Logan Willans, Wissahickon shut down Norristown

LOWER GWYNEDD >> Tyler Pastella led off the game with a line drive single to left field. That was the only hit Norristown would get all game.

Wissahickon pitcher Logan Willans threw a complete game one-hitter in a 4-2 Suburban One League American Conference win Tuesday afternoon at Wissahickon High School.

The junior right-hander struck out eight batters over seven innings while walking two batters and allowing two unearned runs. Willans only allowed two base runners after the two-run first inning — a fourth inning walk and fifth inning error.

Bob Raines--Digital First Media Wissahickon's Eddie Fortescue loses the ball as Norristown's Dale Terell rumblesinto first on a dropped third strike May 10, 2016.
Wissahickon’s Eddie Fortescue loses the ball as Norristown’s Dale Terell rumbles into first on a dropped third strike during their game on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

“I think my cutter was working pretty well,” Willans, who has never thrown a no-hitter in high school, said. “It doesn’t move much, but it was enough that kids were either missing it or foul tipping it. There were a couple curve balls that I felt were working.”

“We just didn’t hit,” Norristown coach Rich Campbell said. “That’s what Logan does — he pitches to contact, but he never gets seriously hit.”

The only offense Willans needed was a three-run second inning, but the Trojans added a fourth run in the fifth.

Michael Steitz worked a bases loaded walk to put Wissahickon on the board in the second and Matt Shilling followed with a two-run single to give the Trojans a lead that they would never relinquish.

The fourth run came on a Mike Schoelneber RBI single in the fifth inning.

After Pastella singled to lead off the game, Terell Dale worked a walk. Charles Grello hit a one-out groundball to shortstop and a bouncing throw to first took a weird hop and went out of play. Pastella scored on the play, Dale advanced to third and Grello to second.

Reggie Collins followed with an RBI ground out. He hit the ball back to Willans, who looked Dale back to third, but when Willans threw to first, Dale sprinted home for a 2-0 Norristown lead.

Wissahickon inched closer to a District 1 playoff berth with the win. It entered the week ranked No. 20 in the District 1 power rankings — where the top 26 make the playoffs. The Trojans are now 8-3 in SOL American play.

Bob Raines--Digital First Media Wissahickon's Alex Tapper has Norristown's Tyler Gorman nailed when he tries to steal third on an error May 10, 2016.
Wissahickon’s Alex Tapper has Norristown’s Tyler Gorman nailed when he tries to steal third on an error during their game on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

“I’m really trying not to worry about it,” Wissahickon coach John Bernhardt said. “The goal is to win (Wednesday against Plymouth Whitemarsh). If we win (Wednesday), I think we’ll be pretty good. The goal right now is just to get in. I think nine wins is going to get us in. The gameplan is to get a win (Wednesday) and that’s where our focus is now.”

The Eagles offense has been struggling for some time. On their current seven-game losing streak, they have scored more than two runs just once.

“It’s been our struggle in this losing streak,” Campbell said. “We’re just not scoring runs, we’re not getting big hits, we’re not putting hits together. (Willans’) innings were clean after the first. We never had more than one base runner after the first. It’s going to be really hard to score runs when you’re not putting anybody on or putting any pressure on them.

“If you’re not hitting, you’re not going to win. It’s as simple as that. And we’re just not hitting.”

One place Norristown saw improvement against Wissahickon was its defense. Last time the teams play, Wissahickon squeezed home multiple runs and Norristown made plenty of errors throwing the ball around. This time, Norristown threw out four runners at the plate — two of which came on squeeze plays.

“Our infield defense, which has been a little bit of a sore spot all year, was rock solid today,” Campbell said. “All the work we’ve put in finally paid off.”

Pastella pitched the entire game for Norristown. In six innings he allowed four runs on four hits. He walked and hit three batters.


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