Honesdale National Bank started off the 2010 HLBA campaign by losing two of its first three games. However, Charlie Rollison's Phillies have been on a tear lately. HNB has reeled off three straight wins to create a 3-way logjam atop the Senior Division standings.
Charlie Rollison spent the first week of the Honesdale Little Baseball Association season trying to figure out just what the heck was going on.
A veteran of two decades on the Maple City youth diamond scene, Charlie originally couldn’t wait for the spring to arrive.
Right from his first practice of the year, Rollison knew his HNB Phillies would be in the thick of the 2010 Senior Division title chase.
“We’re a very deep team,” Charlie told TWI Sports. “We have great pitching, we play pretty good defense and we can score runs in bunches.”
Surprisingly, the Phils stumbled out the blocks. In fact, HNB lost two of its first three games and was perilously close to becoming a cellar dweller.
Only the hard-luck Tigers...who are still searching for that elusive first win ...kept the Phils out of the Senior Division basement.
“I was a little bit confused,” Charlie said with a chuckle. “I knew we were a good team, but we just weren’t playing up to our abilities.”
That all changed early last week. HNB suddenly caught fire and rocketed to the top of the overall standings. The Phillies reeled off consecutive wins over the Giants (17-2), Dodgers (8-0) and Pirates (4-0).
This little run created a 3-way logjam in first place. Heading into Thursday’s action, the Phils, Bucs & Braves all sport identical 4-2 records.
“The rest of the season should be really interesting,” Charlie said. “The Senior Division as deep as it’s ever been. I think, in the end, it will come down to which team has the best pitching.”
On the Hill
And, speaking of pitching, HNB has one of the deepest rotations in the entire HLBA.
Logan Freiermuth, Matt Abbott and Jon Werner give the Phils three pitchers who could conceivably be the ace of any staff.
Freiermuth has been lights-out so far this year. Logan has pitched twice in the past week and been well nigh unhittable.
In a 15-run rout of Elegante’s, the young fireballer worked four innings and faced the minimum. Logan fanned 11-of-12 batters he faced and allowed just a single baserunner who was promptly cut down trying to steal.
Three days later, Freiermuth was just as impressive in a relief stint versus the Dodgers. This time, Logan pitched the final two frames and slammed the door on a shutout with six Ks.
Abbott, Freiermuth and Tim Minella lead the Phils’ offensive assault.
Matt mans the “Hot Corner” when he isn’t on the hill...and he’s an intimidating presence batting in the #3 hole.
To date, Abbott leads the team in both homers and RBIs. HNB’s talented slugger hits equally well to all fields.
“Matt has become one of our best leaders,” Coach Rollison said. “He’s impossible not to like. Matt plays hard and the younger kids look up to him.”
Freiermuth and Minella are also providing the Phils with myriad clutch plays.
Logan catches when he’s not pitching. He bats clean-up and has a Big Fly to his credit this year.
Tim splits his time between catcher and second base. He hits in the lead-off slotand can steal a base or hit the longball...a lethal combination.
HNB’s most recent victory came on Monday afternoon at Fred Reisch Memorial Field.
In this one, the Phils scored single runs in each of the first three frames en route to a 4-0 shutout of the Pirates.
Freiermuth earned the starting nod and eventually secured the win. Abbott worked the final three innings, whiffing six in picking up the save.
Werner was the game’s hitting star, lashing a single and double in three plate appearances.
Logan iced the contest with a titanic solo homer.