Every so often, Justin Davey will bump into North Penn head football coach Dick Beck and get reminded about sharpening his quarterbacking skills.
Said Davey: "He tells me, 'You need to keep working on things. Don't forget about football.' "
Davey will focus more on football in the coming months. For now, he is busy being a major contributor for the school's baseball program. With a pair of hard-hit triples and a game-ending single, the quick-footed junior helped the Knights earn the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA championship yesterday.
Overcoming an early 3-0 deficit against Spring-Ford, North Penn exploded for three runs in the bottom of the first, three in the third, and eight in the fifth to notch a 14-4, five-inning victory at Perkiomen Valley High.
"I give them all the credit in the world," Spring-Ford coach Bruce Brobst said. "It didn't matter what we threw, they hit it, and they hit it hard."
The Knights, who claimed their second district crown in four seasons, will begin state-tournament action Monday. They will face District 3's third-place finisher at a site and time to be determined.
From the No. 2 hole, Davey went 3 for 3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. In the first, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder tripled to right field and scored on Christian Radick's three-run double to left. In the fifth, he had an RBI triple to right, and he went the same direction for the title-clinching hit. The final was halted because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The Knights, 20-4 overall and ranked No. 7 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, totaled 12 hits. "The coaches have been working us hard in practice, fine-tuning our swings," Davey said. "We wanted to be prepared. When you get to this level, you're going to see good pitching."
This summer, in addition to training for football, Davey plans on competing for Nor-Gwyn in the Bux-Mont League American Legion.
Which sport is his favorite? "During football season, it's all about football," the 17-year-old from Lansdale said. "During baseball season, it's all about baseball."
Against the Rams, key top-of-the-order contributions also came from shortstop Robbie Zinsmeister, centerfielder Chris Edgar, and catcher Matt Albaugh.
Zinsmeister went 2 for 3, including a two-run triple to right in the fifth, and scored three runs. Edgar scored three runs and had an RBI single in the third. Albaugh (2 for 2) smacked a two-run homer to left in the third to make the score 6-3.
After yielding three runs on four hits in the first, junior righthander Mike Bradstreet held Spring-Ford (16-9) to three hits and a fourth-inning run.
The Knights are without their top two pitchers. Pat Reilly has missed the entire season with shoulder and elbow miseries. Kevin Christy, a La Salle recruit, fractured two fingers on a comebacker to the mound early in the districts.
The Rams also advanced to the state tournament. On Monday, they will take on the District 11 champion in a first-round game at a site and time to be determined.
Spring-Ford 300 10 - 4 7 2
North Penn 303 08 - 14 12 0
WP: Mike Bradstreet. LP: Jason Ferrie. 2B: SF-Anthony Quintangeli, Jon Hayes; NP-Christian Radick. 3B: SF-Kenny Pierson; NP-Justin Davey 2, Robbie Zinsmeister. HR: NP-Matt Albaugh.