Honesdale rebounded from a dreadful start to the District 15 season, hammering out a 13-2 victory over the Hamlin Rangers.
After losing their first five games of the District 15 American Legion Baseball campaign, the Pythons desperately needed a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Honesdale got that win Tuesday, thanks in part to a stellar all-round effort by Nick Hessling. Honesdale’s veteran catcher dazzled offensively and behind the plate, leading Post 254 to a 13-2 thrashing of a lethargic Hamlin squad.
“That’s one of the best games I’ve seen by a catcher at this level in a very long time,” Coach Jim Adams told TWI Sports. “Nick is one of this team’s leaders and he really showed why that is here tonight.”
With this victory, the Pythons broke into the win column and now sport a 1-5 overall record.
These two ballclubs will meet again this weekend for a crucial doubleheader in Honesdale. Game One is slated for a noon start at Keith Sutton Field.
A Big Win
Honesdale raced out to a big early lead against Hamlin starter Nate Packer.
The Pythons scored two runs in the opening frame, then added three more in the top of the second.
Packer yielded to reliever Nick Caucci in the third, but little changed as Post 254 tallied twice more in the visitors’ third.
Alex Evanitsky paced the Honesdale attack. A speedy young outfielder, Evanitsky reached base safely in each of his five at-bats. He roped an RBI?single in the first, then singled and scored in the third. Alex added two more basehits and reached on a fielder’s choice to close out a sensational 4-for-5 day.
While Hessling struggled in his first two plate appearances, the Pythons’ clean-up man turned it up later. Nick smoked a line single in the fourth, then came up with a 2-run base knock in the top of the seventh.
Defensively, Hessling was outstanding all night.
In addition to calling a solid game behind the dish, Nick picked Packer off first base in the home fifth and made a spectacular catch in the bottom of the seventh. Hessling’s lunging, backhand grab of a foul pop off the bat of Kevin Karabin dashed any faint hopes Hamlin fans entertained of a miracle comeback.
“You won’t ever see a better play by a catcher,”?said Coach Adams. “Nick was just fantastic today.”
On the Mound
Peter Kelly took the hill as Honesdale’s starter and worked four solid innings before handing the ball off to the Python pen.
Dale Weidner came on in relief and pitched the final three frames. Combined, the two talented twirlers allowed just two earned runs and five basehits.
Toeing the rubber for Hamlin were Packer, Caucci and Bob Dyer.
Lucas Karnick enjoyed a strong day at the plate with a single, double and walk. He also drove in a run in the bottom of the third.
Noah Box batted in the lead-off spot for Honesdale and rapped two singles.
Rounding out the Post 254 offensive attack were Gavin Canfield, Taylor Dux, Tim Hart, Pat Hart, John Martin and Gus Martin...each of whom collected a basehit.
Score by Innings...
HON (1-5) 2 3 2 0 0 1 5 - 13
HAM (3-5) 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 - 2