Oley/Topson defeats North Parkland 6-3
Zach Eddinger was not charged with a run in nine innings of work, and rode a big four-run first inning to a 6-3 win over North Parkland in the first round of the Region 2 American Legion playoffs.
“All of my pitches were kind of on today,” said Eddinger. “My fastball had a little pop today. It was nice to see.”
Eddinger helped himself, starting it off with a double and Hunter Renninger stayed hot, lacing a triple to the right field gap to knock in two runs, fueling the Patriots first inning, which they batted around.
“I knew he was going to try to come back for a strike,” said Renninger. “It was a fastball a little low. I went after it and took it far.”
North Parkland second baseman Alex Flynn made a diving play in the hole to save two more runs, denying Oley/Topson’s bid to break it wide open.
With a four run cushion to work with, he faced the minimum through three innings with the help of a line-drive double play and a perfect throw from catcher Kevin Sell to gun down Flynn attempting to steal second.
“Getting ahead was a huge part of this game,” said Eddinger. “It allowed me to relax on the mound and throw strikes and go at their hitters.”
The Patriots tacked on another one in the fourth to make it 5-0 when Nick Distasio’s sacrifice fly to left scored Zach Tiongson, who reached on an error.
North Parkland threatened in the top of the sixth when they got two singles to put runners on first and second with two outs.
Eddinger got Jordan Tones to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning unscathed.
Oley/Topson added another run in the bottom of the 8th on Zach Eddinger’s infield single.
Eddinger had two hits on the day at the plate and pitched eight shutout innings, striking out six North Parkland batters along the way during his first appearance of the day.
Distasio came in and walked the bases loaded before being removed with no outs in the 9th.
With thoughts of last year’s regional where North Parkland scored eight ninth inning runs and came back to win it, Eddinger then returned to the mound, gave up two singles and a sacrifice fly before he struck out Brett Kosciolek to end the game.
“It was a little nerve-racking,” said Eddinger. “It was our key to stay calm and play good defense and we did.
He finished the day with going nine innings surrendering four hits and striking out eight and was also able to navigate around four errors behind him to earn the win.
“We pick each other up all the time,” said Eddinger. “Whether you make an error or have a bad at bat, our team is about picking each other up.”
Eddinger definitely accomplished that.