Baseball advances in state tournament
PHILADELPHIA – Northwestern waited nearly 30 years for another district baseball championship.
Trevor Schreiner and Tyler Wiik made sure the Tigers didn’t have to wait quite that long to make a little more history.
Schreiner and Wiik launched back-to-back first inning homers to power Northwestern to an 8-0 rout of Monsignor Bonner Monday in a PIAA Class 4A First Round contest at George Washington High School.
Playing their first game in over eight days, the Tigers (18-7) didn’t seem to suffer from the long layoff.
“I think it’s a really big confidence booster for all of us to stroke the ball as well as we did today,” said Wiik. “Four home runs, we put a beating on the ball. We put it over the fence, and we jumped out really early. That’s what we wanted to do. That was the mentality we had.”
Schreiner admitted he was a little worried about the gap between games.
But the senior found his sweet spot with a blast over the right field fence in the first inning to set the tone and erase any doubts.
“I personally did worry about it, but I feel we got into the flow right away hitting the ball,” said Schreiner. “We stroked it well.”
Rafe Perich added a three-run blast in the top of the fifth inning before Wiik went deep again with another solo shot in the top of the seventh to make it 8-0.
“We had a really good mentality right off the bus,” said Wiik. “We weren’t here to play around. We were focused. We took some good swings in the cage before the game, and it transitioned onto the field. We jumped on them early.”
Perich finished 3-for-4 and a triple short of the cycle.
“They had some monsters over there that really hit the ball a long way,” said Monsignor Bonner head coach Steve DeBarberie. “Four home runs, they got six runs out of them, so that was kind of the difference.
“We kind of were in a hole from the get-go, and we kind of lost our spark a little bit, it looked like.”
The District 12 champion Friars (13-9) threatened several times in the early going.
Twice in the first three innings Monsignor Bonner had runners at second and third, but both times were unable to produce any runs.
Tigers’ starter Drew White got a strikeout to work out of the jam in the first inning. Mason Vogwill came on in the third inning and induced a fly out to centerfield. He also got some help when Schreiner made a shoestring catch to end the inning and keep the Friars off the board.
The Friars had the bases loaded with no outs in the seventh, but sophomore Vincent Castrine got back-to-back strikeouts before Matt Headley (2-for-4) lined out to short to end the game.
“I’ll take a shutout,” said Northwestern head coach Duran Porrino. “Bonner had a good approach. We sort of knew based off some of the things we saw that they had patient approaches at the plate, and they worked our pitchers.
“But we have a great defense, and we can make plays. I’m confident that once we settle down a little bit with our pitchers, we’re good. This has been our approach. We sort of throw two or three guys a game because it’s been working for us. Drew (White) starts, throws two innings, goes through a lineup once. And we bring Mason (Vogwill) in, and it’s been working.”
The Tigers got a run in the top of the second when Aaron Stasko, who opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a balk, scored on Brandon Mengel’s groundout to make it 3-0.
Nick Henry, who reached on a single, scored on a wild pitch to increase the Tigers’ lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning.
UP NEXT … Northwestern will play District 3 third-place team West Perry in the quarterfinals on Thursday. The Mustangs beat District 1’s Lower Moreland 8-2 in a first-round contest Monday.
HISTORY ... Last week’s District 11 championship was Northwestern’s first since 1989. That was also the last time the Tigers won a state playoff game. They beat Lancaster Catholic, 2-0, in the opening round of states that season.
N’western 210 130 1 - 8 10 1
M. Bonner 000 000 0 - 0 4 0
White, Vogwill (3), Castrine (6) and Wiik; DiBattista, Maselli (2), Dunphy (5), Scanlon (7) and DeMucci. W - Vogwill. L - DiBattista. HR: NW - Schreiner (1st, none on), Wiik (1st, none on), Perich (5th, two on), Wiik (7th, none on).