Wladyka Blue hurler Chase Hermance follows through with a pitch in Tuesday’s Super 17 game.
By Will Harrigan
The pitching duo of Chase Hermance and Wes Hellings nearly pulled off a very impressive feat on Tuesday afternoon.
One more out – and about two feet – were all that stood between the rising seniors at Wallkill (NY) and Summit, N.J. respectively, from tossing a no-hitter for their Wladyka Baseball-Blue squad at the Super 17s Invitational at Diamond Nation. Hellings surrendered the infield hit one out a way from a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh inning.
But even so, Wladyka Blue rolled to a 9-1 victory over Boston Junior Rams in showcase action. The Wladyka program is dividing three teams amongst two different slots in the tournament throughout the week.
“Our guys were throwing strikes and getting ahead of counts. We didn’t really walk anyone or offer any free passes, and that’s the difference right there,” said namesake coach Jim Wladyka.
The lone Boston Rams hit came off the bat of Dylan Cole, who plays his high school ball for Mascanomet HS in Massachusetts. Cole hit a grounder deep in the first base hole and beat Hellings to the bag by about a foot to break up the no-no.
Meanwhile, the Wladyka offense provided plenty of run support for their top two pitchers throughout the game.
Bergen Catholic product Jamie Zee doubled home a pair of runs in the top of the first inning to immediately get the winners ahead. His shot scored Crusaders teammates Harrison Certo and Aidan Baglino, who were hit by a pitch and singled, respectively. Baglino, a rising senior, is already committed to Fairfield.
Glen Rock’s James Stewart got in on the action for Wladyka in the second, as he belted an RBI triple to score Jayden Pagan (Hudson Catholic) and John Staff (Bergen Catholic) to balloon the lead to 5-0.
An RBI grounder by Certo in the fifth was followed a batter later by an RBI single by Don Bosco Prep’s James Hinspeter, extending the lead further. Hinspeter went 2-for-4 batting in the three-hole on the day.
Just across the New York border from picturesque Vernon in Sussex County lies Warwick, where Wladyka’s Binghamton-bound rising senior Jackson Mitchell plays his high school ball for Warwick Valley.
He blasted his seventh inning home run, which cleared the left field fence by a wide margin, to close out the scoring at 9-0. That blast also scored Hinspeter, who had singled a batter earlier.
Back on the mound, Hermance and Hellings had different styles of pitching but yielded the same results. Consistently hitting the mid-to-upper 80s, Hermance fanned six Rams batters in three innings.
Hellings, on the other hand, quickly took command of the zone, forcing swings early in the count and rolled up four innings of one-hit ball in an incredibly efficient manner.
Matt Walsh of Reading (MA) High School drew the only walk surrendered by a Wladyka pitcher. That was off Hellings in the sixth.