Holy Ghost Prep baseball coach Keith Smeraglio was looking ahead Thursday afternoon when he penciled in Tim Brennan as the Firebirds' starting pitcher.

Brennan has eight saves this season, but Smeraglio said it was time to stretch the sophomore's right arm and get him ready for the playoffs.

He sure looked prime against Lower Moreland, as Brennan pitched six innings, scattered two hits, and fanned eight to help Holy Ghost Prep win, 3-1, and clinch its ninth Bicentennial Independence title in the last 10 years.

The team improved its league record to 12-0 after finishing fourth last season.

Brennan went 2 for 3, and Jeff Tallman had a key RBI in the sixth. Dylan Simcik posted the save.

"Just a fun, fun team," Smeraglio said. "I really enjoyed this more than some of the others."

Central. Joe Sweeney went 2 for 2 with a pair of runs scored and one RBI as Garnet Valley nipped visiting Conestoga, 6-4.

Senior righthander Kevin Bosco struck out two and walked one in a complete game as Strath Haven blanked Springfield (Delco), 7-0.

Del-Val. Craig Johnson went 1 for 2, had a two-run triple in the seventh, and scored once as Academy Park rallied at Glen Mills, 5-3. Billy Fallon fanned seven and walked one for the complete-game win.

Ches-Mont. Dylan Nicklas hit a two-run, walk-off single in the ninth as Great Valley turned away visiting Octorara, 9-8. Nicklas was also the winning pitcher.

Jason McCormick slapped an RBI single off the third baseman's glove to score Scott Lorback in the third inning, and West Chester Henderson held on to top visiting West Chester East, 1-0.

Catholic. Mark Berlanger crushed a three-run homer over the right-field fence, enabling Father Judge to knock off St. Joseph's Prep, 7-2.

Lacrosse

Tyler Keen scored with 1.7 seconds left before halftime as Downingtown West knocked off visiting West Chester Henderson, 10-8, in a Ches-Mont League game.

Keen finished with four goals, three in the first half. Spencer Rymiszewski led Henderson with three goals and two assists.

Nonleague. Brian Sinex, a junior midfielder, won all 12 of his faceoffs as Ridley downed visiting Plymouth Whitemarsh, 10-5. He also scored three goals. Kelton Heverly added two assists and one goal.

Sean McDonald scored three times and opened the second half with a pair of assists as Holy Ghost Prep cruised at Lansdale Catholic, 14-7.

Contact Matt Breen

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