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Zentmayer’s extra-inning heroics send CB West to second round of districts


Bill Zentmayer knew what he had to do.

“Just a base hit,” said the designated hitter on the Central Bucks West baseball team. “I just needed a base hit. I didn’t need to hit a home run. We only needed one run to win it.”

With two out, Zentmayer sent an offering from Downingtown West pitcher Jake Mello screaming through the infield to bring in Jack Hogenauer and give the Bucks a 7-6 eight-inning victory over visiting Downingtown West in Monday’s opening round of the District One Class 6A tournament.

“It’s probably the biggest hit of my career,” said Zentmayer, a senior. “It was really exciting.

“I didn’t get that many ABs early in the season so I was really pumped to be able to play here. It was such a pressure situation but I tried to just keep calm and focus on just getting a single.”

Zentmayer was hampered by shoulder surgery, and was used as a pinch hitter and courtesy runner until becoming the DH just last week. He will play baseball at Penn State Harrisburg next season, where he will be a business major.

Downingtown West, the 19th seed, took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when the first batter of the game, Dalton Downie, reached on an error then scored when the second batter, Jay Slater, sent the ball sailing over the left field fence for a two-run homer.

CB West, the tourney’s 14th seed, tied it in the bottom of the first on a two-run double by Will Hogenauer, then took the lead when Matt Carr drew a walk with the bases loaded.

In the second inning, Will Hogenauer had an RBI single and Quinn Illig was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give the Bucks a 5-2 lead.

The Whippets cranked out four runs in the fourth inning to recapture the lead on a combination of five hits and a defensive miscue by the Bucks.

The Bucks scored the tying run in the sixth when Sam Greer got caught in a rundown but beat the throw home.

CB West pitcher Alex Jenkinson, who came on in the fourth in relief of starter Julio Ermigiotti, gave up just two hits in the final three frames.

That set up Zentmayer’s extra-inning heroics.

The Bucks had self-induced struggles, committing five errors in the infield.

“We’re the only ones getting in our way right now,” Zentmayer said. “We have to get it together and just play our game.”

Ermigiotti gave up all six of Downingtown’s runs but in his defense, he was on the mound for four of West’s miscues. He surrendered five hits and one walk while striking out two.

“This game was so important because it could have either been our last home game or the beginning of a ride in the playoffs,” said Ermigiotti, a senior. “You’ve got to go out there and give it everything you have and that’s what we did.

“They scored early but I knew the way we’ve been swinging the bats that we’d put some runs up and I knew that I had to go back out there and pitch, so I didn’t let it get to me. I just went back out there and threw one pitch at a time.

“Honestly, it’s pretty difficult to keep your focus once they have the lead, but you have to. You just have to go out there and not think about it because if you’re thinking about it, it will get you in the end.”

A member of the National Honor Society, he will play baseball and major in computer science at Lehigh.

Jenkinson scattered six hits and fanned four.

“I didn’t really feel any pressure,” said Jenkinson, a senior. “I know what I have to do. My job is to throw strikes and put the ball in play. If I put the ball in play, I trust the boys to make the plays.

“We didn’t know much about Downingtown but I do know that when we play our game, not many teams can beat us so for me, I thought we just needed to do what we do and not worry about them.

“We’ve got resilient guys on this team. We fell behind a couple of times, but we always felt that we could come back.”

Jenkinson, primarily a reliever, has a 3-0 record and has not allowed a run in 24 innings. He will play baseball at Haverford College where he plans to be a mathematical economics major.

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