By Steven M. Glassman
Director of Sports Information
March 29, 2018
JENKINTOWN, PA—Montgomery County Community College (3-3 Overall, 1-0 Region XIX Division III, 1-0 EPAC) sophomore catcher Will Brownlowe collected two hits, two runs, two RBI, and two stolen bases as the Mustangs defeated Manor College (1-2, 1-2, 0-1) in the Blue Jays' first home opener in school history, 7-5.
Manor College Director of Athletics John Dempster threw out the ceremonial first pitch to freshman catcher Abimael Mercado (Philadelphia, PA/Juan Ponce De Leon [PR]) before the start of the game.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Romero (Philadelphia, PA/Frankford) threw the school's first home pitch for a ball to Montgomery County freshman center fielder Ron Faunsaught at 3:23 p.m. The Mustangs opened up the scoring with two runs in the first inning on consecutive one-out RBI singles by Brownlove (scoring Faunsaught) and freshman right fielder Noah Ruiz (scoring Brownlowe). However, the inning ended on an infield fly rule unassisted double play by Blue Jay third baseman Gilberto Reyes (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast) as he tagged Ruiz trying to advance from second to third on the play. Manor freshman center fielder Abdur-Rauf Mujahid's (Philadelphia, PA/Boys Latin) took the school's first home pitch for a ball from sophomore starting pitcher Paul Mudrick. Romero was the first Blue Jay to reach base on a one-out single to right in the bottom of the first.
Montgomery County would put baserunners on in the second and third innings, but, the Manor defense turned double plays to stop both rallies. Romero doubled off freshman first baseman Tyler Groff off of second base on a Mudrick's pop-up bunt in the second inning. Freshman infielders, shortstop Nicholas Herrera (Philadelphia, PA/Frankford), second baseman Sauriel Baez (Philadelphia, PA/Esperanza Charter), and first baseman Hector Morales turned an inning-ending ground ball double play off the bat of Brownlove to end the third.
The Blue Jays cut the Mustangs lead in half, 2-1, in the bottom of the third. Freshman right fielder Courtney Maddox-Kent (Philadelphia, PA/Edison) led off with an infield single to Mudrick and advanced to second on Mudrick's throwing error. Maddox-Kent advanced to third on Mujahid's ground out with one out to freshman second baseman Matt Ahmad. Romero singled past freshman shortstop Luke Deleo to score Maddox-Kent.
Montgomery County expanded its lead with a four-run fourth inning. Faunsaught reached on a bunt fielder's choice to Romero, stole second, and scored on Brownlowe's RBI single to Mujahid with one out. Freshman left fielder Logan Curley was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on Brownlowe's single, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Manor error. Brownlowe singled, stole second, advanced to third on a Manor error, and scored on freshman right fielder Noah Ruiz' infield RBI single with one out. Montgomery County's rally was thwarted by a Manor defensive play at home plate. Ahmad doubled to center. Mujahid threw to Herrera. Herrera then threw to Mercado, who applied the tag on Deleo for the second out. Altogether, the Mustangs sent eight hitters and led 6-1 going into the bottom of the fifth.
The Blue Jays scored twice in the bottom of the fifth. Maddox-Kent reached second with one out on a fielder's choice to Mudrick and an Ahmed throwing error on the double play attempt. Maddox-Kent scored on Romero's double to left with two out. Romero scored on Baez' single to right. Montgomery County led 6-3 after five innings.
Manor got within 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh. Freshman left fielder Trevor Schmanek (Philadelphia, PA/St. Joseph's Prep) led off with a walk off of Mustangs relief pitcher Devon Crossin. Mujahid reached on an infield single to Deleo with one out. On the play, Deleo committed a throwing a throwing error which advanced Mujahid to second and Schmanek to third. Romero walked to load the bases and Baez followed with a single to center that scored Schmanek. However, the rally was halted on an inning-ending ground ball double play.
Montgomery County added an unearned run in the top of the ninth. Curley's single to left scored freshman pinch-runner Jaden Rogers with two out. In the bottom of the ninth, Romero singled to right with one out and stole second. Freshman first baseman Hector Morales (Philadelphia, PA/Esperanza Charter) singled to center to score Romero with two, but, sophomore relief pitcher Aaron Benner retired the next hitter at 6:24 p.m. to end the game.
Batting Leaders: Romero collected four hits (including a double), scored twice, knocked in two runs, and stole two bases. Baez contributed two hits, two RBI, and stole a base. Morales added two hits, knocked in a run, and stole a base. Maddox-Kent scored twice. Manor outhit Montgomery County 11 to nine.
Faunsaught contributed two hits, scored twice, and stole three bases for the Mustangs. Ruiz added two hits. Ahmed knocked in two runs.
Pitching Leaders: Starting pitcher Romero (0-1) took the loss for Manor.
Mudrick (2-1) threw five innings for the victory for Montgomery County. Benner who started the game at third base, pitched the final two innings, striking out three, and collected his first collegiate save.
Next Game: Manor host the NJCAA Region XIX and EPAC Division III Luzerne County Community College Trailblazers (1-9, 1-5 Region XIX Division III, 1-1, EPAC) on Saturday, March 31 at 1:00 p.m. at the Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.