LOWER GWYNEDD >> Wissahickon pounded out 11 hits, including a season-high five doubles, in slugging its way to a 7-2 victory over Springfield-Montco Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s about time the bats come awake,” said Wiss shortstop Matt Shilling, who went 2-for-3 in the No. 3 spot. “I’m just happy we’re hitting the ball. The bottom of the order is coming through now.”
Six different Trojans contributed hits and seven reached home in helping Wiss win its second straight, lifting its Suburban One League American Conference record to 5-4.
“I think we had really productive at-bats,” said Trojans coach John Bernhardt, who saw his team score runs in each of the first three innings. “We knocked the guy out by the sixth inning again, got his pitch-count up, and the guys just did a great job.”
The Trojans jumped out to an early lead against lefty Noel Franczyk and never let the Spartans catch up.
Shilling hit a two-out single to right then scored on a double down the right-field line by Trey France to even things at one apiece in the bottom of the first.
Wiss went ahead for good in the second, a hard-hit grounder by Eddie Fortescue scoring Michael Steitz — Fortescue would reach on an error — and then an RBI single to right by Mike Schoenleber pushing it to 3-1.
The Trojans then pulled away in their next at-bat. Wiss started the frame with back-to-back doubles — Alex Tappen followed by Shilling — to make it a 4-2 Trojan lead.
“I just tried to do simple stuff — drive it to the opposite field and just get on base any way I can,” said Shilling, who drove in a run and scored twice. “I feel like everything’s starting to click. I just feel like it’s gonna be a good year.”
A single by Steven Loden pushed another run across and Michael Steitz’s textbook sacrifice bunt scored Loden, widening the margin to 6-2 in the third.
Wiss added one more run in the fifth, on the final double of the day, this one to right center by Andrew Steitz.
“We really haven’t been hitting for that much power,” Bernhardt said. “We’ll have maybe one double usually. But the guys are seeing the ball really well and having quality at-bats, which is great.
“Two in a row, and that’s definitely something to build off but we have a big one (Thursday at Upper Dublin).”
With all of the hitting that the Trojans were doing on this cold, windy day at Wiss, it was right-hander Trey France who did not allow the Spartans to counter.
“Trey struggled a little bit in the first two innings but he really settled down,” Bernhardt said of his starter, who struck out nine in the victory, as Wiss aims to stay on pace for a District 1-5A playoff berth. “He was great through the rest of it. He battled, all the way through it.
“We’re getting there. We’re definitely getting there. We had an awful week two weeks ago where we dropped four straight games but now we’re picking it up. The intensity and energy’s been great. The guys’ confidence is there so we just gotta keep building off it.”
Springfield-Montco took an early 1-0 lead with three hits in the first, a bloop single by Franczyk driving one in, and then came within 3-2 in the third when Franczyk singled again and came around to score on a wild pitch.
But after that it was all Wiss.
“We started out well but now we hit a wall,” said Spartans coach Dennis Primavera, whose team dropped to 3-6 in the conference but looks to rally back, keeping its eyes on a spot in the District 1-4A playoffs. “It’s tough to play baseball when you make errors and you get good pitching half the time. We can’t make mistakes and we have to keep plugging.
“We need to turn it around, get a few wins in by the end of the season or we’re not gonna be in the playoffs. We play at PW (Thursday) and they’re all gonna be important.”
Top Photo: Springfield pitcher Noel Franczyk tags Wissahickon runner Michael Steitz who laid down a bunt during their game on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)