UPPER DUBLIN >> JT Breslin struck out to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning and Upper Dublin trailed by four runs. Twenty minutes, nine batters and a pitching change later, Breslin was surrounded by his teammates after hitting a walk-off single. The Cardinals scored five runs in their final at bat to top Upper Moreland, 6-5, in a key Suburban One League American Conference game Monday at Upper Dublin High School. “Last inning we just didn’t want to lose,” Breslin said. “All the guys on our team are fighters. No one wanted to lose that game and we just came out swinging the bats.”
Upper Dublin strung together five straight hits after Breslin’s strikeout in the seventh. Thomas Juelke doubled and scored when Jason O’Gara followed with a double of his own. Max Weinberg singled to knock out Upper Moreland starter Joe Bates and Jason Greene welcomed the new pitcher with an RBI single. Justin Horn singled to load the bases and Matt Hebling grounded into a fielder’s choice to score a run and cut the deficit to one, 5-4, with two outs.
Cole Swiger was intentionally walked with the tying run on third, winning run on second and two outs. Conor McFadden followed with a walk of his own, forcing home the tying run and bringing Breslin back to the plate. Breslin ripped a line drive up the middle to end the game and sent the Upper Dublin bench into a frenzy. “It got back around to me and I got my pitch,” Breslin said. “I sat back on it and hit it well.”
“In the end we kept fighting,” Upper Dublin coach Ed Wall said. “Our bats came alive and we had some huge hits out of almost the entire order there to bring the comeback on.” The win keeps Upper Dublin in the driver’s seat for the SOL American title. It entered the game with a perfect 8-0 mark in league play, but only a half game ahead of Upper Moreland who entered at 8-1.
“It’s a nice, huge, enormous win for us and our program,” Wall said. “It speaks well to the mental toughness we have here, being so down for so long throughout the game and still being able to come back to get this win.We’re not done. The next game is the most important. We want to come ready to play Upper Merion (Tuesday).” The teams will face against next Monday at Upper Moreland, but the Bears will need another team to knock off Upper Dublin. “We have to take care of our own games now,” Upper Moreland coach Ken Irwin said about scoreboard watching. “If we lose again, we’re in trouble. We’ve got to win first.” The Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and made it 5-0 in the fourth. Jon Searles grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the first to score one run and a wild throw to try to turn a double play brought home the second. In the fourth, Brandon Kohn was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score a run and, two batters later, Connor Casey hit a bases loaded single to bring home two more runs. Upper Dublin’s first run didn’t come until the sixth inning, when Swiger doubled home Thomas Reilly. Both starting pitchers went deep into the game and neither was the pitcher of record.
Upper Moreland’s Bates went 6 1/3 innings, striking out eight batters and walking two. He gave up four runs. Upper Dublin’s Swiger allowed five runs on five hits in five innings. He hit two batters, walked three and struck out two. Jason Greene earned the win for the Cardinals, throwing two shutout innings. He gave up one hit and struck out a pair. Tom Jacob was charged with the loss for the Bears. He allowed two runs in 1/3 innings. Irwin said normally losing a game after leading by four runs in the seventh inning could snowball into another loss, but the schedule helps the Bears out. “The great thing is Senior Night (against Cheltenham). That helps. A night game, I think our guys are looking forward to it. We have a great senior class, so I don’t foresee our seniors allowing it to happen.”
SuburbanOne Sports Wrap Up
Upper Dublin 6, Upper Moreland 5
Upper Dublin fell behind 5-0 in this battle for first place. “We needed to have more focused at-bats. We had a tough time getting in a groove early,” Upper Dublin coach Ed Wall said. “Joey Bates did a good job. He was sneaking the fastball by us. We weren’t ourselves.” Upper Dublin’s seniors went to their prom this past weekend. The school’s senior study program, where students do an internship outside of school, started Monday. “We were off our usual schedule,” Wall said. “It took a while. But in the sixth and seventh we got it going.”
The Flying Cardinals trailed 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. Thomas Juelke and Jason O’Gara doubled to make it 5-2. Max Weinberg singled to put men on first and third. Upper Moreland coach Ken Irwin pulled Bates. Then Jason Greene stroked an RBI single to make it 5-3. After Justin Horn singled, Matt Hebling grounded into a fielder’s choice. UM intentionally walked Cole Swiger and unintentionally walked Connor McFadden, forcing in the tying run. T Breslin smoked the ball up the middle into center. Weinberg waltzed home with the winning run.
“They were good at-bats. We were squaring up fastballs that we could have made better opportunities of early in the game,” Wall said. “We brought in Greene, Hebling, and Weinberg. Guys came off the bench to do a job and help us win. Hebling hit the ball hard against Plymouth Whitemarsh last week,” Wall added. “It was a good opportunity to get him in there.” Wall could not stick to coach-speak after such a big, exciting win. “This win is huge. The guys were pumped,” Wall said. “Upper Moreland had a lot of juice throughout the game. We stayed quiet and confident.”
Upper Dublin plays two more league games this week and three next week. “There’s a lot of ball to be played,” Wall said.
The Cardinals (10-2, 9-0 SOL) travel to Upper Merion Tuesday for a 3:30 start. Upper Moreland (11-3, 8-2 SOL) plays Cheltenham Tuesday.
Upper Dublin 0-0-0-0-0-1-5 6
Upper Moreland 2-0-0-3-0-0-0 5
The GameChanger Report
The Upper Dublin / Cardinals come from behind to beat Upper Moreland, 6-5
With the score tied at five in the seventh inning, JT Breslin came to the plate and singled, bringing home Justin Horn. Breslin was solid at the plate for the Upper Dublin / Cardinals. Breslin went 1-4 and drove in one.
Jason Greene was in control on the mound. Greene held Upper Moreland hitless over two innings, allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out two.
Jacob ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with the loss. He lasted just one-third of an inning, walked two, struck out none, and allowed two runs. The top of the first saw Upper Moreland take an early lead, 2-0. Upper Moreland’s rally started when Delucas singled.
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