WEST CHESTER >> No matter how talented a pitcher a team has on the mound, the squad behind him has to make the plays in the field, or the arm will go to waste.
That was very evident Thursday afternoon at Bob Owens Field as Coatesville ace Adam Stauffer was bedeviled by five Red Raider errors and a sterling pitching performance from Henderson junior Brady Bash as the Warriors rolled to a 5-0 Ches-Mont National Division victory over the Red Raiders.
Bash allowed Coatesville (0-2 Ches-Mont, 0-2 overall) just three singles and struck out three batters in five and two thirds innings before Evan Spano came in in the sixth inning and finished up the Red Raiders for the save.
“I just tried to mix my pitches and my fastball was working good today and I was hitting my spots,” Bash said. “Pitching against a great pitcher like Adam I was keyed up and I knew I had to do well today. I played on the same team as him this summer and he is a real good teammate.”
West Chester Henderson (2-0, 2-1) broke through against Stauffer in the bottom of the third inning, aided by some shoddy Red Raider fielding. James Vito led off the inning with a sharp ground ball to shortstop that was booted, and then the throw to first went by the first baseman and Vito ended up on second. Ian Tracy then singled to left field, putting runners on second and third with no outs.
Stauffer is the Red Raiders’ ace for a reason, and he bore down and got Tom Caulfield and Zach Roberts to ground out to the left side of the infield, freezing both runners at their bases, making it look like the Coatesville senior was going to get out of the mess when he ran a two-strike count on Shane Angle. Angle, however, hit a fastball through the left side of the infield, scoring two Warrior runners and Henderson had a 2-0 advantage after three innings.
“We battled really hard at the plate,” Henderson coach Luke McNichol said. “And Shane did a great job getting that hit with two out and two strikes on him. We needed to get runs there.”
Bash was mowing through the Coatesville order, not allowing a hit until Dane Gross singled to right in the fourth inning, but trouble found the talented junior in the top of the fifth inning. Alex Curtiss led off the fifth by drawing a walk. Dylan Houck followed with a sharp single to left, putting runners on first and second with no one out. But Bash came back to strike out Dom Macolino and Jimmy Limper to get two outs, and then Brendan Reilly ended the threat with a ground ball to second base, and Bash was out of the jam, still holding a 2-0 edge.
“That trouble in the fourth inning, I just used a little more of my fastball and got my juices flowing,” Bash said. “I just trusted my defense and reared back and let the ball go. It was great to get out of that trouble.”
The Coatesville defense let Stauffer down again in the bottom of the fifth as the Warriors scored three runs on just one hit, a Jackson Ritthamel two-run single, and the Red Raiders helped the Henderson cause with two more costly errors, including a missed third strike that put Caulfield on first base after striking out.
“The hit Jackson got really was key,” Mc Nichol said. “He just went with the pitch and put the ball in play and they had the infield up and it just got over to the outfield. We fielded well today and they hit some balls right at us. Brady pitched well and I was pleased with the effort today.”
Bash found some more trouble in the sixth inning as he walked two Red Raider batters and McNichol went to the bullpen for Evan Spano, who ended the Coatesville threat by getting Curtiss to ground out to third. Spano worked a one, two, three seventh inning and Henderson had a big early season win as Coatesville dropped its second straight.
“You have to field the baseball and make the routine plays,” Coatesville coach Hal Ziegler said. “And we just didn’t hit again so we have to dig down and turn this thing around.”
W.C. Henderson 5, Coatesville 0
COAT ab r h bi HEND ab r h bi
Reilly dh 3 0 0 0 Tracy lf 4 2 2 0
Carras ss 2 0 0 0 Caulfield ss 4 1 1 0
Rigby ph 1 0 0 0 Roberts rf 3 1 1 0
Valenta rf 3 0 1 0 Angle dh 3 0 1 2
Gross lf 2 0 1 0 Ritthml 3b 2 0 1 2
Lopresti c 2 0 0 0 Cappelli cf 3 0 0 0
Curtiss 3b 2 0 0 0 Bash p 2 0 0 0
Houck cf 1 0 1 0 Gray 2b 1 1 0 0
Thompson cf 1 0 0 0 Vito c 3 0 0 0
McLaughlin 2b 1 0 0
Limper ph 1 0 0 0
Valentino ph 1 0 0 0
Totals 23 0 3 0 Totals 29 5 6 4
Coatesville 000 000 0 — 0
W.C. Henderson 002 030 x — 5
No extra base hits.
IP H R BB SO
Stauffer, L 4.1 4 5 1 5
Nelson 1.2 2 0 0 1
Bash, W 5.2 3 0 4 3
Spano 1.1 0 0 0 2