With the win, Lehigh Valley advanced to the semifinals, in which it will meet Burlington County at 1 p.m. Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Burlington County ousted Delaware County, 8-1, in Friday's second game.
"They're used to being here," Hilliard said of Lehigh Valley, the defending Carpenter Cup champion. "You can tell they have a lot of spunk in them. They capitalize on mistakes."
With John Durkee (Malvern Prep) on the mound in the seventh inning and Lehigh Valley trailing by 3-2, Matt Bonshak (Whitehall) smacked a one-out double to center field. He then scampered to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a game-tying sacrifice fly.
Durkee watched a similar show unfold in the eighth, this time with Lehigh Valley jumping ahead for good. Jay Maletz (Pius X) led with a double to right-center. Later in the inning, with two outs, first baseman Matt Primavera (Chestnut Hill Academy) bobbled a ground ball. It skidded to the outfield, and Maletz scored the go-ahead run.
"You have to watch them on the bases," Durkee said. "They're all quick. A passed ball, they're going to be going, looking for an extra base or two."
Inter-Ac/Independents surprised Lehigh Valley, jumping ahead by 3-0 after three innings. In the first, Joe Poduslenko (Malvern Prep) and Kevin McGowan (Episcopal Academy) led off with back-to-back singles. With Poduslenko on third, McGowan stole second. And when Lehigh Valley tried to catch McGowan at second, Poduslenko swiped home.
In the second inning, Jay Farrell (Episcopal Academy), Pat Valentine (Haverford School), and Poduslenko drew walks to load the bases with two outs, and Farrell scored on a passed ball. Inter-Ac/Independents plated its other run the next inning when Farrell chopped a ball to third and beat the throw, allowing Doug Trimble (Episcopal Academy) to come home.
Lehigh 000 020 111 - 5 7 1
Inter-Ac/Independents 111 000 000 - 3 6 3
WP: Dan Horvath. LP: Ben Harris. 2B: LV–Evan Fardella, Jay Young, Patrick Donnelly, Jay Maletz, Rob Bennie, Matt Bonshak.
Burlington County 104 210 000 - 8 10 1
Delaware County 000 100 000 - 1 8 1
WP: Jon Mackie. LP: Dalton Mayberry. 2B: BC–John Adryan, 2, Brian Lawler, Dave Viselli.