O'Hara ace has a dream day

AARON CARTER / STAFF Will Latcham is surprised by postgame prom proposal from Audrey Anderson(holding '?').
AARON CARTER / STAFF Will Latcham is surprised by postgame prom proposal from Audrey Anderson(holding '?').
Posted: April 11, 2014

EVER GO TO A baseball game and see a prom proposal break out? If not, you should have been at Cardinal O'Hara yesterday, because Will Latcham certainly had himself a day.

The 6-1, 190-pound senior pitcher stood in a victorious huddle as head coach John Grossi addressed the Lions in leftfield after they dispatched Roman Catholic, 9-4, in Catholic League Red play.

As Latcham secured an ice pack onto his pitching arm, five young ladies surreptitiously moved into position behind him on a hill just beyond third base.

With an aggressive wind whipping their hair, it was giggles galore as each girl held a sign behind her back.

And when the pride of Lions finally adjourned their meeting, each sign was raised and the question was posed.

P-R-O-M-?

Audrey Anderson, a senior at O'Hara, was the one holding the question mark and making the inquiry.

"I was shocked," said Latcham, sporting the widest of smiles. "She asked me. That's the surprising part. I had a plan to ask her, but she beat me to it, I guess!"

After a 14-strikeout, complete-game outing that included a three-run home run at the plate, Latcham wasn't beaten by much.

And neither were his teammates. After losing to the Cahillites on Wednesday, O'Hara (7-2, 5-2 CL) finished with eight doubles, including four in a three-run second inning that seized the lead for good.

"We usually do hit the ball," Latcham said. "That's what we need. If we can hit like that every game, it's going to be hard to beat us."

Seniors Dan Dwyer, Nick Newman, John Banes and junior Colin McGuire each went 2-for-4, with Newman (two RBI) and McGuire hitting two doubles apiece.

"[As a pitcher], that makes me want to go out there and pick them up like they picked me up," Latcham said. "It gives me more - what's the word? - adrenaline."

That ingredient briefly caused a backfire after Latcham juiced a shot in the fourth that landed well beyond the 370-foot sign in left-center and gave the Lions an 8-2 lead on the chalkboard. (The stadium's scoreboard was inoperable so the score was kept on a chalkboard stationed on the hill behind third.)

All hopped up on happy, Latcham gave up three straight hits in the next inning, which allowed the Cahillites to close within 8-4.

"I was still thinking about that [homer]," he said, smiling. "I shouldn't have brought that out to the mound with me. I should have left that in the dugout and thought about what I had to do on the mound.

"Honestly, I don't even know how I hit it," he added. "When I pitch, I focus on pitching. I don't even care if I hit. But today, I guess I just barreled it up and got it. Little bit of help with the wind, but . . . "

It's true, gusts to leftfield appeared to help a few balls, but Frank Richardson's solo blast for Roman in the fourth was a no-doubter, deep to left. Matt Detreux and Connor McKenna added two hits apiece for the Cahillites (3-3 in CL play), who finished with nine hits. Joe Myers started and took the loss, allowing four runs, six hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings.

Latcham, who will pitch at Kutztown next year, didn't make many mistakes. In fact, he fanned two or more batters in five of the seven innings (127 pitches, one walk), and 10 of his 14 strikeout victims went down looking.

The Briarcliffe resident expects to study criminal justice in college and hopes to someday become a Philadelphia police officer.

He said that he and Anderson have been friends since she transferred to O'Hara 2 years ago. As for his prom-proposal idea, he was still cooking it up and was short on details, but now he's off the hook.

The special day is May 16, but as days go, yesterday wasn't too shabby.

"Exactly," Latcham said, grinning. "A great day all around, a great day."


On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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