Coatesville captures District 1 AAAA baseball title

Coatesville catcher Jake Kennedy and pitcher C.J. Martinez rejoice after the Red Raiders won their first district title since 2006.
Coatesville catcher Jake Kennedy and pitcher C.J. Martinez rejoice after the Red Raiders won their first district title since 2006.
Posted: June 01, 2013

After coming up short in its bid to win the Ches-Mont League National Conference title, Coatesville had extra motivation going into the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA baseball tournament.

A measure of redemption was achieved Thursday afternoon when the Red Raiders, with the help of well-timed trickery, battled past Pennridge, 5-4, at Immaculata University to claim top district honors.

"This means a lot to us," senior shortstop C.J. Young said. "With us not winning our league, we had something to prove."

Coatesville rallied from an early 3-0 deficit. The difference was Emmett Hunt's one-out sacrifice fly to center field, driving in Dylan Scaringi, in the sixth inning.

Arguably the biggest play came an inning earlier. The game was tied, 3-3, with two down and Aaron Cummings on third base and Eric Leslie on first, when third-base coach Chad Ohor signaled for Leslie to take a big lead and draw a pickoff throw.

The Rams took the bait and, with the attention on Leslie, Cummings bolted toward home. He was called safe after sliding under the tag of catcher Mike Kacergis.

"All we wanted was them to throw to first," longtime Coatesville skipper Hal Ziegler said. "When you run that play against a team that hasn't seen it before, most times they will go after the guy at first."

Ziegler, who earned his fifth district title and first since 2006, credited Ohor for the play call and referred to him as the squad's "offensive coordinator."

Cummings barely beat the throw from first baseman Jake Gordon.

"Jake caught it, and made a good throw home," Pennridge coach Tom Nuneviller said. "It was a bang-bang play. It didn't go our way."

In the opening round of states, Coatesville (20-6) will face Frankford, District 12's runner-up, at 4 p.m. Monday at Immaculata.

Pennridge's first-round opponent in states will be District 12 champion La Salle on Monday at 12:15 p.m. at Ashburn Field. The Explorers blanked Frankford, 8-0, on Thursday.

In their first at-bat, the Rams (19-7) touched Coatesville starter C.J. Martinez for three runs. From there, the senior righthander allowed only a sixth-inning run.

"C.J. gave us exactly what we wanted from him," said Leslie, a senior rightfielder. "He threw strikes, made them hit the ball. That's what you want."

In the home fifth, with Pennridge ahead by 4-1, Leslie made it a one-run game by taking an 0-1 pitch from Evan Myers and sending it over shortstop Brad Misialek's head. The hit scored pinch-runners Darren Rubincam and Victor Gabriel.

While going the distance, Martinez yielded eight hits and walked none.

Pennridge 300 001 0 - 4 8 1

Coatesville 001 031 x - 5 7 1

WP: C.J. Martinez. LP: Eric Wesolowski. 2B: P-Danny Shane, David Tatoian, Tyler Shoultes. 3B: C-Jake Kennedy.

Contact Rick O'Brien at Follow @ozoneinq on Twitter. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at

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