Bonini's Big Bat, Demmy's Strong Relief Leads Wayne over Aston Media, 11-9 in Regular Season Finale
The Wayne Wolverines ended their regular season this morning with a wild 11-9 victory over Aston Media at Cardinal O'Hara High School, handing the Mustangs their only league loss in the 18 game regular season.
Jack Demmy, one of five Wolverine pitchers on the day, pitched three innings of one hit, scoreless relief to earn the victory. Matt Cohen came in to get the final out of the game with the tying run at bat for the save.
Joe Bonini had an electric bat today, going 3-5, with a double and triple and three RBIs to lead the offensive charge for Wayne. Pat Lofton also had three RBIs, Sean Mullarkey was on base four times, going 2-3 with two BBs, and Nick Scheri went 2-3, with a double, and RBI, and a BB.
Wayne jumped on top with a big first inning. Luke Kania led off the game with a six pitch walk. Mullarkey then saw six pitches before depositing the seventh into left field for a single. Bonini then had the first of his long bombs, this one a base-clearing triple to right center field to knock in Kania and Mullarkey for a 2-0 Wayne lead. With one out, Lofton hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Bonini and a 3-0 lead.
Lofton started on the mound for the Wolverines, and set down the Mustangs in the first, giving up only a two out double. After Wayne went down 1-2-3 in the top of the second, Lofton came out to the mound in what turned out to be a very weird inning.
The first two Aston Media hitters got base hits with a single and double to cut the lead to 3-1. Wayne's manager came out to talk to Lofton after the two base hits. After Lofton struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning, the following Aston Media batter broke his bat on a grounder back to Lofton. Lofton alertly threw to thrid base where Bonini placed the tag on the runner coming into third for what looked like the second out of the inning. However, the field umpire called the runner safe, much to the disbelief of those in attendance and on the field. Following that play, Wayne's manager again went out to the mound. Unfortunately, that was his second visit to the mound in the second inning to see Lofton, meaning Lofton could no longer pitch in the game. Jack Lee came in to pitch, getting a fielder's choice groundout to third for the second out of the inning. Unfortunately, he was then called for a balk, which scored the runner on third, before striking out the next batter for the final out of the inning with Wayne's lead cut to 3-2.
The Wolverines responded in a big way in the top of the third. Mullarkey led off with a base on balls. Bonini then launched another blast to left center field for a double, scoring Mullarkey all the way from first. Lee then singled to right field, putting runners on the corners. Lofton followed with a single to right center field, plating Bonini and moving Lee to second. With one out in the inning, Nick Scheri lined a double to left field, bringing home Lee for a 6-2 lead, and moving Lofton to third base. Lofton was tagged out at the plate on a fielder's choice grounder by Brendan Surbeck, making it runners on the corners again with two outs. An errant throw by the catcher allowed Scheri to score and Surbeck to head to third. The right fielder then threw the ball past the third baseman trying to get Surbeck at third base, allowing Surbeck to also score on the play, giving Wayne an 8-2 lead.
However, given the already wild nature of the game and Aston Media's powerful lineup, people could feel this game was far from over. Lee did his part in the top of the fourth to dispel those feelings. After allowing a lead off single to left, Lee induced a ground ball to third baseman Bonini, who threw to Cohen, now playing second base, for one, who then completed the double play by throwing to Lofton at first. Lee then got another grounder to Cohen to finish the frame with the 8-2 lead intact.
Wayne had men on first and third with no outs in the top of the fourth, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity to add to their lead.
Aston Media came back with a vengeance in the bottom of the fourth. It all started innocently enough with a fly out to Kania in center. Then the lumber showed up. Two consecutive triples and a double cut the lead to 8-4. An infield single put runners on the corners, but the runner on third was cut down at home trying to score on a pitch that bounced away as Scheri tossed to Lee who applied the tag. The runner on first did go all the way to third on the play. After a walk to again put runners on the corners, a single to shallow left field made it 8-5 with runners on first and second. After a Wayne pitching change, a walk to Aston Media's leadoff hitter loaded the bases. A swinging bunt roller down the third base line resulted in another infield single and an 8-6 game. The Mustang's number three hitter then single to right center field, scoring two more to knot up the game at 8. Aston Media's clean up hitter then hit a double to deep center field, plating the go ahead run for the Mustangs. Demmy then came in to relieve for the Wolverines and got the third out of the inning.
Wayne could not respond in the top of the fifth despite getting their first two runners of the inning on base, but Demmy shut down the Mustangs with a 1-2-3 inning, including a strikeout.
The Wolverines came charging back in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, Lee drew a walk. He then stole second and went to third when the throw went into center field. Lofton then tied the game at 9 with his second sacrifice fly of the game, this one to right field. Pinch hitter Bobby Hydrisko followed with another base on balls. After Nick Camposano reentered to pinch run for Hydrisko, Camposano stole second base. Scheri then legged out an infield single by sliding to beat the pitcher to the bag after a nice snag of Scheri's ground ball by the first baseman. Camposano rounded third and was halfway between third and home when the pitcher turned and threw the ball high up on the backstop behind home, allowing Camposano to score the go-ahead run, giving Wayne a 10-9 lead, while Scheri went to second. Matt Mignucci came in to pinch run for Scheri at second. Mignucci promptly stole third base, and the catcher's throw bounced into left field, allowing Mignucci to score with an insurance run, making it 11-9 Wayne.
Demmy went about protected the Wolverines' lead. After allowing a leadoff single, He got a grounder in the hole at shortstop where Mullarkey made a great play to get to the ball and fire to Lee, now at second, for the first out of the inning. Wayne just barely missed turning the double play on that one. After a walk to Aston Media's leadoff hitter put runners on first and second, Demmy got the Mustangs' next hitter to fly out to center field, although the runner on second moved to third after the catch. Aston Media's runner on first quickly went uncontested to second on the first pitch to the dangerous number three hitter, putting the tying run in scoring position. Demmy bore down and got a ground out to shortstop to end the threat with the two run lead in place.
After Wayne failed to add to their lead in the top of the seventh, Demmy faced down the powerful middle of Aston Media's lineup, trying to secure the Wolverines' victory. Demmy got a big strikeout of the cleanup hitter, then got the second out on a fly ball to right. After the next batter walked, Wayne brought in Cohen to get the final out with the tying run at the plate. Cohen needed three pitches to induce a pop out to Mullarkey in shallow left field to get the final out of the game.
With the shootout victory, Wayne finished the regular season with a 14-4 record in the Main Line Junior Legion League, the second best record in the league to Aston Media's 16-1-1 record.
Wayne enters the league playoffs as the number two seed and hosts Roxborough in a first round game next Saturday afternoon at Odorisio Park.