Concord 3, Wayne 1

Sides settles in, pitches Concord past Wayne

By Matthew DeGeorge, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.@sportsdoctormd on Twitter

POSTED: 07/01/17, 9:03 PM EDT

RADNOR >> Nate Sides doesn’t often need a prompt to move quickly on the mound, so the wall of thunderclouds amassing just beyond right field at Odorisio Park Saturday afternoon didn’t much concern the Concord pitcher.

The way he was rolling on the hill, he couldn’t work fast enough, even as peals of thunder rumbled in the distance.

Sides authored a gem, holding Wayne without a hit from the second to the seventh inning and striking out 11 in the Delco League clash as Concord scored a 3-1 come-from-behind win.

The offense came via a three-run outburst in the top of the sixth fostered by five singles, but Sides provided the space for the Canes to surge.

Normally a reliever, Sides drew the start and was greeted rather rudely: By a Jeff Manto home run down the hill in left-center field on the second at bat of the game. He also allowed a Zach Miller single with two outs in the first.

But Sides ended the frame with his second of 11 punchouts and allowed just one baserunner from there until the seventh — a leadoff walk to Matt Shilling in the third, erased by a caught stealing.

“It usually takes me an inning or so to settle in, especially since I usually don’t start,” Sides said. “It was a little different, but once I got settled in today, everything was flowing.”

“He always works quick and always works efficiently,” catcher Sean Heidig said.

Until the top of the sixth, that economy wasn’t rewarded at the dish. The Canes rapped out 10 hits, but the first tally eluded them, through three scoreless innings by starter Cameron Mathes and a frame by Jimmer Kennedy, with Wayne trying not to tax its pitching staff.

Finally, with John Bernhardt on the mound, Concord’s patience paid off.

“We know they’re trying to save pitchers, and we’re aware of that,” Heidig said. “So we’ve got to take advantage any time they give us a pitch they don’t want to give us.”

Heidig started the rally with a one-out single followed by Colin Birzes singling to reach for a third time. Tom Crumlish laced a single to left to score Heidig, and Birzes came around to score on Brian Gross’ base knock to center.

After a sacrifice, Sides helped himself with an infield safety that chased home Crumlish.

“I think our team is so well-rounded, it doesn’t matter who’s where in the lineup,” said Heidig, who along with Ben Faso supplied two hits in the middle of the order. “Every day we’re switching it up to keep teams on their heels.”

That was enough for Sides, who worked around plunking Miller in the bottom of the seventh under darkening skies. Mike Raimo added a single to end the hitless streak. But Heidig recovered after a ball squirted away from him to gun down Miller trying to pilfer third, and Sides induced a feeble foul out by Jim Vankoski to first base to end the game, clinching a big three points that moves Concord into third place and allowing Wayne to be leapfrogged for first.

“It means everything to our team,” Heidig said. “We’re on a five-game win streak and I think a lot of teams haven’t been giving us the respect we deserve. And we’re willing to show them what we’re made of.”


“That’s huge. They’re a playoff team every year,” Sides said. “They bounced us (in the playoffs) the last two years, so hopefully we’ll change that this year.”