Stallions win first two games in PAC 7 Tournament

Leo Hoffer delivering a strike. (Ed Berti)
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Nick Kuebler at bat for Stallions. (Ed Berti)

1st Round – Bradford Preparatory 2 – Queens Grant 15

The Stallions ended this game in the first inning of competition. The team broke a school record scoring 15 runs on 10 hits to blowout a weak Bradford varsity baseball club. This ball game was the number one seed against the bottom seed team. The boys then put it on cruise control after they coasted through the first round in route to their 15-2 thumping of the Bears.

The Stallions used mostly their relief pitchers and young upcoming pitching staff to save their top two starters Bryce Gorospe and Leo Hoffer. Meanwhile, sophomore Cameron King one of the young arms improved his season record to 4-0 with 3 solid innings of work allowing 4 hits, 1 run and accumulating 4 strikeouts. Andrew Ollenberger also had an inning of work getting the side out in order.  Junior Nick Kuebler pitched the fifth giving up just one hit, and added a strikeout.

Leading the offense was junior Andy Duran, 2-3 with a grand-slam home run and 5 RBI’s, Alwin Duran, the freshman went 2-4, with 2 doubles, Cody Marsh 2-3, 4 RBI’s, and Jacob Beard 1-2, with a double.

Semifinal Round 2 – Union Academy 1 – Queens Grant 4 

The Stallions beat their arch rival Union Academy 4-1 in the semifinal round of the PAC 7 Conference Tournament. This was a fast paced ball game played in 80 minutes on a warm day at the neutral Pine Lake Preparatory school baseball field.

Both starting pitchers, Leo Hoffer for the Stallions and Drew Noblet of the Cardinals sailed through the first 4.5 innings of competition. Hoffer, actually had a no hitter through 5 2/3 innings before surrendering a base hit. Meanwhile, Noblet allowed only 3 hits over four innings.

However, in the fifth, the Stallions broke through playing small ball. Michael Ritch led off the inning when he laid down a great bunt for a base hit, the hurried throw went passed the first baseman down the right field line and Ritch ended up on second base. Keegan Kilpatrick, came in to pinch run for Ritch, then Braian Baez laid down a sacrifice bunt advancing the runner to third. Bryce Gorospe would deliver a long fly ball to deep center field to drive in the runner from third to take a 1-0 lead on the sacrifice fly. Now with two outs, Spencer Smith singled, Jacob Beard would follow with a double scoring Smith on the hit and run, Alwin Duran would single scoring Beard, big brother Andy Duran walked, Nick Kuebler reached on an error to load up the bases, then Andrew Ollenberger would knock a single to score the fourth run of the inning. The Stallions jumped out to a comfortable 4-0 lead after five innings.

The Cardinals would threaten in the seventh, they scored one run on two hits, wild pitch and a sacrifice ground out. However, with two outs, hard throwing Andy Duran entered the game to face one batter in relief of Hoffer to close out the contest, he was successful sending the Stallions into the championship game against Davidson.

Hoffer improved his record to 4-1 on the season, while Duran picked up the save.  Freshman Alwin Duran led all hitters going 2-3, RBI. The RBI is his 31st of the season leading the team and conference in this category.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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