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Canes and streaking Wayne to square off for league title

By Terry Toohey

ttoohey@21st-centurymedia. com @TerryToohey on Twitter

 

If the regular season results are any indication, the Delco Baseball League championship series between top-seeded Wayne and the second-seeded Concord Canes should be a good one.

The teams split four regular- season meetings, with each winning twice on the other team’s home field. Wayne beat Concord twice at Maple Zone (11-2 and 6-5) and the Canes took the two games at Devon Prep (5-4 and 6-2).

“We played them tough,” Concord’s Joe Poduslenko said. “They have a good squad. They have a great lineup, but we’ll be ready to go.”

Concord makes its Delco League finals debut when the best-of-5 series kicks off Monday evening at Devon Prep (5:45). The Canes did reach the semis in 2015, 2016 and 2017, only to be eliminated by Wayne twice and knocked out once by Narberth.

Wayne is no stranger to be playing for a championship. The franchise has won a league-record 15 titles, 14 of them since 1993. The league’s most visible franchise is making its 18th appearance in the championship series in that span. Wayne’s last title was in 2015. The team also lost in the finals in 2016 and 2018.

“They’re always in it,” Concord general manager Joe Convery said. “They’re a very good team.”

That presumption came to the fore late this season. After a somewhat slow start, Wayne now enters the series with a 13-game winning streak. Its last loss was a 6-2 decision to Concord back on July 9. Wayne swept Chester in the semifinals.

The Canes are hot, too. Concord has won nine of its last 10 games. The only loss in that span was a 6-4 setback to Upper Darby in Game 2 of the semifinals. The Canes came back to win the next two games, 4-3 and 7-5, to earn their spot in the championship series.

This is the first time the teams have met in the playoffs since 2016, when Wayne knocked Concord out in the semifinals in five games for the second year in a row.

Game 1 will feature a matchup of right-handers. Cameron Mathes will start for Wayne and Brad Scull gets the call for the Canes.

The series continues Tuesday at Devon Prep (5:45 p.m.), then switches to Garnet Valley for Games 3 and 4 Thursday (5:45) and Saturday (3 o’clock if necessary). If Game 5 is needed it will be Sunday at Devon Prep at 2.

If there is a Game 4, league president Nick Du-Comb will hold a fan appreciation day with hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks for everyone in attendance.