Hatboro-Horsham slips by U. Moreland
Hatboro-Horsham senior Grant Opalisky did not hesitate. Upper Moreland's flame-throwing righthander, Robert Knox, already had ended one rally and was about to strand another runner on third base in the seventh inning to force extras.
Hatboro-Horsham senior Grant Opalisky did not hesitate.
Upper Moreland's flame-throwing righthander, Robert Knox, already had ended one rally and was about to strand another runner on third base in the seventh inning to force extras.
So when Knox's 0-2 fastball eluded catcher Pat Driscoll and sailed to the shallow backstop, Opalisky immediately broke for home. He scored before the Upper Moreland battery could recover, and disappeared into a mosh pit of teammates with a 5-4 nonleague win Saturday.
"Knox is a great pitcher, and it's hard to get a hit off him with two strikes," Opalisky said. "Anything that went in the dirt or over the catcher's head, I was going to take off."
"Even with a shallow backstop, if you get a good read, you'll be able to make it," Hatboro-Horsham coach Pete Moore said. "He felt like he was getting a good secondary lead and I told him if he got a good read and anticipated it, if it happens, it's your call, and that's a senior making a good baserunning play."
According to Hatboro shortstop Zach Prendergast, it was the first time the Hatters even tried to score on a passed ball at their home field.
"It took a lot of guts to do that," said Prendergast, a Seton Hall recruit who reached second on an error to start the two-run seventh inning. "The catcher was really lackadaisical back there, and luckily, the ball hit the fencing and not one of the poles."
Opalisky added: "I think I caught everybody by surprise."
Hatboro-Horsham (8-8) trailed Upper Moreland (12-2), 4-3, entering the seventh inning and had stranded runners on second and third in the fifth and left the bases loaded in the sixth.
Both Prendergast and Opalisky reached second base on throwing errors to start the seventh inning, tying the score. After a sacrifice advanced Opalisky to third, Knox won a nine-pitch battle to strike out St. Joseph's University recruit Ryan Kelly for the second out.
Upper Moreland 400 000 0 - 4 7 2
Hatboro-Horsham 200 100 2 - 5 11 1
WP: Tyler Markovic. LP: Robert Knox. 2B: UM-Pat Driscoll, Charlie Hooker; HH-Eric Lane. 3B: HH-Ryan Kelly. HR: UM-Colton Hooker.