Gov. Mifflin routs Exeter in Berks I baseball matchup

Apr. 12—Gov. Mifflin got off to a hot start and kept its foot on the gas Friday night at Shillington, as the Mustangs defeated Exeter 10-0 in five innings in a Berks Baseball League Division I matchup.

Holding a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, Bryce Detwiler hit a grand slam to left field with no outs off of Eagles starting pitcher Chase Blew to shift the momentum in Gov. Mifflin's favor for good. The grand slam was Detwiler's second of the season, as the junior hit his first on March 22 in a 6-0 victory over Hempfield.

"He started me off with a curve ball but I knew he had to come back to a fastball," Detwiler said. "Then it was right in my hot zone and I just put a good swing on it.

"Good pitching and good defense leads to offense. R.J. (Weaver) threw a great game on the mound, and just playing behind him, I have a lot of confidence when he's throwing strikes and getting ground balls.

"It's an amazing experience getting a win like this with my teammates. It's awesome to know that we can score runs with our foot on the gas pedal and then ease off with a relatively big lead."

As Detwiler alluded, sophomore R.J. Weaver was solid on the mound for the Mustangs (3-1, 6-1), as the right-hander had four strikeouts over five innings of work while earning the win. He allowed just three hits and struck out two batters in the second inning and two in the third.

"R.J. did a fantastic job and he's a sophomore out there — changing speeds all game, keeping them off balanced and staying composed," Gov. Mifflin coach Chris Hole said. "I think he only threw 67 pitches in five innings so I'm very proud of him and very proud of everybody."

Detwiler helped Gov. Mifflin grab an early lead in the first inning, as the shortstop hit a triple and then scored moments later on a ground out to first by Joey Berg.

Fellow junior Ethan Grim hit a double in the next at-bat, before junior Matt Koehler hit an RBI triple to right field to score Grim. Grim finished 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored. Koehler was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs.

In addition to his extra base hits, Detwiler also reached base on an error and a walk later in the game and he finished 2-for-3. Weaver, Dante Casantini and Bryce Wunderlich all scored on Detwiler's grand slam.

"Bryce is just such a talented young man," Hole said, "But he works so hard in everything that he does. He hits best when he lets the game come to him. A lot of times with pitchers he's gonna see a lot of junk and he's got to be patient at the plate to get a pitch to hit. He was able to do that tonight in several at-bats and the results speak for themselves."

The Mustangs added to their lead in the bottom of the third when junior William Angstadt hit an RBI single, and in the fourth, Koehler hit an RBI single as well.

Gov. Mifflin ended the game on the mercy rule in the fifth inning when junior Travis Jenkins hit a two-run double off of pitcher Carter Redding. The Mustangs finished the game with 10 hits and no errors.

"I'm really proud of the boys," Hole said. "We definitely did not play our best baseball in our other two games (earlier) this week. Tonight, we got out of the first inning 1-2-3 and it's always important to get off to a good start. And then we got guys on base and got some timely hits.

"I think the boys relaxed tonight and we put some really good swings on the ball."

Luke Giering was 2-for-2 with two singles for Exeter. The Eagles (2-1, 5-2) committed two errors in the game.

"We had an opportunity to beat a good Berks I team," Exeter coach Justin Freese said. "We got down six early on and it's tough to battle back against a team that's real good.

"We'll bounce back and work on the little things. Putting the ball in play and making routine plays in the field. Tonight, we didn't do a lot of that and this is what happens."

For Hole, playing an error-free game backed by standout performances on both offense and defense is a welcomed sign of good things to come. Friday's win is Gov. Mifflin's fifth straight.

"We are searching for consistency," Hole said. "We had a legitimate two week layoff over that rainy period around Easter, and that affected us. We definitely had to brush off some rust, and it took us until today to look like a better version of ourselves.

"I'm proud of where we're at, but we still need to get better. You always need to improve. Tonight, we were able to put a goose egg up for errors, which was big. We didn't do that the other two games this week. So when you get quality pitching and you don't make errors, you're gonna be very competitive and win a lot of baseball games."