West’s seventh inning run enough to beat Coatesville 1-0

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Esch, Brown duel into final inning, walks costly to Raiders

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times


Downingtown West’s Sean Esch prevailed in a tight pitchers duel, Tuesday, against Coatseville, 1-0.

CALN – A battle between two of the Ches Mont’s top pitchers resulted in a 1-0 victory for Downingtown West at Coatesville on Tuesday night.

The trajectory of the game was clear from the beginning with Coatesville’s Brian Brown and West’s Sean Esch taking the mound for their teams. Brown dominated the first two innings, allowing no hits and racking up five strikeouts. Esch kept up, allowing just two hits and not allowing a runner into scoring position.

“The pitching is at a high level,” Downingtown Coach Dave Oleszek said of the ChesMonts this year. “Coming into the game, we know we’re facing one of the top pitchers in the league.”

But Oleszek’s team did manage to put some pressure on that pitching in the top of the third.

A Brown strikeout was followed by a couple of errors put runners on first and second for the Whippets, and shortstop Alex Jankowski took a walk to load the bases. However, Brown’s third strikeout in the inning ended the threat.

Coatesville’s offense could not produce pressure of its own, going three up and three down five times on the night.

“We just have a philosophy. We have a good, fast defense and some things we believe in,” said Oleszek. “I’m proud of my guys. They really played well.”

Both pitchers retired batters with ease for much of the remainder of the game. But Downingtown pressed once again in the top of the sixth.

An error on a grounder allowed catcher Max Edgin to reach first. A stole base and then a pass ball advanced pinch runner Joey Meijas to third while shortstop Kenny Jarema took a pitch to the head to get on base. His subsequent uncontested steal put to runners in scoring position with two outs. However, Brown dealt with the pressure once again, getting another strikeout to retire the side.

But once again, Coatesville would see three men up and three men down, including a pickoff at second by Edgin.

“I try to keep my composure and keep the distractions and noises out of the way,” Esch said of pitching late in the game with both sides at zero.

That composure translated to sustained momentum on offense.

With Coatesville’s Caesar Asadi on the mound in the seventh, Downingtown took a couple of walks to get men on. A ground out ended the inning but not before Downingtown third baseman Toby Welk got home and put the game’s lone run up for his team.

Coatesville shortstop Aaron Cummings did his best fire back immediately, hitting a deep fly to centerfield, but the ball dropped for an out just before reaching the fence. The out was the first in another three up three down inning for the home team to close out the game.

“It’s a great win early in the season, but we have to be prepare for tomorrow,” said Oleszek.

West will face Rustin at home Wednesday afternoon while Coatesville hosts Sun Valley/Northley.

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