Delco Finals: Wayne vs Concord

Wayne’s Paparella looking to go out as a champion

By Harry Chaykun

For MediaNews Group

CONCORD >> Ed Paparella hopes the Delco Baseball League playoffs will end this weekend.

If Wayne and the Concord Canes would have to play next week, Paparella will be checking the results on his laptop or his phone. 

“I’m moving to Texas,” said Paparella, who plays the outfield and hits in the third spot in the batting order for Wayne.

“I’m going to be an assistant (baseball) coach at Howard Junior College in Big Spring.”

Paparella had a run-scoring double in the fourth inning at Garnet Valley High School Thursday night as Wayne took a 4-0 lead over Concord in Game 3 of the championship series, which is tied at one game apiece.

Before the first pitch of the sixth inning, the skies darkened. When thunder and lightning were followed by heavy rain, players and fans dashed for the parking lot.

After a 20-minute delay, Delco League president Nick Ducomb and the umpires agreed that the game would be suspended. It will be resumed at 3 p.m. Saturday at Garnet Valley before Game 4 begins. Should Wayne win the suspended game as well as Game 4, it would claim its 16th Delco League playoff championship.

If Concord, which is competing in the finals for the first time, were to make a Game 5 necessary, that game will be hosted by Wayne at Devon Preparatory School Sunday beginning at 2 p.m.

Whenever the playoffs are completed, Paparella will pack his belongings and begin his career in college coaching at Howard JC, the school at which he played for two years after his graduation from The Hun School in Princeton.

Paparella helped Hun to the 2011 New Jersey Prep A championship, then spent two years at Howard JC before playing at the University of South Alabama.

The Skillman, New Jersey, native missed the 2018 collegiate season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, then suffered an injury to the hamate bone in his hand just before the 2019 campaign began.

He did play 21 games for South Alabama in the spring, hitting a pair of home runs and driving in nine runs.

The 2019 season is his third in the Delco League with Wayne.

“From one through nine, I don’t remember being part of a lineup as strong as this one,” he said. “Some of the younger players have been outstanding. It’s been a great season. We’d like to get it done in the right way, and then I’ll be off to start my coaching career.”

Wayne scored a pair of runs in the top of the first Thursday. Kevin Mohollen led off with a walk, took second base on a wild pitch, and came home easily on a double by Alden Mathes. Paparella and Dan Williams walked to load the bases, and Mathes scored as Brady Schlack grounded into a double play.

Wayne starter James Dougherty gave up three hits, struck out three and did not allow a walk in five innings.

Wayne got to Canes starter Ryan Johnson for another run in the top of the third inning. Mathes led off with his second hit of the game and stole second. After a pair of outs, Will Peiffer’s infield single and a walk to Matt Briner loaded the bases. Frank Saviski replaced Johnson on the mound for Concord, and Brady Mutz singled to score Mathes.

Catcher Johnny DeMucci singled leading off the bottom of the third for the Canes. Courtesy runner John Convery stole second base then was stranded.

Saviski set down the first two batters he faced in the top of the fourth before Mathes reached on an error and Paparella doubled to produce an unearned run.

Nate Sides doubled leading off the Concord fourth inning, but Dougherty again set down the next three batters.

“It was good to get the jump on them,” Paparella said. “Now we’ll wait before we come back Saturday and see if we can finish this out.”