BOYERTOWN - Methacton brought out its big bats again Monday night in the Pioneer Athletic Conference baseball semifinal playoffs at Bear Stadium.
The top-seeded Warriors scored early and often and played strong overall defense to support the route-going effort by senior pitcher Reed Hostrander in a 10-1 victory over fourth-seeded Phoenixville (12-9).
Methacton (16-5) advanced to Wednesday night’s league championship game against Boyertown (13-8), a 6-0 winner over Perkiomen Valley in the first game of the doubleheader. That contest will be played at Spring-Ford’s Ram Stadium at 7 p.m.
The contest marked Methacton’s third victory of the season against Phoenixville after the Warriors won both regular season meetings.
Hostrander pitched a six-hitter with one strikeout and no walks. He surrendered one run in the top of the sixth inning.
The Warriors, who led 4-0 after the first two innings, pounded out 11 hits against Phoenixville pitchers Michael Anthony and David Palmen.
Methacton, which also took advantage of four Phantom errors, broke open a 5-1 fray with five unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“I felt I had trouble throwing strikes sometimes in the past when I would lose focus,” said Hostrander. “Today I focused. Whenever they were threatening, I stayed focused and our defense was outstanding.”
The bats and run production helped him feel even more comfortable on the mound.
“It is so much easier to pitch with a lead,” said Hostrander. “I stayed confident and focuses, and that changes everything.
“A couple times in close games I would lose focus. I just think my location was good. They pulled the ball over. I was hitting spots and we played good defense.”
Anthony Santoleri went 3-for-4 for the Warriors out of the No. 8 slot in the order. Tim Carfrey (two runs batted in) and Glenn Seymour each had a pair of hits. Clayton Harwick drove in two runs with one hit, and designated hitter Dan Damato slammed a two-out, 3-2 double to right field with the bases loaded in the sixth to cushion the lead once more.
“I think we have the best offense in the league,” said Carfrey, a junior left fielder who bats second in the lineup. “One through nine we hit the ball and it’s what wins us games.”
He credited the coaching staff for making hitting a Methacton trademark throughout the years.
“We get the pitch we want and look for,” said Carfrey. “We had confidence. We won against him (Anthony). We know we can hit him. We did our thing. We all picked it up.”
Phoenixville designated hitter Jordan Valenteen had two singles and a sacrifice bunt and scored the team’s lone run on a one-out single to center field by Chris Demey following a single by Cole Luzins.
Cameron Cook and John Hopkins had the other hits for the Phantoms, who will have to regroup for the District 1-AAA playoffs. The Phantoms stranded six baserunners.
“He (Hostrander) has done it all year,” said Methacton coach Paul Spiewak. “He keeps the ball down and rolls ground balls.”
Spiewak credited Trip Hagner for playing an outstanding defensive game at shortstop as well as Kyle Lowery at third base. The Warriors also turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the fourth inning.
Spiewak was wary of Phoenixville coming into the game despite the previous results.
“Both games were closer than the score showed,” he said. “We have confident we can win every game with our capabilities on offensively. They (Phantoms) finished with one more loss than we did.”