The top two teams in Berks II squared off on Monday afternoon, in what promised to be a great matchup. The previous contest between Berks Catholic (5-2, 10-5) and Hamburg (6-1, 13-2) ended in walk-off fashion, with the Hawks emerging the victors. This time, with the Saints playing host, they hoped to up the ante and earn a win of their own.
The Saints turned to pitcher Pop Lacey, in hopes of shutting down a red-hot Hamburg offense. The Hawks potent offense struck in the first inning, as Ryan Atkinson drove in a run on a fielder’s choice. Two hitters later, Joey Cominsky tripled to bring in another run. The Saints found themselves in the hole, trailing 2-0, before ever getting to the plate themselves.
The Saints would threaten in the home half of the first, loading up the bases, but ultimately Hawks ace Joey Cominsky was able to work out of the jam unscathed.
The Hawks would add two more runs in the top of the 4th inning on back-to-back hits by Ryan Smith and Kyle Nye. Heading into the home half of the 4th inning, Hamburg held a 4-0 lead. The Saints would get one back in the bottom of the 4th, as Austin Zientek scored from third on a wild pitch. After 4 innings, Hamburg led 4-1.
After one and a half scoreless innings, the Saints managed to cut the lead to 4-2 on an RBI groundout by Christian Dekker.
Senior Drew Stanko relieved Pop Lacey in the 7th inning and induced an inning ending double play ball, which appeared to energize the home team heading into what could have been their final at-bats. Franklin Ramirez, who had flown out to the deepest parts of the outfield his previous three at-bats, managed to find a gap and bring in two Saints to tie the game at 4. Ramirez’s hit would send the game to extra innings.
The Hawks, who opened up the 8th inning with a Joey Cominsky double, would get two runs in the inning on an error and a Jordan Youndt sacrifice fly. The Saints, once again, were down to their final at-bats trailing by two runs, 6-4.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Will Budock singled over an outstretched glove to once again tie the game, this time at 6-6. The tie would not be broken before the end of the 8th inning and the game would head to another extra inning.
With two on and no outs in the 9th inning, the Hawks once again got production out of Joey Cominsky, who hit a deep single to put Hamburg up 7-6. After an error and a Ryan Smith sacrifice fly, Hamburg held a 9-6 lead, which would hold final, as Ryan Atkinson retired the Saints in order in the bottom of the 9th.
Ryan Atkinson, who knocked in a run and scored twice, earned the victory on the mound for the Hawks. Starting pitcher Joey Cominsky, who later remained in the game in left field, went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, 2 RBI, and 3 runs scored. Cominsky is batting .800 over his last 4 games, and has driven in a remarkable 7 RBIs.
Hamburg, who now sits pretty at (7-1, 14-2), plays at Conrad Weiser on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Berks Catholic, who remains 2nd in Berks II with a mark of (5-3, 10-6), will next be in action Wednesday at Twin Valley.