Wayne 11, Chester 2

Early outburst sends Wayne back to finals

By Terry Toohey

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From the Daily Times posted 8/2/2019

CHESTER>> Wayne has been consistent in its best-of-5 Delco League semifinal series with Chester. 

The regular-season champs followed the same script it used to win Game 1 by seven runs and Game 2 by nine to complete the sweep with an 11-2 victory at the Chester Athletic Field Thursday.

In the series opener, Wayne scored three times in the first inning and rode that early burst to an 11-4 victory. In Game 2, a fourrun first inning propelled Wayne to a 12-3 triumph.

This time it was a five run outburst in the top of the first followed by a six run uprising in the top of the second that sent Wayne into the finals for the second straight year and the 17th time since 1993. Wayne awaits the winner of the Concord-Upper Darby series.

“We’ve been scoring a lot of runs early,” Wayne manager Brian Fili said. “When you score three or four runs in the first inning that takes a lot of pressure off a lot of people.” If it’s not broke … “We run a lot,” Fili said. “We’re aggressive on the bases. We have a lot of young kids who can run and we use that to our advantage. That helped us early on in the game.”

Wayne only had seven hits but took advantage of 13 walks and a hit batter to extend its winning streak to 13 games.

“We’re scoring a lot more runs than we have in the past,” Fili said. “That’s been the biggest thing. We’ve been able to manufacture runs with our baserunning, and we’ve been able to manufacture runs even with two outs. We’ve been putting a lot of crooked numbers up and that’s been a big help.”

Alden Mathes, the 2019 Daily Times Player of the Year, got things started with an RBI double down the right-field line two batters into the game. He knocked in a run later in the game. He also scored twice, as did leadoff man Kevin Mohollen.

Ed Paparella scored twice and knocked in a run. Winning pitcher Will Peiffer was 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Tommy Jacobs went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Luke Mutz was 1-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored. David Splain walked in a run in the second inning.

That’s the way it’s been, contributions throughout the lineup.

“I feel like one through nine, we’re tough,” Paparella said. “Everybody gets after it. On the mound, I feel like we’re the best pitching team in the league. We know that every single start we have a guy who’s going to go out there and give us a chance to win. Offensively, on the mound and defensively I feel we’re just such a well-rounded team that this is what you get when you come out and play well.”

The pitching was solid, too. Starter James Dougherty struck out three in his two innings of work. Peiffer fanned six over the next four innings, and Tim Edwards fanned two of the three hitters he faced in the seventh inning. The trio combined to allow four hits and no earned runs.

“We’ve gotten consistent play from our hitters, big hits up and down the lineup,” Mohollen said. “Our pitchers have stepped up, too. Our starting pitchers have been outstanding all year long.”

All with a similar purpose, to erase the memory of last year’s five-game loss to Narberth in the championship series. Wayne will have a chance to redeem itself against the winner of the Concord-Upper

Darby series. The finals will start either Monday or Tuesday, depending on the conclusion of the other semifinal.

“Anyone who’s done it before knows that when you get to a Game 5 and don’t win, it hurts,” Mohollen said. “It stings and it will follow you to the next year. This year we’re trying our best not to let that happen again.”