Western Wayne used solid pitching from a pair of underclassmen and clutch hitting by...well, just about everybody...in rolling to a 15-5 Mercy Rule win over Forest City. The Wildcats leapt out to an 8-0 lead after three, then erupted for seven more runs in the final two frames to seal the deal.
The ability to withstand adversity is a crucial characteristic of any successful athletic team.
After a solid start to the ‘09 season, Western Wayne’s varsity baseball team ran headlong into problems this past weekend.
The Wildcats suffered back-to-back losses against Mountain View and Blue Ridge in Division III action. The big question was this: Could the local lads put those defeats behind them and bounce back?
On Tuesday afternoon in Varden Western Wayne answered with a resounding “Yes!”
The ‘Cats pounced on Forest City, clawing the visitors for eight runs in the first three frames. The result was a 15-5 Mercy Rule win and a big smile from Coach Jason Kromko.
“I’m definitely happy to see us play this way today,” he told TWI Sports. “We hit the ball hard, played pretty good defense and pitched well. It’s good to see the kids bounce back from a couple of tough losses.”
With the win, Western Wayne upped its record to 5-4 in Lackawanna League competition. Next on the agenda for Western Wayne is a home game this afternoon against Elk Lake. First pitch for this Division III contest is set for 4:30 p.m.
On the Attack
The Wildcats wasted no time getting on the board Tuesday.
After starting pitcher Cody Osif set the Foresters down without incident in the top of the first, Western Wayne cranked up its offense. Dustin Brooks led off with a walk and was promptly chased to third when Dakota Brooks lashed a double.
After Cody Moyle was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Casey Hobbs and Austin Krompasky cracked back-to-back RBI singles. By the time the Foresters finally escaped the first inning, they were trailing 4-0.
“I think it’s important that we get off to a quick start,” said Coach Kromko. “We have to be aggressive at the plate. We get into trouble when we’re tentative up there.”
Osif did his job on the mound. Staked to an early 4-run lead, the young righty baffled Forest City batters over the course of four innings. Cody allowed just one run on four hits. He fanned five and issued one free pass.
“I think Cody did a good job today,” said Coach Kromko. “He isn’t going to overpower anyone with his fastball. But, he throws strikes and he has a nice little curveball.”
Osif finished the fourth, then handed the ball off to reliever Bobby Dyer. A tall, lanky freshman, Dyer closed out the game with one solid inning.
Nails in the Coffin
Western Wayne doubled its lead with four runs in the third.
Liam Munley and Dakota Brooks highlighted this uprising with RBI base knocks. Forest City also committed a pair of costly errors, prolonging the rally and sounding the death knell for starter Ian White.
Brian Nebzydoski and Zack Mendoza each took a turn on the hill, but neither fared any better. Western Wayne erupted for six runs in the fourth, then added the game-winner in the home half of the fifth.
Briar Robinson turned in a stellar performance both in the field and at the dish. The ‘Cat centerfielder saved a run with a running catch at the wall to end the third. Briar also contributed a pair of basehits, two runs and two RBIs.
“Briar’s really been coming on lately,” said Coach Kromko. “He’s one of the fastest kids on the team, so he covers a ton of ground out there. And, when he gets on base he usually makes things happen.”
Krompasky also put together another solid game at the plate. Austin went 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBIs. Western Wayne’s shortstop led off the home fifth with a single to left. Krompasky moved up on an in infield out, then sprinted home with the final run n Munley’s base knock.
Hobbs also wreaked havoc on the basepaths. Casey ripped two singles in his first two at-bats. He then reached on an error and scored his third run of the day.
Wade Malicky paced the Forester attack with a pair of late hits. The senior catcher singled and scored in the fourth, then repeated the feat in the fifth.
Bob Bastek chipped in with two singles for the visitors.
Score by Innings...
FC 0 0 0 1 4 x x - 5
WW 4 0 4 6 1 x x - 15