Special to Cinn City Sports by Contributor George Rider
Tuesday afternoon the #6 seed Cinnaminson Pirates faced the #10 seed Manchester Township Hawks in the South, Group 2 semifinals. The Pirates (14-12) and the Hawks (13-12) were two evenly matched teams record wise and came out to fight for who was the best.
The Pirates pulled out the victory 7-3 to advance to the South, Group 2 final on Friday.
The game started with Brandon Staub throwing a scoreless top half of the first to get the momentum going.
The bottom half of that inning the Pirates took a 1-0 lead behind singles from Christian Massara and Nick Mahoney. Joey Cody came up big with a bases loaded single to open up the scoring.
“Going up to bat with bases loaded in the first inning was a big spot for me. I wanted to wait for my pitch and worked a full count,” Cody said. “A base hit in that situation set the team up for a good offensive start. I did what I could to help my team out in the best possible way.”
Staub came up throwing big again in the top of the 2nd with another scoreless inning.
The Pirates bats went right to work again after that putting up two more runs. Mike Hess and Jake Perkins hit back to back singles to set up a Christian Massara RBI single. The second run came on a fielder’s choice from Cody.
The third inning was a scoreless one for both teams.
In the fourth, Staub kept his stuff under control and threw yet another scoreless inning, keeping the score at 3-0. The Pirates put up another run with Mike Bednarek hitting an RBI single. He finished the game with two hits and two RBI’s.
“We had a four game losing streak going into the playoffs and now we’re playing for a sectional title, it’s unbelievable,” Bednarek said. “I’m proud of everything we’ve done as a team.”
The fifth inning was almost even as Manchester scored their first run of the game and Cinnaminson scored two. The run was an unearned run for Staub as it was mishandled at third base.
Cinnaminson kept the momentum after they let up the run and countered with two of their own to make it 6-1 going into the sixth inning. Jake Perkins and Mike Bednarek had the RBIs.
The sixth and final inning on the mound for Staub was another great one as he pitched another scoreless frame. Staub had his stuff going all game, making life a lot easier for his teammates.
Staub finished the game throwing 6 innings. He allowed four hits and the one unearned run. He walked four and struck out six en route to his seventh win of the season.
“The hitters started hitting right from the start, which was great because it’s a lot easier to work with a lead,” said Staub. “I treated the game like any other start, just tried to stay focused. Having this game at home really helped because I was used to everything around me.”
Mike Hess replaced Staub to close out the game for Cinnaminson. He started off rough with a hit batter. After allowing a home run to make it 7-3 he struck out the final hitter to clinch a spot in the championship.
The Pirates will travel on Friday to take on top seeded West Deptford in the South, Group 2 Sectional final.
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