Conditions work in Carroll’s favor in victory

UPPER DARBY — The way the game unfolded Bonner-Prendergast might have had a better chance of beating Archbishop Carroll by giving up its home game to play the contest in Radnor.

Early Wednesday, moving the game was a consideration due to challenging field conditions.

Instead the site remained unchanged and the Patriots capitalized on almost all of the weather-related breaks, and more in a 5-2 Catholic League victory over the Friars.

Max Frederick hurled six strong innings, allowing just four hits and two earned runs and five different players drove in runs for the Patriots (4-2, 1-0), who made several plays and benefitted from good fortune.

“It was just a great way to start the league season,’ Patriots coach Chris Dengler said. “And hopefully we can keep it rolling.’

Catcher Mike McCarthy gave the Patriots a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the second inning. In the bottom of the frame the veteran made a pivotal play as he tagged out Dan Goggin at the plate. Goggin was unable slide due to the rough, sticky surface.

“I knew it was going to be a close play,’ McCarthy said. “The umpire called him out. My guy gave me a good throw and I put a good tag on him. I gave the guy a fair line to the plate. As soon as I got it I blocked it up and tagged him and stayed with it. I wasn’t going to let that run score. I know how much momentum we would get out of that for our guys. I didn’t want them to score again.’

For the Friars (2-3, 0-2), who have been struggling to score runs, it was a punch in the gut. Goggin opened the inning with a double.

“It would have tied the game,’ Bonner-Prendergast coach Joe DeBarberie said. “I don’t know if we would have won the game, but momentum would have shifted at little bit. And it could have.’

In the third inning Friars starting pitcher Nick Bralcyzk, who didn’t seem to get the high strikes, looked like he would get out of a jam with a runner on third.

With two outs, Rich Melito popped the ball over the visiting dugout into foul territory. First baseman Christian DiGalbo hustled over to the fence and reached his glove for the third out. The ball hit a tree limb.

Melito followed with an RBI-single and Brian Schnell added a run-scoring single giving the Patriots a 3-0 bulge.

“You try to do little things like that to help win a ball game,’ Melito said. “I’m kind of fresh. I actually just got called up to varsity like a week and a half, two weeks ago. I was DHing. I just wanted to give the team a boost. I just put one in play and that gave us more momentum for the game.’

Bralczyk was gone when Nick Zambella drove in the fifth run with a triple. The ball rocketed toward deep left field, then stuck in the ground in front of the fielder who had to come to retrieve it.

“Not only did it plunk in, but it went actually into a hole that was already there,’ DeBarberie said. “When I saw that he couldn’t get it out I thought to myself, it’s just not our day.’

For the play to have been a ground-rule double, the issue would have had to have been agreed up before the game.

“We knew that on top of field conditions the wind was blowing in so we knew our outfielders had to play a little shallower than they’re used to,’ Dengler said. “And even our infielders were playing in. We had our third baseman playing on the cutout the entire game. That’s not typically something we do, but we knew the ground would eat up any ground ball that was hit. And it also kind of forced our pitcher Max to throw a lot more changeups than he’s used to, to get those ground balls. Give him a lot of credit. He didn’t have his best stuff and he still was good.’

The Friars tallied both of their runs on a weather-related play. DiGalbo’s shot to center field looked like it was heading for the school parking lot. But the wind blew it back almost to second base.

“We knew coming in that we were going to get some bad hops,’ Frederick said. “The outfield was very soupy. You could see that by the fly ball that got stuck in the ground. I think I had command of my fastball and my breaking pitches. I think I threw well. But I can throw better, I think. We have room to improve … a lot of room to improve.’

The Friars, on the other hand, have to wonder what might have been. Had the game been moved to Carroll, Goggin might have been able to slide into home and score, the foul ball wouldn’t have hit the limb, the flyball wouldn’t have stuck in the ground in the outfield and …

“That,’ DeBarberie said, “is what makes the game great.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply