Methacton starting pitcher John Wiedmayer endured a rather inauspicious beginning in Wednesday's District 1-AAAA baseball tournament second-round game against Garnet Valley — getting nailed in the knee by a line drive from Steve Palis, the second batter he faced.
Fortunately for the visiting Warriors, Wiedmayer got up — after a few anxious moments — and gutted out 5.1 innings while the Methacton lineup offered plenty of run support in what wound up a 12-5 victory.
"I was scared,' Wiedmayer said. "I thought I was done for the season. ... I didn't see it. I followed through and it just nailed me. It was really hurting the first couple of innings, but it was OK. Our coach (Paul Spiewak) kept asking me how I was doing every inning.'
His knee throbbing, the senior right-hander worked his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in that first inning, and a two-on, two-out situation in the third.
"That kid's got guts, man,' Garnet Valley coach Rudy Shiller said of Wiedmayer, who had struck out 10 on a two-hit shutout in last week's 1-0 Pioneer Athletic Conference championship victory over Pope John Paul II. "The first thing I saw was that he really hurt his knee ... but he toughed it out, stayed in there and threw a ton of pitches.
"I think seeing that gave his team some incentive to do well. That's what I would feel if I was one of his teammates.'
Jim Shomberg went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI and Kyle Lowery also drove in three runs for North No. 7 seed Methacton (18-6), which advanced to Friday's 4 p.m. quarterfinal at South No. 3 Council Rock South.
The Warriors broke open a 3-0 lead with a six-run fourth highlighted by Shomberg's solo homer and Lowery's two-run double.
The South No. 2 seed Jaguars (14-4) scratched out a run in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI ground out by Sean Elison. But that didn't help the Garnet Valley big guy — who is headed to St. Francis on a football scholarship — feel any better later on.
"We got outplayed in every aspect: hitting, catching and throwing,' Elison said. "I think we were pretty equally matched with them, but we just gave them the game.'
In the fifth, however, the Warriors picked on reliever Nick Bulisky for three more runs and a 12-1 lead, and with the rain appropriately falling it looked like the game may be a 10-run rule wrap. But the Jags fought back via a four-run bottom half, keyed by a two-run double by Faso and a Sean Sarbaugh bomb over the right-field fence, cutting it to 12-5.
After that home run, however, it was a case of almosts for the Jags. They would strand a runner in that fifth frame, then leave five more men on base over the next two innings as Methacton reliever Owen McCue held strong with 1.2 innings of two-hit shutout ball.