UPPER DUBLIN >> It took them seven innings, but the Upper Dublin baseball team was finally able to score against Norristown’s Nick Edling.
The Cardinals pushed three runs across the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Norristown in dramatic fashion, 3-2, in a Suburban One League American Conference game at Upper Dublin High School Thursday afternoon.
Upper Dublin entered the seventh down by two and had just come up empty after a bases-loaded no-out start to the sixth.
JT Breslin led off the final frame with a single and Thomas Juelke followed with a walk. Matt Hebling stepped up as a pinch hitter and laid down a sacrifice bunt. Norristown’s third baseman threw the ball wide and out of play, scoring Breslin and putting the tying run on third base and winning run on second.
“Being down 2-0 coming into the bottom of the seventh,” Upper Dublin coach Ed Wall said. “It took a little while to get the juices flowing but we had some role guys step up off the bench and get the job done.”
Then it was junior Jason Greene’s turn at the plate. Greene picked the perfect time for his first varsity hit. He blooped a single into short right field that bounced past a diving outfielder. Both runners scored and Upper Dublin’s bench raced to second base to congratulate Greene.
“Coach gave me the suicide squeeze sign,” Greene said. “I let the first pitch go by, then I actually missed the second one and I got really mad. Then coach said you have to keep fighting – anything close, you have to hit it. A ball that was a borderline strike – I just swung my bat at it and we got the game-winning run.”
“We had a little bit of shaky fielding in the last couple of innings,” Norristown coach Rich Campbell said. “(Upper Dublin is) a battle-tested team … They beat Wissahickon the other day. They know how to win the tight ones. We just haven’t been in enough tight ones.”
Greene also tallied his first win on the mound in just his second varsity game. He allowed one run on three hits in two innings. He also started a crucial 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning.
Greene came on in relief of senior Conor McFadden. McFadden allowed one run and two hits over five innings, while striking out four and walking four.
“That’s a great outing from him,” Wall said of McFadden. “That’s probably the longest one out of him in a long time. It was nice to see him step up in his senior year. I’m really proud of his effort out there.”
For six innings, it was Edling who was the story of the game. In his first varsity start, the junior threw a complete game and scattered four hits. He struck out ten batters and got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth against Upper Dublin’s 3-4-5 hitters.
“Last year he struggled with his control down on JV,” Campbell said of Edling. “He would throw a lot of pitches and not get a lot of results. He’s matured a lot this year. He doesn’t get as frustrated if things don’t go his way. We’re expecting big things from him this year. He’s pretty much our No. 1 pitcher, that’s why we had him pitching today.”
Norristown’s runs came in the fourth and sixth innings. Terell Dale scored both times for the Eagles. The first, he ripped a one-out single, stole second and scored on Charles Grello’s base hit. The second he led the inning off with a single and Dylan Copestick brought him home.
Copestick, a junior, went 2-for-3 against Upper Dublin and is hitting .750 this year after going 1-for-1 in the opener against Bensalem.
By Ed Morlock Ed Morlock is a sports reporter for The Times Herald in Norristown.