WEST LAWN >> Truth be told, Darrien Mogel had no interest in pitching Monday night.
Yet when the time came, the West Lawn right-hander was fully prepared.
Mogel turned in a solid pitching outing in the second game of the Berks County League’s Championship round, delivering the Owls to a 6-0 win over Daniel Boone for their first league title since 2015.
Daniel Boone, the East Division’s No. 3 seed, upset the top-seeded Owls with a 7-3 win in the opener to force the nightcap.
“That was the plan — if there was a second game I’d be pitching,” Mogel said afterward. “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to come in. I was hoping we could get it done in that first game.
“But we came out and got it done in the second game.”
With the win, West Lawn advances to the Pennsylvania Region 2 Tournament at Muhlenberg. The Owls will open up against the Bux-Mont League champ on Friday, July 20. It will be the Owls’ second straight trip to the regional tournament, which they hosted last year. Prior to that, their last trip to regionals came when they won the Berks title in 2015.
West Lawn spotted Mogel all the support he’d need with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
With runners on first and second, Connor Uhrig drove a line drive into right to plate Nick Sklenarik. Brady Gibble then scored from third base on a wild pitch before Jaden Himmelreich grounded into a fielder’s choice to plate Uhrig and make it 3-0.
Mogel brought a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Tim Richard broke it up with a single to left. The right-hander pitched into the sixth inning, leaving the game with two out and runners on first and second before Himmelreich induced a fly-out to center to end Boone’s most substantial threat. Mogel let up two hits and walked two to go along with three strikeouts in his outing.
West Lawn added some insurance in the top of the fifth, highlighted by Tucker Sanders’ two-run double to the gap in right-center to make it 6-0.
Mike Bishop was a bright spot for Boone pitching in relief. He lasted 5-1/3 innings and was tagged for three runs on three hits and three walks. Richard finished 2-for-3 with a double.
Following the loss, first-year Daniel Boone head coach Bruce Uba couldn’t help but to take a second and reflect on his team’s achievements.
“Our guys came here to win,” he said. “We were the underdogs through much of this tournament, but our guys came in and played well the whole way.
“It was a fun year. We’ll get the majority of our guys back for next year, so hopefully we’ll have a full team.”
* * *In the opener, Daniel Boone handed West Lawn its first loss against a Berks League opponent since the championship qualifier round of last season’s league playoffs.
The Mavriks scored all seven of their runs during a two-run rally in the top of the third. Boone racked up six of their nine hits in the frame, which featured 11 batters.
Third baseman Carson Zuber (2-for-4) led off the frame with an infield single to short, then came around a few batters later on Jeb Kurtz’s two-out single to left.
After Brett Goodrich worked a walk, Tim Richard lofted a flare into left to score Matt Stevens and Kurtz.
Josh Piccaretta then followed with an RBI single into right before Nick Barndt sent a hard grounder in between short and third to make it 5-0.
Zuber then finished off what he started with a two-run double to the gap in left-center, plating Piccarreta and Barndt to make it a 7-0 lead.
That gave Boone starter Joey Williams all the advantage he’d need.
The right-hander brought a no-hitter into the fourth inning before West Lawn answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half.
With runners on first and second, Owls’ second baseman Preston Kauffman sent a hard shot back up the middle to score Darrien Mogel. A batter later, leadoff man Dalton Emerich landed a single into right to score Hunter Riegel from second and make it 7-2.
Williams was tagged for another run in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Himmelreich hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to left field to plate Gibble.
After Mogel worked a five-pitch walk, Barndt took over pitching duties and struck out the first two batters he faced, stranding the bases loaded.
For the game, Williams was credited with three earned runs on three hits and nine walks with a strikeout. Barndt pitched the final 2-2/3 innings where he allowed a hit and two walks and struck out three. The pair stranded 13 runners on base.
Right fielder Chase Lacey, Kurtz and Zuber finished with two hits apiece while Richard had a pair of RBI.
West Lawn starter Brady Dallas took the loss, letting four runs cross in 2-2/3 innings on three hits and four walks. Emerich pitched the final 4-1/3 innings where he was tagged for six hits and struck out five.