Sunday. Ace Jimmy Kingsbury (Villanova) threw seven innings of one-run ball in the opener while two-run home runs by Quinn McKenna (Lehigh) and Jeff Manto (Villanova) sparked the Blazer offense in game two.

Quakertown brought their brooms to the No. 3 seed Jersey Pilots on Monday, winning the opener 7-2 and clinching the nightcap, and the league title, with a 6-2 win. C.J. Kilgarriff (Jefferson) threw 7.2 strong innings and was helped by Andrew Cossetti’s (St. Joseph’s) homer. In game two, Nolan Graber’s (Ursinus) six shutout innings ensured that the Blazers’ six runs would be more than adequate.

Infielder Nate Sides (Alvernia) hit .471 with three RBIs and four extra base hits in the playoffs.

It was an up and down summer for Quakertown. The Blazers started 4-8, but thanks to resurgent bats sat at 15-13 after an 8-2 pasting of Trenton on July 18. Quakertown dropped five of its final six games to close the regular season, but the Blazers proved that it’s not how a team starts but how it finishes.

Sides led Quakertown with a .361 average, a mark that ranked with ACBL leaders; Manto’s five homers and Kadar Namey’s (St. Joseph’s) 19 RBIs also paced the Blazers.

Kingsbury’s six wins led the entire league. Kilgarriff had a 2.54 ERA while J.J. Spehrley (Bloomsburg) fanned 37 to lead the team; both figures ranked in the ACBL’s top five.

Allentown closer Tyler Guidos (Mansfield), a Quakertown High product, led the ACBL with five saves.




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