Strong pitching, timely hitting lead Indians to 5-2 win
● By Richard Gaw
Throughout the Unionville baseball team's 5-2 victory over visiting Henderson on April 1 – which put the Indians in the win column for the first time this season – there were continued malfunctions with the recording device that played walk-up music to accompany each Unionville batter who stepped into the batter's box.
The sound really never got off the ground, but thanks to solid outings by Andrew Humphrey, Patrick Kennan and Scott Hansen – and backed by a three-run fifth inning – head coach Mike Magee's team did.
Winning pitcher Humphrey breezed through the first three innings, surrendering no runs and no hits, while striking out three and baffling the Warriors on an assortment of fastballs and off-speed pitches. His only trouble came in the second inning, when with one out, Brendan Gray walked, stole second and advanced to third base on a passed ball. After walking Owen McCarthy, Humphrey struck out Cole Stevens and Pat Esemplare, stranding Gray at third and ending Henderson's scoring threat.
The Indians dotted the scoreboard with a run in their half of the first that began on a walk to Connor Schilling with one away. He advanced to third on an infield error on a grounder by Alex Pelegrin, and scored on a ground out by Sean Matson.
Unionville punched another run home in the fourth inning when Henry Goodier walked and was replaced by a designated runner Jacob Juul, who scampered to third on an infield pop by Taylor Bohn that fell between two infielders for an error. He later came home on the game's first hit – a double by Jason Granato to left field.
After surrendering two runs and striking out the side in the second inning, Henderson starter Eddie Smink was replaced by reliever Logan Culp, who immediately yielded two consecutive doubles by Kyle Lyons and Schilling, who advanced on a grounder by Austin Ahart that was bobbled for an error. Lyons and Schilling then scored on a single by Goodier, which was followed by Bohn's single that scored Christian Moravsky, who ran for Ahart.
Keenan, who replaced Humphrey in the fourth inning, pitched two scoreless innings before he was touched for Henderson's two runs in the sixth. Eric Angle, batting for Danny Collinson, drove home Logan Conduit, who had reached on an infield error. Angle later came around to score on an overthrow attempt to nab Gray at second, who had just singled.
Facing Hansen in the seventh, Esemplare singled, but right fielder Schilling ended the game on a spectacular grab of a liner to right center by Casey Caufield with one away. After making the catch, Schilling quickly spun and doubled Esemplare off of first.
Magee spoke highly of Humphrey, Keenan and Hansen.
“They are our three pitchers who we're going to have to set up if we're going to see the playoffs,” Magee said. “When you throw a lot of ground balls and have good defense behind them, you win games. We preach 'pitch to contact,' 'throw ground balls' and 'field the routine plays,' and we did that today.”
Now 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the Ches-Mont, the Indians will face off against their crosstown rival Kennett on April 5. Henderson, now 1-3 overall and in the Ches-Mont, will host Downingtown East on April 3.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.