The Towamensing Township baseball team could do little wrong Wednesday night.
The Yankees (9-6-1) scored five runs in the first inning and rode a complete game shutout from starter Nick Frey to a convincing 11-0 win over Forks Township in Keystone Senior Babe Ruth action.
Garrett Krome, Isaac George, Greg Wierzbicki and Austin Cook, who all knocked in runs for the Yankees in the first inning, led Towamensing's offensive outburst. Cook finished the contest 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBI.
"We got out to an early lead and Nick (Frey) held them," said Towamensing coach Don Hunter. "I always tell the team it's a big thing once you put some runs on the board to come back the next inning and hold them, and I thought that was key right away."
Frey was lights out from the opening pitch, allowing only five hits with five strikeouts in seven innings of work.
The early run support put Frey's mind at ease when he went out on the mound.
"It gave me a lot of confidence when I was pitching," Frey said. "Getting the run support early was really big and it went a long way in helping us secure the win today."
Having a reliable defense helped the right-hander's psyche, too.
"As a pitcher, it makes you feel very secure when your fielders are making the plays behind you," said Frey. "You don't have to pitch as hard or throw as many pitches and it just makes it a lot easier."
The early advantage allowed the Yankees to put pressure on the Forks Township (5-12) fielders and employ their aggressive base running tactics, allowing them to manufacture runs against Falcons' starter Devon Shedlock.
"Getting out to an early lead allowed us to play our running game," said Hunter. "Stealing bases and taking that extra base is part of our game.
"There just aren't a lot of home runs in Senior Babe Ruth Baseball anymore and a double is a long hit nowadays. Getting out early allowed us to put our running game in force and kind of get away with it."
The fact that none of Towamensing's 12 hits in the contest went for extra bases made the strategic moves on the base paths even more critical.
The Yankees, now riding a six-game winning streak, have momentum on their side as the postseason looms.
"If we keep this team together, if we can keep everybody together, we can make a run," Hunter said. "This spot (in the playoffs) wasn't given to us this year; we had to earn it.
"I always tell the kids, 'when you have a chance to win a championship, it's something you'll never forget,' When you have a chance to win a championship you take advantage of the opportunity because it really is special."
And after his dominant pitching performance, Frey could only reaffirm Hunter's expectations for the team,
"I'm really looking forward to having a chance to compete in the playoffs," Frey said. "It's going to be great competition with some of the best teams in the league and we're really looking forward to going deep into the playoffs."
Forks Twsp. 000 000 0 - 0 5 3
Towamensing 503 201 x - 11 12 3
Shedlock, Honor (3) and Slater; Frey and N. Sander. W - Frey. L - Shedlock.