For five innings last Wednesday, No. 17 CB South played with fire.
And in the last two innings, senior southpaw Brock Veit brought the extinguisher.
Veit threw his first nine pitches for strikes to highlight two shutout, hitless innings that saved South’s 6-5 upset win at No. 1 Pennsbury in second-round Class 6A District One playoff action.
“Honestly, this is the best I felt pitching all year,” Veit described. “I wanted to attack the guys and let my guys make plays behind me. That’s exactly what happened.”
The Falcons either scored or left the bases loaded in each of the first five frames.
“Actually, recently (Brock) has struggled a little bit and we worked on bullpens,” admitted Titan manager Brian Klumpp. “He just bore down. He wanted the ball and my word, did he take care of things.”
Staff ace Ryan Rieber threw 3.1 shutout innings in Monday’s first-round win at No. 16 Coatesville and was unavailable. Klumpp needed contributions from other arms to get a “W.”
“I thought Joe Martino did a great job today,” Klumpp praised his starter. “We have a lot of confidence in him and he came out pumping with a lot of energy.”
With the sacks jammed and no outs in the Pennsbury second, Martino forced a weak flyout. Third baseman Owen Petrich made a critical catch of a muffed squeeze bunt for the second out.
“I thought he was going to bunt and when he hit it up in the air, it just made it better,” Petrich said.
Petrich’s highlights weren’t over. South chased Falcon starter Shayne Ostrowsky with a six-run third. Zach Steinberg led off with a ground rule double. Jake McKeown singled Steinberg home and scored on Jake Trachtenberg’s double.
“We had two outs. I was trying to put the ball in play and hit the ball hard because there was a man on second and we could score him with a single,” Trachtenberg said. “He threw me a curveball and I took it to left field. Owen came up later and hit the home run. We put up six.
That was a huge spot for us obviously.”
Three batters later, Petrich’s three-run dinger to left gave the Titans a 6-1 lead.
“I had two strikes with two outs and I just wanted to put the ball in play. It ended up going out,” Petrich offered.
Pennsbury (16-5) allowed six or more runs in a game, let alone an inning, just three times before Wednesday. One time was a March 26 6-3 loss to CB South.
The now healthy Titan (15-6) offense is peaking at the right time.
“They were just another team. That was what our mindset was,” Veit relayed. “We beat them early on. We had confidence coming in, we had energy from the get-go and we played a good game.”
“We have a lot of swagger now that we have our boys back,” Trachtenberg added. “(Joey) Loynd is one of our captains. Now with his bat back in the lineup, it’s huge. We’re all peaking and we’re ready to go.”
In a game featuring a lot of Falcon chirping, the Titans stayed level headed from the first pitch to the final out.
“We play off a lot of energy and I’m an energetic coach but there are times where you have to slow the game down,” Klumpp stated. “My guys do a great job of doing it and I’m super proud of them today.”
South beat No. 9 Bensalem (16-4) in Friday’s quarterfinals 7-1 to clinch a state playoff berth. The Titans got another six-run inning, the first, to give ample support for Rieber’s complete game. The Titans play in Thursday’s district final at Immaculata after Tuesday’s semifinal 5-3 win over Downingtown East.