NORTH PLAINFIELD- If there’s one pitcher who has the Skyland Conference on notice, it’s Bruce Weyand. Weyand, a junior right-hander has been a force on the mound for the North Plainfield High School baseball team all season, and earlier today he got to once again show off his skills in a start against a Skyland-Mountain division rival in Bound Brook.
The junior pitcher delivered again, as a 12 strikeout, three hit complete game shutout from Weyand led the Canucks (6-2) to a 4-0 win over the Crusaders.
"(Weyand has) thrown 14 innings against Bound Brook he hasn’t given up a run so we knew we had a good chance,” Chris Eshelman, the head coach of North Plainfield said after the game. We knew if we got a couple runs across with him on the mound, we’d be in good shape.”
From the first inning on, the Canucks’ hitters consistently got good contact on the pitches of Bound Brook’s Austin Pemberton, but the fielding of the Crusaders (2-10) combined with a bit of bad luck kept North Plainfield scoreless for the first half of the game. The defense of the Canucks kept the the score 0-0 though, and eventually, in the fifth inning, a deep hit to central field from Steve Merrill sent Christian Wieczorek home for the first score of the game.
Four at-bats later, Nick Pellegrino stole home to make the lead 2-0. Runs from Nick Cherasaro, and Terrance Jones in the sixth inning extended the lead to 4-0.
Merrill finished with two RBI and two hits in three at-bats, while Jones and Weyands also recorded a hit each. The Canucks fielders also came through, as they committed no errors during the game.
“It was a good show of perseverance,” Eshelman said. “We hit a couple balls hard right at them, and we just kept going at it every inning battling and finally we scored four runs and that was enough today.”
The win made the Canucks a perfect 5-0 in conference play, and Weyand 4-0 on the season. In his starts, the junior pitcher has given up just two runs and five hits while striking out 51 batters on the season.
“He just battles, he loves to compete,” Eshelman said of his pitcher. “He was almost at his pitch limit, and maybe if there was another batter or two we’d have to take him out, but he had good guys behind him. It was a great team effort today.”
The Canucks will take on Immaculata on Saturday before returning to Mountain division play against Pingry and Belvidere next week.