CRESSON – Philadelphia’s Billy Bethel is a pretty good right-handed pitcher, but even he will tell you that his numbers benefit because he doesn’t have to face his Philly Bandit teammates.
“Barreldelphia,” as left fielder Dutch Reardon has christened the Bandits, was at it again on Thursday afternoon at Mount Aloysius College. One of just three undefeated teams heading into the quarterfinals, Philadelphia cracked double-digit runs for the fourth time in as many games, piling up 17 hits in a 13-3 win over Maryland State CrabFest Baseball in a game that was called in the middle of the seventh inning because of the 10-run rule.
“I was able to pitch with confidence. I know this offense is going to produce runs,” Bethel said. “I just had to throw strikes and let these guys hit. They’re going to score a lot of runs and get a lot of hits.”
And a lot of them got in on the act. Eight of Philadelphia’s nine batters had at least one hit, and four had multiple hits, including cleanup hitter Greg Delgado, who went 4-for-4 with four runs.
“It’s just the chemistry,” Delgado said when asked about the secret behind the Bandits’ hitting prowess. “The guys are having a good time, playing well. We’re all relaxed. We come here prepared.
“But we’re all having fun. That’s the biggest thing.”
Reardon and Matt Smith each wound up with three hits and two RBIs, while Nick D’Amore went 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Phil Stahl drove in three runs.
The Bandits spotted Maryland State a 3-0 lead, going down in order after CrabFest batted around in the top of the first.
However, as the thunder was rolling in with a brief downpour that resulted in about a 20-minute rain delay, the thunder started rolling out of Philadelphia’s lineup, too.
Philadelphia scored five times in the bottom of the second inning and added single runs in the third and fourth.
“We didn’t get nervous. We just stuck with our game and kept barreling the balls like we always do,” a grinning D’Amore said. “We’re very confident. We’re scoring more than 10 runs per game, helping our pitchers pitch comfortably.”
Smith’s two-out single in the bottom of the sixth scored Reardon with the fourth run of that frame to make it a 10-run difference. Bethel allowed a two-out walk in the top of the seventh before getting a flyout to end the contest.
“It felt good. The guys are all hitting well, doing good,” Smith said. “We have a good contact team, and we have power, too. We just have guys who are very good hitters. I love playing with them.”
It makes it pretty easy for Bandits manager Greg Olenski to fill out a lineup card.
“We’re pretty lucky to have the lineup we have,” Olenski said.
“Obviously, no game is easy, but, the way these guys have been swinging, it’s great to give our pitchers all the support they need.
“I was confident in our guys from Day 1 when we constructed this roster. We put a team of experienced college hitters and pitchers together. I knew ultimately we could be playing in that big game, and that’s just been the motto for us.”
Bethel allowed just four hits, and none of the runs he gave up was earned because of two errors in the top of the first.
Eric Holz lined a single to centerfield to drive in the second and third runs for Maryland State, which finished the tournament 2-2.
“That team’s pretty good. They hit the ball very well,” said CrabFest’s Mike Higginbotham, who was acting as manager because Sean O’Connor was called away.
“We started out strong, but then we relaxed. I take my hat off to that team.”