The 6-foot-4, 220-pound righthander, a three-sport athlete at C.B. East, allowed only two runs (one earned) and four hits in five innings. Thriving mostly with his fastball and curveball, he retired the Hatters in order in the first three innings.
Birkhead, a cleanup hitter, also delivered a two-run homer in a six-run second inning. His second blast of the season went over the left-field fence.
"It was a fastball on the inside part of the plate," said Birkhead, who was intentionally walked and scored in a three-run first. "It was a perfect pitch to hit."
Birkhead, who transferred from Pennsbury before his junior year, has strong baseball bloodlines. His father, Bo, starred as a pitcher at Pennsbury (Class of 1984) and New Haven. He played minor-league ball in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Birkhead's uncle Darryl was a hard-hitting first baseman at Pennsbury and La Salle University in the 1980s.
Birkhead, also a first baseman and outfielder, threw 78 pitches against Hatboro - 52 for strikes. He struck out three and walked none. Southpaw Dalton Smoot closed with a pair of 1-2-3 innings.
In totaling 10 hits, the Patriots (2-0 overall) also were sparked by shortstop David Yanni (3 for 4, two RBIs, two runs) and rightfielder Eric Chase (2 for 2, three RBIs). Third baseman Carter Usowski contributed an RBI double.
After starter Ryan Murphy was chased in the second, the Hatters (2-2) used five more hurlers.
Central Bucks East 360 000 0 - 9 10 1
Hatboro-Horsham 000 110 0 - 2 4 1
WP: Brandon Birkhead. LP: Ryan Murphy. 2B: CBE-David Yanni 2, Carter Usowski, Eric Chase; HH-Alex Kleidon. HR: CBE-Birkhead.