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Hopewell Pony League Baseball

Hopewell Proves and Learns A lot in 6-5 Loss to Blackhawk



Although players don’t want to hear it and it’s certainly no consolation, there’s a great deal to be learned by losing.

I think that certainly applies to this 2024 Hopewell Pony League team.

Coach Yurcina’s team has dealt with a ton of adversity this week and tonight a couple more obstacles were added to the mix.

The Vikings were once again without James Armstrong, Luke Vukovcan, Ryan Gaguzis and Andrew Arzberger. Plus, as a precautionary measure (injury), Collin Davis only batted tonight and didn’t play the field.

The outside view of this team is that it’s a one or two player team but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite missing 4 regulars and not having Davis, a top notch defensive shortstop, Hopewell was able to battle  Blackhawk (Haberman) for 7 innings, before losing 5-5.

This comes a day after beating a good Central Valley team, 8-7. Tonight was Hopewell’s third game in 3 consecutive nights.

A big shoutout to Camden Hoth, who stepped up big time when his team needed him. Coach Yurcina and Coach Davis had very few arms available to pitch so they needed Hoth to gut things out and give them innings.

Camden did just that and more as he pitched a complete game (6 innings) and held a good Blackhawk hitting team to 1 or 0 runs in 4 of the 6 innings.

Hopewell entered the top of the 3rd trailing 4-0 but they battled and ended up taking the lead.

With 1 out, Aidan Ritchart got things going by putting the ball in play and reaching on an error. Next up, David Villanueva laced a double to left field, which advanced Ritchart to 3rd base. Aidan then scored on an infield single by Jacob Durkin. Run #2 came in on an RBI single by Jayvion Lindsey.

Then with 2 outs, Collin Davis came through with a clutch 2-run single to score Durkin and Lindsey. Next up, Hoth reached on a Blackhawk error, which scored Davis. Hopewell now led 5-4.

Blackhawk threatened to tie things up in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The Cougars leadoff hitter led off with a double but was erased on a double play. 3rd baseman Reed Budavich caught a line drive and threw to second baseman Jaxson Covalt to double off the runner.

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Another double play in the 4th inning for the Hopewell defense. With 1 on and 1 out, Lindsey caught a fly ball in center and fired to first basemen Ritchart to double off the runner.

Hopewell had two chances in the last two innings to tie things up but couldn’t get a run home.

In the top of the 6th inning, the Vikings loaded the bases with 1 out, but Blackhawk escaped the jam by getting a force out at home and getting a ground ball to shortstop.

In the final inning, Ritchart got to 2nd base with 2 outs, but Blackhawk got a ground ball back to the pitcher to end the game.

Final Score: Blackhawk 6 Hopewell 5.

Hopewell might have lost but they showed that this is a good, deep team that will be a dangerous matchup in the Pony League playoffs.

Hopewell has a well deserved 5 days off before returning to action next Tuesday at Ambridge. The good news is that a few of the missing players will be returning to the lineup.





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