ROYERSFORD — Whoever first said long ago that good pitching will usually beat good hitting wasn’t joking.
Boyertown confirmed that old adage again in Wednesday night’s Pioneer Athletic Conference championship game at Spring-Ford’s Ram Stadium, as Dan Woodley and Brandon Griesemer combined on a one-hit shutout for a 5-0 win over Methacton.
The Bears (14-6, 14-8), who also got a 4-for-4 night from Daulton Weeks, captured their second straight title and seventh in the last 10 years. The top-seeded Warriors (14-6, 16-6), who led the league in almost every offensive category during the regular season, struck out nine times against the two Bear left-handers and got their only hit on an infield grounder by Dan Damato leading off the bottom of the seventh.
Woodley, who had struggled with injuries and thrown just seven innings all year, tossed no-hit ball for four innings with one walk and seven strikeouts.
“It had a lot of meaning to it,” he said concerning the game. “I wanted the ball.”
And despite the lack of action this year, he did what he had been doing for a couple of years … keeping the batters off-balance with an assortment of breaking pitches.
“Throw strikes, let them hit it, and bring back another PAC-10 championship,” he added after appearing unaffected by the layoff. “I felt like I hadn’t gotten off the mound. I knew the guys were going to make the plays behind me. I just pitched.”
“I’m never not confident with that kid on the mound,” said Weeks, who missed the first half of the season with a broken bone and torn ligaments in his left foot. “I’m always confident.”
Boyertown also played vintage Bear ball with good defense, timely hits, and working the pitch count.
“That’s what we were trying to do,” Boyertown coach Todd Moyer said after his team forced Warrior starter Mike Anthony to throw 84 pitches in 3 1/3 innings while drawing six walks. “We had a couple soft at-bats, but every time we’ve seen (Anthony), we’ve gotten some key hits off him.”
That first key hit came with two down in the second inning when Cory Postell lined a one-out single to right following walks to Chris Reigner and Dalton Hughes. Luke Stong dropped a two-out RBI single to left that scored Weeks in the third to make it 2-0.
Then the Bears gave Woodley a lot of breathing room with three in the fourth on three straight one-out walks, a bunt by Wes Fox on which lead runner Hughes beat the throw to the plate, a sacrifice fly to center by Cory Fox, and a bouncing RBI single through the middle by Weeks.
Woodley had his toughest time in the bottom of that frame when the Warriors put two men on via an infield error and a walk with one out and the runners moved up on a grounder to second. But Woodley fanned the next batter as he finished his stint on the mound.
Griesemer wrapped it up for a three-inning save as he walked one and fanned two. The lone Warrior hit came on a grounder to the right side by Damato that was knocked down by the first baseman, who couldn’t get up in time to make a play.
Methacton coach Paul Spiewak wasn’t totally surprised that the combination of a crafty left-hander against a free swinging team did not turn out all that well for the offensive side.
“I didn’t expect it to be that bad of a combination,” he said. “But he (Woodley) didn’t surprise me. We’re a team, if you get behind in the count and if we get a fastball to hit, it doesn’t happen. It was a tough matchup for us.
“I don’t think it was any fault in effort or approach. We ran into a pitcher who was better than us and I’m not surprised. For Woodley to come in and give them four innings was huge and them getting a five-run lead. They (the Bears) did what they needed to do offensively and that took away one of the biggest parts of our game … being able to run.”
Trip Hagner finished up with 3 2/3’s scoreless innings on the mound for the Warriors. … Moyer said that the team decided to use Woodley on Wednesday afternoon. ... “He came to me (Tuesday) night and said, ‘Coach, I feel pretty good. I want the ball,” said the Bear coach. … Senior shortstop Weeks thrived in the big-game atmosphere and picked up the only extra-base hit of the night with a double in the seventh. … “I feel like I see the ball great here,” he said. “I like playing in pressure games.” … Last year A.J. Bogucki – who threw a shutout for the Bears in Monday’s semifinal – had taken a no-hitter late into the game against Spring-Ford and wound up with a 6-5 win. … The Bears have won their seven titles in just 11 years in the league. … The Warriors are the only team to make the Final Four in all five years of that format (and their only five years in the league) and have finished second twice.