That is two straight wins for the Hillcats over higher seeded teams.

The Bulldogs, who suffered their first loss, once again were too flat with their bats, mustering just six hits against Hillside lefty Tim Smith.

"We didn't hit the ball. Period, bottom line," said NorChester manager Corbin Stoltzfuss. "We haven't been hitting the ball lately and eventually it's going to come back and bite you right in the (rear) and it bit us in the (rear) tonight. You can't do that in a nine-inning game, you got to get some hits. We put a lot of pressure on our pitchers and you can't do that.

"A nine-inning game you got to score more than two runs. We've been doing that a lot lately. We haven't been hitting well lately, Bats are asleep. We're working on it, working on it every day. We take long batting practices, gets lots of work on the T and it's just not coming around for us. It's frustrating, frustrating for everybody.

"They came out, wanted it more than we did, bottom line. They had some guys that stepped up and we didn't. We had situations with the right guys at the plate, situations with guys on third a couple of times and less than two outs, and we didn't score, but popped it up weakly somewhere, struck out. Not a good night on our part."

They will try to regroup hosting Caln today, 5 p.m. Adam Hartzell took the mound loss for seven innings of work, scattered just four hits.

"We just didn't hit," agreed Kropp, who finished with a pair of singles. "He (Smith) is definitely a good pitcher and he was around the plate the entire night. They made good plays on us. And once we got behind, we started feeling the pressure, I guess. We just didn't come through when we needed to. We hit the ball all right, but we didn't bunch hits together."

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Kenny Long led off with a walk, moved to second on a balk, Anthony Clemens sacrificed him to third, and he came home on a groundout by Mark Piccirillo.

But the Hillcats stormed back in the top of the third when Rob DeRafelo smashed a grand slam over the left field fence.

From there it was all downhill for the Bulldogs, who managed just one more run on an RBI single by will Kropp in the bottom of the third, while the Hillcats added a run in the seventh and three more in the ninth.

"Our team is playing the best baseball it has played all year long right now," said Hillcats manager Russ Wren. "That's something we told our kids, that the teams who are playing the best ball at the end, are the most successful. And we just played our best three games of the year. Our 19-year-olds, Timmy Smith, Robby DeRafelo, BrBrian Karewski, Jim March, those four kids are really stepping up and carrying us on their backs. Smith and our catcher DeRafelo were absolutely terrific."

DeRafelo also smacked a double and a pair of singles, had five RBI.

"We're coming together at the right time, playing as a complete team," said DeRefalo, who plays for Temple. "I have been disappointed with my hitting all summer. I just haven't been hitting as well as I did last year. Tonight I just came out and saw the ball well against good pitchers and a good team. And I just stayed back and guess I got lucky a few times.

Smith worked all nine innings to take the mound win.

"I had a great team to back me up tonight," said Smith. "My teammates came out to play. Couldn't ask for any much more. Robby with the grand slam. I was pitching pretty good. But I really want to congratulate my teammates, they picked me up. And that's what baseball is all about, picking each other up."

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