LOWER GWYNEDD >> Upper Dublin’s first three batters reached base in the top of the first inning and all three scored.
Wissahickon’s first three batters reached base in the bottom of the first inning and only one scored.
That early difference held until the seventh inning, when Upper Dublin added three insurance runs and closed out its 6-1 Suburban One League Liberty Division win at Wissahickon High School Thursday afternoon.
Upper Dublin’s Jared Levis and Joe Levis sandwiched singles around a Brendan O’Brien walk to load the bases with no outs in the top of the first inning. Jared Levis scored on an Austin Dahl sacrifice fly, O’Brien scored on an Aidan McCarthy groundout and Joe Levis scored on a balk to put the Cardinals (2-0, 2-0 SOL Liberty) ahead, 3-0.
“I’m just trying to put the ball in play,” Dahl said, “preferably in the outfield so we can get all our men moving and no double plays or anything.”
“It was good for us to settle in quick,” McCarthy added. “It relaxed us a little bit and we just had to keep going the rest of the game.”
Those three runs were enough for McCarthy and Dahl, who combined to throw a three-hitter.
McCarthy started and went four innings. He struck out three batters to one walk and allowed one run on two hits. He got into a bases loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the first. He surrendered a run on a Kasey Weiss groundout, but got out of the inning with a 3-1 lead.
“It was huge for us (to minimize the damage),” McCarthy said. “Those guys get on – I don’t think anyone was panicking in the moment. We just had to push through. We had a couple could-have-been outs there, but I thought we pushed through well, showed some resilience.”
Dahl threw the final three innings, striking out five batters to two walks and allowed one hit and no runs. His biggest challenge was the bottom of the sixth, when the Trojans (3-1, 1-1 SOL Liberty) had two runners on with two outs in a 3-1 game. He ended the threat with a strikeout.
“I’ve been there before,” Dahl said. “I just tried to work through it like there’s nobody on, have to play to strike him out and no balls in the outfield.”
That momentum carried into the top of the seventh. The Cards took advantage of three walks and two wild pitches to extend their lead to 6-1. O’Brien scored on a wild pitch while Dahl and Nate Cairnes each tallied an RBI.
Wissahickon pitchers struggled with control throughout the game. The Trojans walked nine batter, three of which scored.
“Not enough strikes right off the bat,” Wiss coach Andy Noga said. “Have to get strike one. Strike one is the most important pitch in baseball. If you get strike one, then you’re putting the hitters in a little bit more of a swing mode, they can swing at maybe not some quality pitches. If you’re working from behind then you have a long road ahead of you.”
Josh Palutis went 2-for-4 for the Trojans with a run scored while Luke Frank had the other hit.
The disappointing performance came two days after Wiss went on the road and beat defending league champion Hatboro-Horsham, 9-0.
“We got the first-pitch strike, we did a great job hitting with two strikes, we worked a ton of quality at-bats with walks, hard-hit balls and everything,” Noga said of the win over the Hatters. “Today we just got a little bit complacent. We just didn’t have the same approaches that we had that game.”
Upper Dublin 6, Wissahickon 1
Upper Dublin 300 000 3 – 6
Wissahickon 100 000 0 – 1
WP: Aidan McCarthy 4 IP 3 K 1 BB 2 H 1 R
LP: Jack Garrity 3.1 IP 1 K 4 BB 4 H 3 R
S: Austin Dahl 3 IP 5 K 2 BB 1 H 0 R