ABINGTON >> It was a sloppy day at Abington High School Friday afternoon and not just because of the rain that fell during the first inning of a non-league matchup between Abington and Upper Dublin.
The two teams combined to throw seven pitchers that surrendered a total of 15 walks and hit six batters.
After all of the ball fours, aching backs and booted balls, Abington came away with the win, 11-5.
“We had 18 walks, errors or hit by pitch,” Upper Dublin coach Ed Wall said. “You give any team that — it doesn’t matter. You give up 11 runs, you’re not supposed to win.”
The Ghosts did most of their damage in the second and third innings, where they scored five and four runs, respectively, on just two combined hits.
Aidan Coyle had a pair of RBI in the second and Paul Poppert had two of his three RBI on a bases loaded double in the third.
In the second and third innings, Abington hitters were walked eight times and hit twice to put runners in position for Coyle and Poppert.
“We needed something like this,” Abington coach Dave Torresani said. “I made a few lineup changes trying to spark us a little bit and today they worked. Hopefully it will continue, but it worked for today.
“What we’re trying to get better at is making harder contact, hitting more line drives and really harder on the ground … I think we did that today. We hit the ball hard, put it in play and we capitalized on some mistakes, too, which helped us.”
The Cardinals, who scored two runs in the first on a Conor McFadden single, responded to Abington’s five-run second in the top of the third. Thomas Juelke had an RBI single and Andrew McDermott was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to cut their deficit from three to one. They left the bases loaded, however, when Tommy Reilly’s apparent extra-base hit was flagged down by Abington’s Colin Kelly.
Upper Dublin added a run in the fifth and the seventh innings on RBI singles by McDermott and Reilly.
“I like the way we hit the ball today,” Wall said. “I like the fight we had there in the last inning.”
The Ghosts’ final two runs came in the bottom of the sixth — one on an error and the other when Kelly hit into a fielder’s choice.
Each team sees different benefits of playing non-league at this crucial juncture of their respective league seasons.
“We’re able to get a bunch of guys innings pitched,” Wall said. “That’s really important for us. It’s going to be important down the road.”
“Where we are now, (non-league games are) getting us better,” Torresani said. “It’s trying to get the guys that are playing better. Our division (Suburban One League National Conference) is so tough … that every loss hurts. We have to play to get better. The ones in the beginning of the year, you do all that stuff and that’s great and get everybody in, but today we tried to play it to win because we had to get better playing baseball.”