BOYERTOWN — Norchester’s best opportunity to get back into Tuesday night’s Region 2 Tournament clash with Souderton was snuffed out by a hard-throwing Jacob Horton.
“I just had to buckle down,” the right-hander said, “because I knew if they got more motivation and energy by scoring, it would have been a different game. I just buckled down and got it done.”
The Bulldogs had pushed a run across to get within 3-1 and had the bases loaded with just one out. But Horton recorded back-to-back strikeouts — he would have nine on the evening — to end the threat and keep Post 234 firmly in front.
“Horton was tremendous,” coach Paul Meara said.
The right-hander went five and two-thirds innings, allowing just one run off of eight hits while striking out nine and walking none to power Souderton to a 4-1 win over Norchester.
The win sent Souderton into Wednesday night’s 5 p.m. final with South Parkland.
Horton kept the Bulldogs blanked all the way into the fifth, as Souderton built its 3-0 lead.
“I came with the fastball because my fastball was spotting really nice,” he said. “And then I caught them off guard with my curveball sometimes. So that just kept them off balance.”
Souderton’s offense was keyed by Frank Pollock’s two RBIs. Post 234 got its offense going this time around after being shut out by Norchester 3-0 in the first meeting between the two, earlier in the tournament.
“They don’t make mistakes,” Meara said of what he took away from the first matchup. “They bunt the ball around, move runners. They play good defense and they’re well coached.”
Souderton pounded out eight timely hits and rode Horton deep into the night. It was the longest he went all season, and he needed just six pitches to get two outs in the sixth.
On came Conlan Wall, who closed things out. Aaron Groller and David Gulibon are available to throw for Souderton Wednesday and Wall would close things out again.
“With 18 games in 21 days, we’ve had to pitch smart,” Meara said. “No one goes more than 60 (pitches).”
Norchester kept battling until the end Tuesday night but Horton and Souderton were prepared.
Said Horton: “They’re tough and they rally wanna fight hard. We just had to get in their heads and win the game.”