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Post 2 uses epic comeback, pitching gem to sweep doubleheader against North Berkeley

MORGANTOWN — The two games in Saturday’s doubleheader between the North Berkeley Knights and Morgantown Post 2 could not have been more different from one another. The opener was a 19-10 slugfest while the nightcap provided a 3-0 pitchers’ duel. The hosts won both on Dale Miller Field at Mylan Park as Post 2 (17-10) closed its regular season with seven straight victories.

It looked like that winning streak was destined to end in game one when the Knights plated nine runs in the top of the first inning to set the stage for a possible mercy ruling.

“They came in (the dugout) and were like ‘nope, that’s not how it’s going to be,’” Post 2 coach Andy Altemus said of his players’ response. “You can’t get it all back at once, but once they started chipping away you could kind of tell we were going to work ourselves back into this.”

Morgantown responded with four runs in the bottom of the first, two on a home run from Tommy Montague and one on a double by Brady McNew.

“We weren’t too happy,” Montague said. “We just needed to respond fast and we went out there and responded.”

Montague’s homer was his fourth in two days as he left the yard three times in the team’s 14-0 win over Fairmont Post 17 on Friday night.

“I wasn’t doing too hot in the weeks before so I went to my hitting coach and then that night I was just seeing it better,” he said. “It’s just getting more confidence. I changed a little bit, but it’s just confidence.”

Morgantown added four more runs in the third to make it a 9-8 game and then broke out for seven in the fourth to take a 15-9 lead.

“We’ve been hitting the ball all week,” Altemus said. “But then we still had to hold them. That was more impressive, holding them to only one more run the rest of the game.”

Post 2 turned to Daniel Grabo and Jett Walters out of the bullpen and they combined to throw 6 1/3 innings allowing just two total runs

Cody Thomas hit a solo home run in the sixth and Drew Bailey’s three-run blast three batters later put the game away as Morgantown went on to win 19-10.

“They’ve been a fun group to be around, they never really get down,” Altemus said. “When one person starts going, it just kind of starts rolling into everybody. They all seem to just want to get up (to bat). There’s an on-deck guy and then there’s seven guys behind him with helmets on.”

Post 2’s bats have been on fire during its winning streak. Through game one on Saturday, the team had scored at least nine runs in six straight games, all victories, and hit 10 home runs in that span.

“I don’t know what’s going in the water cooler right now,” Altemus joked. “Maybe they’re actually eating breakfast and lunch or something like that, I don’t know. We knew they could do this at the beginning of the year, they just didn’t. We’re finally figuring it out at the right time.”

After the offensive explosion in game one, game two was a classic pitchers’ duel with Post 2’s Greg Eddy and the Knights’ Brandon Montgomery matching each other pitch for pitch.

Morgantown manufactured a run in the bottom of the first when Caleb Cottle walked, stole second and scored on a line drive single by Montague. Another run came in the third when Thomas went yard again, his second solo shot of the day. Catcher Park Croyle reached third base on an error in the outfield to lead off the bottom of the fifth and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Thomas.

That 3-0 lead stood up thanks to Eddy, who threw six brilliant innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out three.

“Greg’s been dealing with injuries the last couple of years,” Altemus explained. “But he’s working himself back and the fact that he came back out here was kind of uncharted territory because he hasn’t gone super deep for years now.” 

The left-hander allowed a single and walked two as the Knights loaded the bases in the top of the first, but they weren’t able to score. After that, Eddy allowed just three baserunners across the next five frames.

“He was always capable of doing this, he’s very, very talented, so he would come in and we would tell him to just keep chipping away (at his pitch count),” Altemus said. “It was probably never going to be a complete game, but it was pretty close.”

McNew pitched a scoreless seventh for the save. Montgomery allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and a walk with one strikeout.

Post 2 now takes its seven-game winning streak into next week’s Area 2 Tournament, which will begin Monday at Bridgeport High School. 

“I think we’re going to do really good in the area (tournament) and then states, regionals and maybe the world series too,” Montague said.

Seeding and opponents for the area tournament have yet to be determined, although Altemus is feeling confident with his team is playing their best baseball of the summer at just the right time.

“You couldn’t write that up any better,” he said.

Morgantown 19, North Berkeley 10, Game 1
NB 900 001 0 — 10 12 4
MORG 404 704 x — 19 12 2
KNIGHTS — Pence 4 3 3 1; Ingle 3 2 1 0; Brown 4 0 1 0; Everhart 3 1 0 0; Wolfe 4 1 2 2; Girardin 4 0 0 0; French 3 1 1 0; Stanley 4 1 3 2; Stotler 2 1 1 1. Totals 31 10 12 6.
POST 2 — Thomas 3 2 2 3; Cottle 5 1 0 0; Forbes 3 3 1 2; Montague 4 4 3 2; Bailey 4 1 1 3; Smolkin 3 3 2 2; McNew 2 2 1 2; Cash 4 0 1 1; Latocha 4 1 1 1. Totals 32 19 12 16.
2B — Berkeley: Wolfe 2, Stotler, Pence. Morgantown: Forbes, McNew, Montague.
HR — Morgantown: Bailey, Montague, Thomas.
WP: Walters 3.1ip, 4h, 1r, 0bb, 1k
LP: Wolfe 2.2ip, 5h, 8r, 3bb, 0k

Morgantown 3, North Berkeley 0, Game 2
NB 000 000 0 — 0 4 1
MORG 101 010 x — 3 5 1
KNIGHTS — Pence 4 0 1 0; Ingle 3 0 2 0; Brown 2 0 0 0; Wolfe 3 0 0 0; Everhart 2 0 0 0; Girardin 3 0 0 0; French 3 0 0 0; Stanley 2 0 0 0; Montgomery 0 0 0 0; Stotler 3 0 1 0. Totals 25 0 4 0.
POST 2 — Thomas 2 1 1 2; Cottle 2 1 1 0; Forbes 3 0 0 0; Montague 3 0 2 1; Bailey 3 0 0 0; Whanger 3 0 0 0; Walters 3 0 0 0; Croyle 2 1 1 0; Dorkins 2 0 0 0. Totals 23 3 5 3.
2B — Morgantown: Montague.
HR — Morgantown: Thomas.
WP: Eddy 6ip, 3h, 0r, 2bb, 3k
LP: Montgomery 5.1ip, 5h, 3r, 1bb, 1k
SV: McNew 1ip, 1h, 0r, 1bb, 0k

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