Phil Gannon was just three outs away from pitching a complete game.
But after allowing the first two Delsea batters to reach base safely, the Woodstown junior was replaced as his pitch count was escalating.
Despite being disappointed about not finishing what he started, Gannon's efforts still led the Wolverines to an impressive 8-4 victory over the Crusaders on Friday evening in Tri-County Conference Diamond Division action.
"I wanted to finish the game so bad," Gannon said. "I didn't want to get taken out. But we came in and showed them what we can do, and I feel great about that."
The righthander allowed only three runs on seven hits while recording two strikeouts. He also walked just two batters.
"Phil pitched a great game," Woodstown coach Lee Ware said. "I would have liked to see him finish, but we needed to rest his arm."
Woodstown also had a great outing from shortstop Cody Wolf. He went 3 for 4 and drove in three crucial runs.
"The runners got on, and I did my part to move them over and get them home," said Wolf, who also scored three runs. "We just kept the same game plan going all game, and it worked."
The Wolverines improved to 5-5 on the season and, considering they started 0-3, anticipate expanding on the momentum the team gained on Friday.
"This is a great group of kids," Ware said. "Delsea is a fine program, so I'm glad to come away with the win. It builds our confidence and helps with the standings."
Mason Maxwell helped Delsea (3-4) score two of its four runs. Going 3 for 4 at the plate, the second baseman said that Woodstown was just playing better baseball.
"I knew I had to do a job when we got runners on," Maxwell said. "It's tough losing these games. But we have a long season and will be back."
Maxwell was upset with himself for hitting a ground ball with the bases loaded for the final out of the game. But the Delsea players said they understand there is plenty of baseball left to be played.
"We just didn't make the plays, and you got to make the plays," Delsea coach Fran Ciociola said. "We have to refocus and cannot think ahead of ourselves. We will keep working hard and getting better."
Woodstown 002 312 0 - 8 13 0
Delsea 010 011 1 - 4 8 4
WP: Phil Gannon. LP: Jacob King. 2B: Matt Pedrich