,BUCKTOWN -- All NorChester can do is try to keep grinding out wins and hope for the best in its fight for the Chester County Legion League regular season championship.
The Bulldogs did what they had to do Monday night at Owen J. Roberts High School as Harry Musser threw six innings in his first start of the season and everybody in the lineup scored during a 10-run second inning while downing Lionville, 13-6.
Tyler Setzler knocked in four runs in the second, George Kochu went 3-for-4 with three doubles, Ethan Yeager knocked in three, and Tim Wiand scored three for the winners.
NorChester (14-3) came into the night a game back of Downingtown with three to play in the battle for an automatic bid to the Pennsylvania Region Three Tournament and on the losing end of a tie-breaker after Sunday's loss to the Dawgz.
"That's all we can do, keep winning and play our game," said Musser. "Just bear down and do your job."
"We're just gutting it out right now," said NorChester manager Corbin Stoltzfus. "I hope we have someone to go the last two games. We're pretty short now, especially in the pitching area."
Musser gave the Bulldogs what they needed for now against the Hillcats, who ended their league season at 7-12. He struck out the first two batters of the game before allowing a homer to Derek Herbine.
But the hosts combined two walks, an error, five singles, and doubles by Kochu and Setzler to give the Bulldog right-hander a lot of breathing room in the second. Setzler doubled in the first two runs and singled home the last two.
NorChester added a run in the third on a two-out bunt hit by Jon Raymond and a double by Kochu to draw close to putting the game away early by the 10-run rule. But the Bulldogs were blanked in the fourth and Lionville scored three in the fifth to squash that possibility.
"That would have been huge," said Stoltzfus. "We've got to finish them when we
have the chance to put them away and save some pitching."
But the Bulldogs wrapped up the win anyway in the regulation seven innings as Musser picked up his sixth strikeout of the night to escape a bases-loaded jam in the sixth and Raymond tossed a scoreless seventh.
"That was huge for (Musser) to come out and give us six innings tonight," said Stoltzfus. "We've got sore arms, bad backs, guys at college, and guys throwing with showcase teams. We're winning with grit."
"I had to eat up some innings," said Musser. "We have two games coming up and we have somebody to throw them. I knew I had to get the job done, pitch my heart out. Overall, I'm happy. We got a win."
Even after the victory, the Bulldogs' chances of winning the regular season are slim because Downingtown will have to lose two of its last three games - and two of them are against last place Oxford - even if NorChester wins its pair of season-ending games against Spring City.
"That was a huge game (Sunday) that they took from us at many levels," Stoltzfus said concerning the 7-6, eight-inning loss to Downingtown. "You've got two shots at it (advancing to regionals). We have to win our way through the playoffs."
NOTES: Setzler went 3-for-4 and was robbed of a perfect night by a diving catch by shortstop Chris Rugh. ... Yeager and Mike Uhas each had two hits for the hosts and Rugh also homered for the Hillcats. ... If nothing else, the Bulldogs have a chance to capture the second seed for next week's playoffs when they close the season with two games against third-place Spring City, which came into Monday night a game back of NorChester.
NorChester 13, Lionville 6
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Rugh ss 4 1 2 1 Engelhardt 2b 4 1 1 1
Ferracone dh 2 0 1 0 Raymond cf 4 2 1 1
Ryan p 0 0 0 0 Kochu ss 4 1 3 2
Mattei 2b 1 1 0 0 J Wiand lf 3 1 0 0
Herbine 2b 3 2 2 1 T Wiand 1b 2 3 1 0
McElwee rf 4 1 1 0 Chesler c 2 1 1 0
Gallagher 3b 4 0 1 2 Setzler rf 4 2 3 4
Burgess 1b 2 0 1 0 Musser p 0 0 0 0
Ternowchek ph 1 0 0 0 Miller lf 0 0 0 0
McKinley cf 4 1 2 0 Yeager 1b 4 1 2 3 Richter lf 2 0 0 0 Uhas rf 4 1 2 0
Sarpen ph 1 0 0 0
Henault c 1 0 0 0
Fryer c 2 0 0 0
Totals 31 6 10 4 Totals 31 13 14 11
Lionville 101 031 0 - 6
NorChester 0(10)1 002 x -13
E-Sarpen, Engelhardt, Kochu. DP-Lionville, NorChester. LOB-Lionville 8, NorChester 5. 2B-Gallagher, McKinley, Setzler, Kochu 3. HR-Herbine, Rugh. SB-Engelhardt, Raymond. IP H R ER BB SO
LIONVILLE Ryan (L) 1.1 6 10 9 3 1
Gallagher 3.2 6 1 1 1 0
McKinley 1 2 2 1 1 0
NORCHESTER Musser (W) 6 9 6 6 3 6
Raymond 1 1 0 0 0 0
HBP-by Musser (Mattei). PB-Henault. Bk-Musser 2.
Umpires: Paul Gadzicki (Home Plate), Tom McHugh (Bases).