PHOENIXVILLE — Spring-Ford pitcher Cam Simmons had not pitched in a regular season game this year until Friday afternoon's Pioneer Athletic Conference contest against Phoenixville.
Simmons pitched five strong innings and Spring-Ford came up big in all phases of the game when it had to in producing a 9-2 victory over the Phantoms.
Simmons and Shane Emrich combined on a six-hitter with Phoenixville scoring its two runs (one earned) in the bottom of the fourth inning. Simmons pitched the first five frames and gave up four hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Emrich tossed the last two innings and permitted two hits with one strikeout after starting the game as the Rams' designated hitter.
The Rams (6-1, 6-1) gave them plenty of support with a three-run homer by Connor Klemann in the fourth inning and a two-run shot by Zach Wedemeyer in the seventh. Spring-Ford also turned three double plays, including one to end the game. Simmons picked up a pair of run-scoring sacrifice flies out of the cleanup spot, and Connor Murphy also had a sacrifice fly in the sixth."We did a lot of good things,' said Spring-Ford coach Bruce Brobst. "There are still some things we have to straighten out. It was a good day for Cam Simmons. He hasn't pitched in a while and he was outstanding throwing the ball over the plate.'
Brobst said Simmons' last mound appearance came during a scrimmage back in March. Since then, with the bad weather, the Rams have only played two games per week so Simmons has not been needed on the hill."I am still trying to figure out how we match up with teams,' said Brobst.
Phoenixville coach Jack Sturgeon was impressed with Simmons."Their pitcher was probably the best we faced so far this year,' said Sturgeon. "We started to hit him there in the middle of the game, but he was in command. They (Rams) crushed the ball. They know how to play the game. They are a typical Spring-Ford team.'
Klemann, the Rams' shortstop, went 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs out of the leadoff spot for Spring-Ford, along with two stolen bases. Emrich doubled home a run in the seventh for the Rams, who totaled eight hits.
The Phantoms (3-5, 3-5) finished the day with six hits, all singles. First baseman Zach Gallow went 2-for-3 out of the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
Bryan Furr pitched the first 3 2/3 innings for the hosts with relief help from Rob McMahon and Brett Thomas. They combined for eight strikeouts and seven walks.
Phoenixville will now take a Florida trip next week that will combine much-needed practice time in good weather with scrimmages and game experience. The Phantoms leave Sunday and will return home Thursday night.
While in Florida, the Phantoms have two scrimmages against a New York team Monday, a game against Illinois Tuesday, a game against an Ohio team Wednesday and then practice time Thursday before venturing back north to home."We want to come back a better team for the second half,' said Sturgeon.