Concord 2, Wayne 0


Scull settles into historic no-hitter to even series

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

CONCORD >> Game 4 of the Delco League championship series got off to an inauspicious start for Concord ace Brad Scull.

The brawny righthander began his outing with six straight pitches out of the strike zone. From the dugout, player manager Frank Saviski, who acted as Concord’s designated hitter, provided words of encouragement to the Monsignor Bonner and Wilmington University product.

“That’s really unusual for me, throwing six balls in a row,” Scull said. “I was kind of saying to myself, what’s going on?”

It was evident that Scull was pretty amped up. He wanted to give a repeat performance of his Game 1 gem, when he tossed 5.2 innings of three-hit ball, allowing no runs while striking out six in a win.

Scull needed to be at his very best Saturday at Garnet Valley. Even after the early bout of wildness, he was sensational.

Scull hurled a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts as the No. 2 Canes defeated top-seeded Wayne, 2-0. The winner-take-all Game 5 showdown is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock at Devon Prep.

Wayne and Concord completed Thursday’s suspended Game 3 prior to Game 4. Tom Edwards pitched the final two innings in relief of winning pitcher James Dougherty for a 5-0 decision. Alden Mathes, the 2019 Daily Times Player of the Year from Marple Newtown, led the Wayne offense with a single, double, three runs scored and a pair of RBIs.

Game 4, however, was all about Scull.

“I knew I had to take a step back, take a deep breath and get back to my basic fundamentals,” he said. “I just had to settle in and throw strikes.”

Scull needed 40 pitches to get through the first two innings, then was on cruise control the rest of the way. He retired the side in order in the third and fourth, and worked around walks in the fifth and sixth. Wayne failed to get a runner into scoring position against Scull, who threw 90 pitches on a sun-splashed, 88-degree afternoon.

“He pitched his tail off,” Saviski said. “My hat’s off to him. That was one of the best performances I’ve seen from a pitcher in my entire life.”

Many of the Concord players were unaware that Scull had just thrown a no-no after Wayne catcher Tommy Jacobs bounced out to shortstop to end the game.

“I had zero idea I had a no-hit bid going,” Scull said. “People were saying to me right after it was over, ‘Do you know what you just did?’ I said, ‘Throw a complete game shutout? I don’t know.’’ It was awesome to hear that, man, because I had no idea. ... No doubt that it’s special. It’s one of those games that I won’t forget for a long time.”

In the seventh, Scull was aided by timely defense after Wayne got its leadoff hitter aboard on an error. Matt Briner smashed a line drive to shortstop Nate Sides, who snagged the ball in the air and threw to first to turn a 6-3 double play.

“Honestly, we had no idea he was throwing a no-hitter. When we were coming off the field, (left fielder) Joe (Poduslenko) was like, ‘I think he just threw a no-hitter,’” Sides said. “All the credit goes to Brad. He was awesome.

“If I had to take the field with anybody on the mound, it would be

Brad Scull, no doubt about it. I mean, he’s a horse. ... When he’s on the mound, we play with a different swagger.”

After an anemic offensive showing in Game 3, the Concord bats came alive against Wayne starter Cam Mathes. Sides was responsible for three of the team’s eight base knocks against the hard-throwing right-hander, including an RBI single in the fifth inning to make it 2-0.

“I think we’re good about turning the page and getting focused for the next game,” Sides said. “They played a great game (Game 3) and beat us, and we knew that this game would be lowscoring. We were able to scratch that first run across in the first inning when the hit-and-run worked and, once we put up two runs, Brad was cruising and we knew we were in the driver’s seat.”

Matt Maul coaxed a lead-off walk in the bottom of the third, scampered to third base on a one-out single by Sides and crossed home plate on a two-out knock by Chris Salvey.

As was the case in Game 1, Mathes deserved a better fate. While he scattered eight hits and two earned runs, the Marple Newtown All-Delco and Villanova junior struck out five and allowed only on walk in a six inning complete game.

“I think it was all about just going with where the pitch was. We know he loves his curveball, and our guys were going up and being aggressive on that first pitch. He’s a great pitcher,” Sides said. “Poduslenko crushed two balls to left field on that pitch. I think everyone’s approached changed a bit, but we knew we just had to put a couple of runs across and let Brad take over.”

Wayne will turn to one of its youngest players, Alden Mathes, to win Game 5. The left-hander is set to pitch for the University of Richmond next spring.

Saviski will call upon himself to start on the mound for Concord, which is seeking its first Delco League title. Saviski struck out five in 2.1 innings of relief in Game 3 Thursday but he intends to throw all seven Sunday.

Whatever it takes, right?

“In the past we played Wayne in two Game 5s in the semifinals. Now we’re in Game 5 of the finals and we hope for a better outcome,” Saviski said. “I’m going to go out there, give it my all and see what happens.”