Delco League Finals GM1: Concord 3, Wayne 0

Scull, Concord get early jump on Wayne

From the Daily Times posted 8/6/2019

By Matt Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. @DTMattSmith on Twitter

EASTTOWNTWP.>> Brad Scull and Frank Saviski were best buds long before they were veteran players in the Delco Baseball League.

Scull pitched 5.2 innings of three-hit, no-run ball and Saviski recorded the final four outs to lift the Concord Canes to a 3-0 victory over Wayne in Game 1 of the championship series Monday. Game 2 is slated for Tuesday at Devon Preparatory School at 5:45.

“He was my neighbor across the street. When I was 5, he was 4. We went to grade school together at St. Francis De Sales and we went to high school together at Bonner, then we went our separate ways in college,” said Saviski, who doubles as Concord’s team manager. “But we’re still good friends, our families are friends and we all still keep in touch. We’ve known each other a long time.”

Due in part to their longtime friendship, Saviski knew what he could expect by handing Scull the ball in Game 1. Visiting Concord, which is making its first appearance in the Delco League finals, was able to knock off 16-time champion Wayne on its home turf and get the upper-hand early in the best-of-5 series.

“The first win is definitely the toughest, but it’s obviously great because it gives us all the momentum in the world,” said Scull, who struck out six and worked around five walks. “We can play a little easier baseball (Tuesday), it makes things easier for everybody and gives us the momentum. But we have to come out and play hard.”

With a bulldog mentality, Scull danced out of danger on a few occasions and held the high-powered Wayne offense to no runs. Wayne’s best threat to score came in the first inning when it loaded the bases with one out. Scull was able to get former Delco League finals MVP Dan Williams to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to squash the threat.

“He got in a little trouble early and worked his way out of a jam,” Saviski said. “He had some other base runners on, but found a way to get out. He battled.”

Wayne had its chances against Scull, but left 11 runners on base. In the fourth inning, Matt Briner singled and Tommy Jacobs coaxed a walk to set up a first-and second situation with one out. Scull retired the next two hitters, then worked around a two-out walk in the fifth to keep the game scoreless.

“For me, that was a little bit more walks than I would ever like to give up. I thought my velo was there tonight, really good, and my off-speed pitches were spotting up pretty well,” Scull said. “I was pretty lucky and fortunate to get out of a couple of those jams, but all that matters is putting zeros on the board.”

Scull’s opposite number matched him pitch-for-pitch through the first five innings. Cameron Mathes, the Marple Newtown All-Delco and junior at Villanova, retired the final eight hitters he faced. He was lifted after five stellar innings in which he allowed four hits and no walks while striking out four.

Wayne manager Brian Fili wants to be cautious with his college pitchers and Mathes is no exception. Mathes’ five-inning outing also makes him available for another start or relief appearance later in the series, if necessary. Fili always has the best interests of his players in mind.

“Cam’s a college pitcher, he’s got two big years coming up, and I’m not going to push him,” Fili said. “All season long we’ve been keeping him around 75 or 80 pitches ... His college ball is way more important and we want him to possibly come back later in the series. He even said, he could keep going out there (Monday night) but he’d have a tough time coming back. We want to give him his normal rest ... and that’s been pre-determined all year. Just because it’s the championship I’m not going to push a kid. Villanova is a little bit more important.”

Concord was thankful not to see Mathes return for the sixth inning. Instead it was Joe Peluso, who gave up all three runs (two unearned) but was plagued by three errors. Nate Sides led off with an infield single and cleanup hitter Chris Salvey reached on an error. After a passed ball, Saviski lofted a high fly ball to right field. Alden Mathes, the 2019 Daily Times Player of the Year from Marple Newtown, made a strong throw home but the speedy Sides slid home safely for the game’s first run. The next batter, Joe Poduslenko, hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Concord added a third run on an RBI single by Ben Faso.

“The bottom line is we didn’t score,” Fili said. “Brad threw great and Frank came in to close. That’s kind of been their M.O. throughout the playoffs. I think we only had four hits and Alden (3-for-4) had three of them. But you go back to that first inning and that was the key to the whole ballgame. They made a nice double play ... we could’ve jumped ahead early and changed the complexion a little bit.”

Even though this is Concord’s first trip to the championship round, it is far from satisfied with just one win. After not fielding a franchise in 2018, the Canes returned to the Delco League to earn the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. Now the Canes are two wins away from winning it all. Sides will take the hill Tuesday, looking to give Concord a 2-0 series lead. He’ll be opposed by the Richmond bound Alden Mathes.

“We’re definitely not breathing or taking them lightly, that’s a great ballclub over there,” Saviski said. “Their pitching staff and their hitting ... they’re just incredible. There’s a reason they have won 16 championships. They’re always in it, always the top seed at the end of the season. There’s no breathing room for us. We’ve got to play them (Tuesday) and try to do the same thing, try to hold them to as few runs as possible, be aggressive early against them and hopefully we can score some runs.”