SPRINGFIELD >> The last time a team other than Archbishop Wood won the District 12 title, none of the Vikings’ current players were even in high school.
Thursday afternoon they took care of business once again, beating Franklin Towne Charter in the District 12-5A final 11-0 in five innings to clinching their fourth straight district title.
“This is four years in a row now and it’s always good to win this thing,” said Archbishop Wood head coach Jim DiGuiseppe Jr. “It’s a culmination of the whole year and the entire body of work we’ve had this whole season. I’m happy for the kids, I’m happy for the staff and four district championships in a row is really a testament to the program as a whole.”
This one was never really in doubt for Wood.
In the first, the Vikings managed to get a run across on a hard-hit double by Mike Ferrara that landed over the center fielder’s head and rolled to the wall.
Then, in the second, their offense exploded for nine runs on eight hits as they chased Franklin Towne starter Edgardo Correa from the game before recording an out in the frame and never looked back.
“Their pitcher was trying to work ahead and I thought we did a real nice job of attacking the baseball,” said DiGuiseppe Jr. “We benefited from some miscues on their part in the field but in that second inning especially we were aggressive at the plate and hit everything from fastballs to curveballs and even his changeup.”
That aggressive approach at the plate led to an explosive offensive afternoon, but Wood did not really need it the way its pitching staff was handling the opposing hitters.
Sean Hughes and Bryce Stock combined to throw five innings of one-hit ball and kept Franklin Towne off balance in almost every at-bat.
Hughes, who started the game, was impressive throughout and didn’t allow a hit while striking out five during his three innings pitched.
After Wood took an 11-0 lead, DiGuiseppe decided to get Hughes some rest and bring in Stock, who is just a sophomore.
Stock handled himself well, especially for not having much experience in districts, and closed the doors for his team to clinch the championship.
“I felt great and my bullpens were great leading up to this and I’ve been working with my pitching coach Matt McAllister and just felt good,” said Hughes. “It feels good to come out here and get a win and win districts and now we come back here on Monday again and get ready to go again.”
Now, the Vikings prepare for another familiar feeling, playing in the PIAA playoffs. In the first round Monday Wood faces District 1-5A third-place finisher Upper Moreland, which defeated Upper Merion 3-2 win in its last game.
“I think we’re in a pretty good place across the board,” said DiGuiseppe Jr. “We’ve been in this position before so now were just excited to represent our district and our school in the state tournament once again. I’m excited.”
ARCHBISHOP WOOD 11, FRANKLIN TOWNE CHARTER 0
Franklin Towne 0 0 0 0 0 – 0 1 3
Archbishop Wood 1 9 1 0 X – 11 11 1
WP: Sean Hughes (3IP, 0R, 0ER, 0H, 5K, 1BB, 0HBP).
LP: Edgardo Correa (1IP, 6R, 5ER, 6H, 0K, 2BB, 0HBP).
2B: Mike Ferrara (AW), Lew Meringo (AW), Antonio Rossillo (AW)