Wayne 12, Concord 2

Mathes, Wayne order overpower Concord

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

EASTTOWN TWP. >> Alden Mathes posed for pictures with the Charlie Kress Trophy Sunday afternoon at Devon Prep.

A three-time All-Delco and 2019 Daily Times Player of the Year, Mathes completed his final summer before going off to play at the University of Richmond, throwing five solid innings in Game 5 of the Delco League championship series.

After helping Wayne capture its record 16th league title with a 12-2 triumph over Concord, Mathes was named the Modell’s Finals MVP. In two starts, he went 2-0 with 12 strikeouts and a 0.82 ERA. At the plate, Mathes finished 6-for-15 (.400) with a double, three RBIs, five runs scored and three stolen bases. He also had three sacrifices.

“It’s been exciting ever since the first day,” Mathes said. “After the high school season ended, a day after we lost (in the PIAA Class 5A playoffs), I came out here and it’s been fun ever since. It’s great to be able to come out here and play with a bunch of guys that I know and really just go out there and enjoy the game. Once playoffs started, we obviously took it to another level. Just the entire experience, playing with kids I know and playing with my brother (Cam), the whole thing was great.”

Mathes was poised in bringing home Wayne’s first title since 2015. He battled a tight strike zone and overcame a few bloop hits and defensive miscues to give Wayne manager Brian Fili five solid frames. “Some of those innings were extended when I thought maybe they shouldn’t have, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” Mathes said. “I knew I had to battle through it, I gave up only two runs and I’m not even sure they were earned. Either way, I was just trying to go out there and not let anything bother me at all. I just wanted to pitch through the struggles and pitch to the best of my abilities.”

Mathes was given a 2-0 lead early when Wayne put solo runs on the board in the first and second innings off Concord starter Frank Saviski. Dan Williams blooped a single between the third baseman and left fielder to drive in Kevin Mohollen in the first. Matt Briner led off the second with a walk, moved to second on a Tommy Jacobs sacrifice bunt and scored on an infield single by David Splain.

Hitting ninth in the order, Splain was 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

“It’s a great feeling, especially after losing in the finals a couple times the last few years, against Aston and Narberth,” Splain said. “I love these guys. We’ve been galvanized as a whole group. We used to be just a bunch of strangers but now we’re a close group of guys. To finally be able to bring home a championship with these guys is a great feeling.

“I’m just doing my job, getting on base for the guys behind me. That’s my goal every game.”

Splain lauded Mathes’ performance in the championship round.

“He’s fresh out of high school and he pitched his butt off, in two games, and is the MVP,” he said. “He comes out and get a big base hit when we need him to. The kid’s awesome, I love him.”

Splain and Kevin Mohollen, who ripped a two-RBI triple in Wayne’s six-run fifth inning, are among the Strath Haven contingent on Wayne’s roster that has played for Fili for several years.

Only three members of Wayne’s roster — Williams and pitchers Tom Cockill

and James Dougherty — played on the 2015 championship team.

“The last time we won a championship, I left midway through the summer to go play college ball, so this is my first one,” Mohollen said. “It’s pretty sweet.”

Wayne’s bats produced 12 runs on 10 hits one day after being no-hit by Concord ace Brad Scull.

“You ask anyone who gets no-hit and has to come out the next day, that is a sinking feeling, that is tough,” said Mohollen. “But just like we’ve done all year, we trusted our bats. Alden came out and pitched his tail off. He’s been unbelievable all season for us and my tip my cap to him because he came up in a huge spot. We knew if we put up some runs for him, he would do the rest.”

Saviski began to run out of gas in the fourth when Wayne sent nine batters to the plates and scored four runs. Will Peiffer began the frame with a triple and scored on a Briner single. Splain fisted a pitch to center field to drive home two more.

“I knew any time you hand the ball to Alden Mathes, you know you’re going to get a good start out of him,” Fili said. “I just knew we needed some offense. We bunted early, trying to get a couple of runs here and there, get ahead and play with the lead like we have for the majority of the second half of the season. We played some small-ball and we executed.”

Saviski, the Canes’ player-manager, called on himself to take the hill in Game 5 because the team simply had no one else available. The big righthander hadn’t started all year. He was relieved by Brendan Phillips in the sixth inning after 119 pitches.

“Frank was tough, man,” Fili said. “He’s a competitor, he’s a tough pitcher and he’s been a great player in this league for a long time.”

By the fifth inning, Saviski was running on fumes, trying to limit the damage, but Wayne tacked on five more and sent 11 batters to the dish. Mohollen’s two-run triple was the big blow.

“We just knew we could get to him,” Splain said. “We trusted our bats to really come up big for us.”

Joe Poduslenko and Chris Salvey each had a sacrifice fly in the top of the third to tie the game briefly at 2. Salvey and Alex Burman collected two hits apiece.