La Salle bats erupt in rout of Archbishop Ryan

SPRINGFIELD — Thursday afternoon’s forecast called for sun, some clouds, and about 75 degrees of baseball-friendly weather. Nobody at Ward Field knew that a shower was in store for La Salle’s contest against Archbishop Ryan.

Not a rain shower, though — a run shower. The Explorers pounded the Raiders to the tune of 16 runs on 10 hits, eight walks and a hit batsman in their decisive 16-3 win.

“It was nice to see guys swinging it,’ La Salle coach Kyle Werman said. “We’ve been waiting for that—for it to open up. It was really nice to see.’

After a fairly benign first inning that saw but one run scored, La Salle exploded for 15 across the final three frames. Seven La Salle batters got hits on the day (the only ones that didn’t, however, reached base a combined six times between five walks and a hit by pitch), and two, Jimmy Herron and Brian Buckley, finished with more than one.

Herron had a particularly stellar afternoon, roping four balls to the outfield on his way to a 3-for-3, two double day with a sacrifice fly thrown in for good measure. Buckley went 2-for-3 with a walk and three driven in.

“It’s such a short season,’ Werman said. “In high school, you forget that it takes guys time to find their timing and their swing. Guys are starting to get a little more comfortable.’

“It’s starting to get a little warmer out,’ he went on. “You start to see the ball travel a little bit more in batting practice, and you get a little more confident.’

Archbishop Ryan took a brief lead in the second inning when Josh Lopez and Corey Hunter scored on Justin Smith’s single, but that was just about the end of the list of positives for the Raiders. They tacked on another an inning later, on Lopez’s RBI double, but La Salle’s eight-run outburst in the bottom half of the second had already largely decided the game’s outcome.

James Dougherty was tagged with AR’s three runs in his four innings of work. Ryan Pasquerello pitched a scoreless fifth to seal La Salle’s win.

“They’ve got some nice hitters on that team,’ Ryan coach Jerry Eck Sr. said. “It was a tough game. You’ve got to play a good game when you come down here.’

Matt Paigaigle took the brunt of the damage for the Raiders. He gave up nine runs, seven earned, in two innings of work. Jerry Eck Jr. relieved him and went one-plus, giving up five. Noah Brackaniecki finished up the game for AR.

Archbishop Ryan has hit a rough patch—they’re short their top pitcher (possibly for the rest of the year), and Eck Sr. had to field five sophomores against a La Salle team that is really starting to gel.

Searching for answers about how he keeps his team ready to go in the midst of their current struggles, Eck said, “We had a big win against Bonner the other day, and that was huge.’

“It’s little stuff like that. If you get a couple good hits, a couple of nice plays, it gets them feeling good,’ Eck went on. “If we had won out, we probably would have been set (for the playoffs), but now we’ve got to hope.’

Now winners of 10 of their last 11, La Salle is rolling now that Werman has found a lineup he’s comfortable with. The Explorers have three more regular season games left, starting with their game at home against Episcopal Academy Saturday.

“Guys are more accustomed to what their roles are,’ Werman said. “You learn how to compete and what to expect. We have enough talent that if we play up to our potential, we have a chance to win every game.’

“You hope that you start to fire on all cylinders at the end of the year,’ he went on. “I hope that’s the case, but it’s still to be seen. We’ve got three more.’


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply