Connect with us


Friends’ Central baseball squad continues to show progress

Wynnewood – If Friends’ Central School baseball head coach Jon Rubin had to pick one word to describe his team, he would say resilient.
One year removed from seeing his young, aggressive team see how much damage one mistake can create, he is now witnessing continued growth from his team that is still aggressive but has learned patience combined with the ability to re-focus.
Tuesday at Friends’ Central, the Phoenix displayed those aforementioned characteristics that played a vital role in their 8-4 win over Friends’ Schools League rival Shipley in an early season showdown featuring a pair of teams that entered the game unbeaten in league play.
“Last year, we had a young team and it was viewed as a rebuilding year,” Rubin said following the game. “Often times we would make a mistake that would snowball into a big inning for our opponent. While we may still make mistakes this year we typically make a big play behind it.”
A perfect example came in the top of the fifth with the hosts holding a 5-1 advantage. After Calvin Costner reached first on an error and Phil Johnson reached on a walk, Friends’ Central starting pitcher Connor McVail got Darien Pass to pop out for the first out of the inning.
With one out, leadoff hitter Nick Wojtelwicz lined a single up the middle that appeared would score Costner. Friends’ Central centerfielder Christopher Annas had other ideas as he made a near perfect throw to catcher Ben Kenney to cut down Costner for the second out. After making the tag, Kenney looked up and saw Johnson trying to reach third but a perfect strike allowed him to throw out Johnson for the final out and end the threat.
“With a man on second I don’t really listen to anybody,” said Annas, who finished 2-4 at the plate with 2 RBI’s. “I just try to throw hard and keep the ball low. Ben made a great tag and then watching him double the guy at third was great.”
“That play felt great,” added McVail, who threw 6 1/3 innings allowing two runs while striking out five. “I love my teammates and Chris made a great play in center and Ben (Kenney) made a great tag and then a big heads up play throwing out the runner going to third.”
“Chris’ throw and gunning the guy down at the plate was huge and the fact our catcher Ben (Kenney) was alert enough to make the throw to third and tagging the runner out at the plate was exactly what we needed,” said Rubin. “It’s plays like that where we are showing our growth.”
With many games left to be played in what will feel like a short period of time, Rubin hopes today’s win will resonate and give the team a key building block.
“Playing a challenging schedule early will hopefully pay off,” said McVail. “I believe it played a big role in helping us get ready for league play.”
“We have a wonderfully aggressive team,” said Rubin. “If we show patience and discipline the game clicks for them and hopefully we will continue to progress.”



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

11 + 12 =


More in Baseball