Unionville wins frosty opener, 9-8

Extra-inning walk gives Indians win; both teams struggle with conditions

Unionville's Drew Deihl dives back into first on a pick off play.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — March baseball in the Northeast is an iffy proposition at best, but Saturday’s frigid, windy conditions combined with a 10:30 a.m. start time, made Unionville High School’s baseball season opener less a work of art than a battle of surviving the elements.

After scoring seven runs in the first inning, the Indians persevered to win a wild extra-inning marathon contest, 9-8, over Garnet Valley, punctuated by a bit of sloppy play by both teams.

Pitcher Tyler Fries struggled a bit in his first start of the season.

With bright sunshine — the sun proved a major challenge to left fielders and third basemen in the early portion of the game, causing a number of misadventures in the field — and temperatures in the low 30s at first pitch, the elements seemed to impact the game from the start. Senior Tyler Fries struggled in the first inning and surrendered three runs to Jaguars, appearing to have some trouble locating his breaking stuff, although at least two of the runs were unearned, as a pair of errors extended the inning.

Unionville's Matt Christopher follows his foul ball into the bundled crowd along the third-base line, Saturday morning.

Those struggles were quickly forgotten after Unionville sent 12 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, battering Garnet Valley for seven runs, keyed by a number of big hits, including a series of two-out hits to extend the rally.

After the first inning, the game was delayed for nearly a half hour, as a wet spot between first and second base in the infield needed work before the umpires would allow the game to continue.

After the break, with the Indians up 7-3, both teams appeared to settle down, but the Jags began to chip away at the lead, touching Fries for three more runs in the third.

The Indians open their Ches-Mont American Division season Wednesday, hosting arch-rival Kennett.


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