Downingtown East taken out by Williamsport in state playoff opener

(4-1) Williamsport 4, (1-4) Downingtown East 1 – The Cougars (18-7) fell behind 4-0 after two innings and never recovered in suffering the season-ending loss in the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs Monday at Central Columbia High School.

Brayton Rowello and Cody Shimp belted two-run homers in the first and second innings, respectively, off D-East ace Hutch Gagnon to help give the Millionaires (13-6) their first state playoff win since 2002.

D-East had its chances, coming up empty in the fifth and sixth innings after getting its first two men aboard in both frames. Will Vincent’s RBI-groundout in the seventh, which plated Matt Szepanski (double), broke up the shutout but was too little, too late for the Cougars – who ended the season with three straight losses.

Mike Rodriguez keyed the D-East five-hit attack with a pair of singles.

Williamsport moves on to play District 1 champion Bensalem(1-0 winner over 11-2 Parkland) in the state quarterfinals Thursday at a site and time to be determined.

D-East                   000 000 1 – 1-5-0
Williamsport         220 000 x – 4-6-1
WP-Tanner Esposito (8-1). LP-Hutch Gagnon. 2B-Szepanski (DE), Brown (W), Shimp (W). HR-Rowello (W), Shimp (W)
D-East: Mike Rodriguez 2-4; Matt Szepanski 1-2, 2B, R; Will Vincent RBI
Williamsport: Quentin Brown 2-3, 2B, R; Brayton Rowello 2-3, HR, 2 RBI; Cody Shimp 2-2, HR, 2B, 2 RBI
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