They got as close as they could without getting the gold. The Kutztown High baseball made it all the way to the Berks League championship game last Wednesday, May 15. But they ran into Oley Valley pitcher Nick Distasio who held the Cougars to just three hits in a 5-0 Oley win.
It was a battle of two smaller schools at First Energy Field in Reading. Oley advanced to the championship game with wins over Twin Valley and Hamburg, while Kutztown defeated Division 1 powerhouses Exeter and Wilson.
But the Kutztown bats were silenced by Pelko who walked just one in the title game while pitching a complete game.
Senior Brad Miller had all three of Kutztown’s hits.
The game was scoreless until Oley scored twice in the bottom of the fourth. They added three more insurance runs in the sixth, but as it turned out, they didn’t need them.
What made Kutztown’s trek to the championship game even more incredible is that they were the eighth-seeded team in the eight team tournament. As the eighth seed, the Cougars had to go up against top-seeded Exeter in the quarterfinal round.
Nobody was intiminated by the Eagles, espeically Kutztown pitcher Andrew Gernert who fired a no-hitter to lead his team to a 4-0 victory over the Eagles.
In addition to his no-no, Gernert helped his own cause with three hits, two runs scored and one RBI.
Next was Wilson, the second place finisher in Division 1. Once again the Cougars got another strong pitching performance from Gernert in a 2-1 Kutztown victory.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the top of the seventh, Kutztown freshman Kyle Hartman doubled home Austin Isamoyer for the go ahead run. Gernert shut the door in the bottom of the seventh to give the Cougars the victory and a berth in the championship game.
The Bulldogs took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first. But Kutztown tied the game in the third when Gernert singled and eventually scored on an error.
Gernert fired a complete game, allowing one run on seven hits and two walks while fanning two.