The Colonia Patriots swept Iselin Kennedy in a two game series by the scores of 12–5 on Thursday and 8-4 on Friday. The wins mark the first time the Patriots beat Kennedy in over four years.
“It feels good to beat those guys, but more importantly our team is playing well right now,” said Colonia head coach Tom Hennessy.
The Kennedy Mustangs traveled to Colonia for the first of the two game set Thursday afternoon to face Colonia’s number two pitcher, Alex Villon. Villon struggled a bit in the opening innings yielding all four Kennedy runs before the team’s ace, Mike Gallagher, came in to shut the door. Sophomore Joe Coutinho went 4-for-4 with three singles, a double, two runs scored and an RBI, while freshman Ryan Pennell had a double and three RBI. Senior Frank Gaydos helped power the Patriots by going 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
“I was called in to come in and do my job, which is to throw strikes,” said Gallagher. “That’s what I did and with offensive support, we got the win.”
The Patriots took an early four run lead in the second on three consecutive base hits by Gaydos, Pennell and junior Tim Filzen, who drove in two with a double off Kennedy starter Dave Marrrero.
Colonia’s Villon struggled with his command in the third, allowing Kennedy to tie the game by letting the first five hitters reach base including doubles by Zach Bucholz and Adonis Hernandez, before being taken out without recording an out.
Colonia tacked on five runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to give the team its third win of the year.
In a rare relief appearance, Gallagher scattered six hits over five innings, striking out six and walking one to earn his second victory of the year.
In Friday’s matchup, Colonia’s Ellery Ramos took the ball and went five innings, giving up three hits and a walk, while striking out two to earn his first win of the season.
Sophomore Joe Coutinho had another explosive game going 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Junior Andrew Neich went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored in the 8-4 win.
“My teammates and coaches told me I had nothing to lose, but everything to gain, so with the help of my teammates, I have been able to step up for our team,” said Coutinho.
With the game knotted at one, Colonia scored three runs in the top half of the third to give the team a 4-1 lead. Senior Anthony Joe led off the inning with a strikeout, but the next five batters reached base safely including Neich’s two run double. Freshman Ryan Pennell’s sacrifice later in the inning gave the Patriots its fourth run.
After tacking on another run in the fourth with an RBI groundout by Coutinho, the Patriots added three more in the sixth with a two run double by senior Matt Wagner who went 1-for-3 on the afternoon, followed by another RBI double by Neich. All six runs were charged to Kennedy’s starter A.J. Pichalski.
“Hitting in the middle of the lineup, your objective is to drive runners in and that’s exactly what we did,” said Wagner.
Kennedy’s senior second baseman Anthony Tortorello accounted for half of the team’s runs with two solo homeruns, one in the second and another in the fourth, both off Ramos.
Kennedy threatened in the sixth after loading the bases against Wagner and scoring two on a single by Zach Bucholtz, but the Patriots escaped major damage when Kennedy’s base running mistakes allowed Colonia to tag out Emil Kranz in a rundown and double up Anthony Tortorello at the plate trying to score, all during the same play.
Junior Tom Trela nailed down Colonia’s fourth win with a scoreless seventh.
“When your teammate has trouble getting the job done, you have to pick him up and slam the door shut,” said Trela.