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Pennsbury rallies past Gagnon, Downingtown East in district quarterfinals

FAIRLESS HILLS  – Downingtown East’s Hutch Gagnon carried a no-hitter and four-run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning Friday in the District 1-6A semifinals at Pennsbury.
 
But after yielding a single to Ryan MaCarty and a walk that ran his pitch count to 95 – five short of the PIAA mandated 100-pitch limit – the ace right-hander was removed for reliever Scott Jewett.
 
Host Pennsbury proceeded to rally off Jewett and subsequent reliever Josh Domeier, getting a walk-off RBI-single from McCarty in a stunning 5-4 decision that sends the 12th-seeded Cougars into the playback round, needing two wins to earn a state playoff berth starting with a Tuesday date at (4) Spring-Ford.
 
The Falcons’ rally erased a solid effort by D-East and Gannon, who struck out seven and walked four in six innings of work.
 
Connor Munnelly belted a three-run home run in the fifth inning and Mike Rodriguez added an RBI-single in the sixth to stake the Cougars to the 4-0 edge.
 
But it all went up in smoke as Pennsbury, which clinched a PIAA berth and spot in the district semifinals Tuesday with (8) Neshaminy, came back on RJ Huth’s bases-loaded walk, a two-run single by Vaughn Ward, a wild pitch that scored one run and the clutch hit from McCarty, who finished with a pair of singles in the decisive frame.
 
(4) Pennsbury 5, (12) Downingtown East 4
D-East            000 031 0 – 4-9-2
Pennsbury     000 000 5 – 5-3-1
WP-Ostrowsky. LP-Domeier. 2B-Kelsey Launi (DE). HR-Munnelly (DE)
D-East top hitters: Munnelly 3-run HR; Danny Amicon 2-3; Austin Taylor 2-3; Mike Rodriguez 1-3, RBI, R
Pennsbury top hitters: McCarty 2-4, R, game-winning RBI-single; Ward 2-run single
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