AMBLER>> Location is everything when you’re pitching. Some guys can get by with velocity or movement, but in order to really elevate your game you need to be able to spot your pitches.
Monday afternoon, Wissahickon ace Logan Willans did just that as he led the Trojans to a 9-2 win over SOL American foe Upper Dublin.
“His (Willans’) last two starts he was actually getting hit around a little bit but in a must-win game like this you have to go to your guy and he absolutely showed up,’ said Wissahickon manager John Bernhardt. “He absolutely pounded the zone which was key and then he trusted his stuff to get guys out and he was really great today.’
Willans wasted no time getting into a grove. The senior pitcher struck out the side in the first inning and then two more Upper Dublin hitters in the second.
He was able to pound the strike zone with his fastball early in the count and get ahead of hitters. Then, once he had the count in his favor, he would drop a curveball in the zone or bust a cutter in on a hitters’ hands for the punch-out.
The Cardinals, a team with talented hitters like Justin Horn and Max Weinberg, were off balance all afternoon and never really looked comfortable at the plate.
After everything was said and done Willans finished with 6 innings pitched and allowed just 2 runs on 3 hits while striking out an unbelievable 13 batters.
“I felt good because I was able to command early,’ said Willans. “I had been giving up hits recently because I was falling behind in the count and I just wanted to go out there and throw strike one which I was able to do. That curve helped me keep guys off balance because I could throw it when I wanted.’
While Willans was busy mowing down batters, the Trojans offense was also having themselves a great afternoon.
After being held scoreless in the opening inning, they exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the second and never looked back.
They forced the bases loaded after two walks and an error, then a bases loaded walk and a two-run double from Alex Tappen broke the game open and led to Upper Dublin starter Ryan Besachio getting the hook after just one inning.
Besachio struggled with his command, but the defense behind him wasn’t doing him any favors either, something that the Cardinals know they’ll have to clean up if they want to compete for a league crown again this year.
“Ryan (Besachio) has been doing a good job for us this season but the whole staff in general needs to just be a little more consistent,’ said Upper Dublin manager Ed Wall. “We’re a team that can’t afford to give anyone a base, yet alone a run, so we need to be able to play sound defense too and if we were able to do that today it would have kept them at bay quite a bit more.”
Eventually the Cardinals were able to get to Willans but it was too little too late. Justin Horn hit a long two-run triple off the ace in the top of the 6th, but with the team trailing 9-0 at the time it wasn’t enough to bring them back as Wissahickon closed out a convincing win over a rival team.
“Last year I pitched against them and we lost 2-1,’’ said Willans “It’s always great winning but when you can beat a rival like Upper Dublin it’s that much sweeter.’
Upper Dublin 2
Upper Dublin 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 – 2 3 4
Wissahickon 0 7 2 0 0 0 X – 9 9 1
WP: Logan Willan (6IP, 2R, 2ER, 3H, 13K, 2BB, 0HBP).
LP: Ryan Besachio (1IP, 5R, 4ER, 4H, 2K, 3BB, 0HBP).
2B: Tommy Reilly (UD), Alex Tappen (W), Matt Schilling (W)
3B: Justin Horn (UD)
Multiple hits: Matt Schilling (W) 3-for-4, 1RBI, Trey France (W) 3-for-4, 2 RBI.