Wayne 7, Upper Darby 1

Peichel Dazzles as Wayne Takes Game 1

Joe Greenwich, DelcoLeague.com
DEVON – When a team makes its fourth trip to the finals in five years, the names become familiar, the roles become understood, and the narrative unfolds with the same characters telling the story.  Especially when they're facing the team they beat to win the title a year ago.
But on Sunday, it was a new name stepping into the Delco League Championship Series limelight: Koll Peichel.  The righthander tossed five shutout innings and allowed just two baserunners as Wayne topped Upper Darby, 7-1, to win the first game in the best-of-five series at Devon Prep.
Peichel allowed two hits – one to the second batter of the game, and another in the third – and did not walk a batter while striking out three and retiring the final eight batters he faced en route to the victory.
He got by with a little help from his friends, as well, as a two-run double by Nick Mullen and an RBI single from Luke Zimmerman in the first staked Wayne to an early 3-0 lead.  Upper Darby's Johnny Gonzalez settled in after that, facing the minimum over the next three innings and recording all nine outs via ground balls.
Wayne would strike again in the fifth, adding a pair to the lead on three hits and an error.  On the flip side, some outstanding defense at third base from Wayne's Owen Mathes helped keep the Blue Sox off the board until the top of the sixth.  A walk and a hit batter by reliever Joe Peluso led to a fielding error that loaded the bases with nobody out.  Christian Strickland drew a walk to force in a run, but Peluso induced a pop out and then a double play to stamp out the potential rally.
Two more Upper Darby errors in the seventh led to two more runs, including an RBI double by Alden Mathes, before Peluso sent the Blue Sox down in order in the seventh to finish off the ballgame.
Peluso allowed one run on two walks and struck out one over two hitless innings in relief of Peichel.  Gonzalez allowed five runs, four of them earned, on seven hits and a pair of walks while fanning three in five innings to take the loss.
Mullen finished the day 2-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored, and two driven in for Wayne, while Zimmerman and Matt Briner each enjoyed a two-hit day.
The teams will return to Devon Prep on Monday night for Game 2.  First pitch is set for 5:45 p.m., with a live audio stream available on DelcoLeague.com.
Upper Darby   0 0 0   0 0 1   0  –  1  2  3
Wayne           3 0 0   0 2 2   X  –  7  9  1
Wayne leads, 1-0
W: Peichel
L: Gonzalez