Kania leads Cambridge to victory in return from injury

Apr. 27—CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Cambridge Springs bested PENNCREST rival Maplewood 5-3 on its home field in a Region 3 battle on Friday.

The Blue Devils opened the game hot. Preston Gorton reached first base on a dropped third strike then was brought home thanks to an Owen Riley double to deep center field. Josh Gorton drilled a sacrifice fly to left field to score Riley and push Spa ahead 2-0 after the first inning.

"I think it's (offense) been our mindset at practice this week. We've focused a lot on batting," Cambridge Springs head coach Eugene Pabon. "At both practices this week we did nothing but batting only. Defensively we've been doing well, but our batting has struggled. This week it came alive."

Maplewood answered with a three-run third inning to take the lead. Back-to-back errors from the Cambridge Springs defense allowed AJ Proper to get the Tigers on the board.

After a Levi Willison walk, Chase Koelle hit a hard grounder for an RBI single, which welcomed Jacob Woge across home plate. Koelle scored later in the inning thanks to another Cambridge Springs error.

"Early in the game both teams I thought played hard and battled match-for-match," Maplewood head coach Ken Smock said. "I thought both pitchers played well too."

Cambridge answered in the bottom of the inning. Josh Gorton reached first on an error before stealing second and third base. He scored on a Maplewood error to tie the game at 3.

From that point, runs were tough to come by. Maplewood couldn't add to its run total with Cambridge ace Brett Kania back in the lineup.

"This was our first game back with Brett Kania," Pabon said. "To get him back from his injury, he's been out for about a month, it was good to get him back and be able to give us a spark to get that win."

Kania fanned six batters in five innings. He allowed four hits and no earned runs. The sophomore made his presence felt on offense too. He drilled a two-RBI single to center field that allowed Preston Gorton and Riley to come home and push the Blue Devils ahead 5-3.

"Kania is obviously a good pitcher. He's been dealing with some injuries, but he is a competitor and he held us in check," Smock said. "We hit the fast ball okay today and we've been tattooing it lately. We hit a lot of balls, but it was one of those games where you hit it right at people. My team battled, we just came up a little short."

Cambridge out-hit Maplewood 6-4 while the Tigers had two more errors than Cambridge.

"I think there was a few times that we had some miscues. We had an overthrown ball at first base on a pickoff that led to two runs with the runner getting on," Smock said. "After that there was another passed ball. There were some miscues."

Cambridge was led on offense by Preston Gorton and Riley, who each scored two runs. Riley had the team's only extra base hit.

On the mound, Quinn Simmerman pitched two innings in relief and allowed no hits and no walks with one strikeout.

The Blue Devils are 5-5 in region action and 5-6 overall. They are scheduled to play at Saegertown on Monday.

"We have confidence going forward," Pabon said. "This team is starting to peak at the right time. In the second half of the season we have to show what we can do and try to get this team in the playoffs."

Maplewood got two hits and a double from Landyn Reynolds, who struck out seven batters in six innings. Reynolds had two earned runs and allowed six hits.

The Tigers are scheduled to play at Union City on Monday. Maplewood is 8-4 in Region 3 play and 8-6 overall.


Maplewood (3)

(AB-R-H-BI) Reynolds 4-0-2-0, Proper 3-1-0-0, Woge 3-1-0-0, Willison 3-0-0-0, Koelle 4-1-1-1, Hiroksy 4-0-1-0, Jordan 3-0-0-0, Beuchat 1-0-0-0, Potosky 3-0-0-0. Totals 28-3-4-1.

Cambridge Springs (5)

(AB-R-H-BI) P. Gorton 4-2-1-0, Riley 3-2-1-1, J. Gorton 2-1-0-1, Kania 3-0-1-2, Ross 3-0-1-0, Simmerman 3-0-1-0, Mazzadra 3-0-1-0, Doubet 3-0-0-0, Schmidt 2-0-0-0. Totals 26-5-6-4.

Maplewood 003 000 0 — 3 4 6

Cambridge Springs 201 020 x — 5 6 4


2B: M — Reynolds; CS — Riley.


(IP-H-R-ER-SO-BB) M — Reynolds 6-6-5-2-7-0; CS — Kania 5-4-3-0-6-3, Simmerman 2-0-0-0-1-0.

Alex Topor can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at