MIDDLETOWN — Here’s a shocker: Aston Valley is going to the Delco League finals.
The Knights are back in the championship round for the fifth consecutive season after disposing of Middletown, 3-1, Tuesday night at Penncrest High School. Aston Valley won three of four games in the best-of-5 semifinal series.
For good reason, the Knights wanted to avoid a Game 5 at all costs. The extra time off gives the Knights’ pitching rotation some much-needed rest as they look to become the first team since Wayne (2008-09) to claim back-to-back titles.
“Middletown has the kid (Garrett) Wrambel who pitched the other day, and we knew he was coming,” veteran Knight Steve Maloney said of Middletown’s flame-throwing ace who hurled an eight-inning shutout in Game 2. “I’m sure he would have closed this game if they had the lead, but we knew they were going to come back with him.
“It’s good we were able to finish it here and not worry about a Game 5. In a five-game series, you never want it to go the distance. You just want to get it over with so you can regroup and get your pitchers ready for the finals.“
Joe Nestor, a former Middletown player, limited his former team to three hits. The left-hander went the distance, striking out five while allowing just the one run. Nestor, a Monsignor Bonner product, opposed fellow ex-Friar Ryan Haley, who allowed only six hits and yielded two earned runs while coaxing six first-pitch outs. He pitched very well, but Nestor was better.
“I was mixing it up, keeping them off balance. That was pretty much the game plan we had the whole time,” Nestor said. “I wanted to throw all of my pitches, going from one to the next. Usually, it was fastball-changeup and mixing in the curveball.”
Whatever he had going, it worked. Nestor kept an aggressive Middletown lineup at bay as only once did the Lions have more than one runner on base at a time.
Middletown threatened in the first inning when Andrew Abrams reached with a one-out single and motored to second base after an error. Anthony Kyne hit a tapper back to Nestor for the second out before Brian Leon — the offensive hero in Game 2 for Middletown — rolled a soft grounder to first baseman Bill Hollingsworth, ending the frame. Trailing 3-0, the Lions finally got to Nestor in the fourth inning when Abrams led things off with a single and scored on an RBI hit by Jimmy Quinn.
Outside of those two innings, though, Middletown’s bats were silenced by Nestor.
“He was throwing all three pitches for a strike,” battery-mate Jon Plasha said. “He was pounding the zone, really, and the thing he had going most for him was his changeup. That is his best pitch and he was really spotting it well. I felt like those guys really struggled with that pitch.
“Earlier in the season, we were starting a lot of hard-throwing guys, but a guy like Nestor is able to start off with curveball and changeup and use all of his pitches well. That really throws off your timing (as a hitter).”
In the second inning, Maloney beat out a two-out, RBI single to the shortstop Kyne, who unloaded an errant throw that resulted in a second runner to cross the plate. The 2-0 cushion for Nestor was all Aston Valley needed.
“We got lucky. Joey Nestor threw as good as we could have asked him to throw,” said Maloney, the team’s leadoff hitter who reached base twice. “We didn’t even have to use one of our starting pitchers throughout the season in Justin Hanley, which is huge because it sets us up for the finals.”
Chad Hug ripped an RBI single in the third, knocking in Sam Farnell, to put Aston Valley on top, 3-0.
Aston Valley takes on Narberth in the best-of-5 championship series beginning Thursday night at 5:45. The Knights have home-field advantage, with the first two games at Jim Buggy Memorial Field at Sun Valley High School. Aston Valley swept the season series against Narberth, 4-0, but the Mudcats are coming off a surprising sweep of No. 1-seed Chester.
For this core of Aston Valley players, they are out to prove to everybody they’re still the team to beat. Aston Valley is also seeking its third title in four years.
“It’s always a great feeling when you’re not just having one great year, but you’re able to a string a couple together,” Plasha said. “Our team ... it’s a very tight team. We have each others back, we play hard and we have fun. I think that says a lot about where we are.”
Denial of Chester’s protest sends Narberth to Delco League finals
Chester’s protest was denied so Narberth is headed to the Delco League finals for the first time since 2008.
That was the ruling by Delco League president Frank Agovino Monday night.
Top-seeded Chester protested Sunday’s 7-5 loss to fifth-seeded Narberth in the league semifinals Sunday because manager Dan McShane believed the umpires misinterpreted a ground rule on an apparent three-run home run by Chester’s Justin Lamborn in the top of the fifth inning.
With Chester trailing, 6-0, Lamborn laced a shot to right field that went into some bushes near a small building that sits right off the foul line at Narberth Playground. Narberth right fielder Steve DeBarberie put his hands up when he could not see the ball. As all three Chester runners raced around the bases, first base umpire Jake Egan raised his hands and ruled the hit a ground-rule double.
Instead of trailing, 6-3, Chester only got one run out of the deal and that touched off an argument that led to the ejection of Lamborn.
Because of several openings in the fence and shrubbery that surrounds the baseball field, there are specific ground rules at Narberth Playground. One of those rules is a ball is in play if it goes into the shrubs in right field.
McShane, who could not be reached for comment Monday night, played the rest of the game under protest. Narberth went on to win the game and take the series, 3-0. McShane filed his formal protest after the game.
After consulting with all parties involved, Agovino released his ruling in an email Monday night. Here is a part of that statement:
“In regard to the matter the essence is whether or not there was an improper application of the ground rules that were discussed before the game and/or whether the ruling umpire was within his purview to render a binding judgment in light of those ground rules,” Agovino wrote.
“The Delco League through its By Laws has adopted American League (MLB) Rules with only few exceptions that are clearly pointed out in those By Laws. Rule 6.09 (e) of the MLB rule book states:
‘A fair ball, after touching the ground bounds into stands, or passes through, over or under a fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the fence, in which case the batter and the runners shall be entitled to advance two bases.’
“This rule would lead one to conclude that the umpire was within his purview whether or not the ball would have been easily plucked from the shrubs or not. In addition, umpires are also able to award two bases in any situation where the ball is lost to plain sight because of unusual impediment(s) on the field of play.
“What I did find peculiar was, while not governed by rule, it is customary for the umpire make a close inspection of the area in order to validate any call. I expressed this to the umpire assignor (Dennis Keegan) who explains that although the umpire was an estimated 100-150 feet away the ball was clearly lost to plain sight of officials, players and fans. This seems to have been corroborated by non biased game attendees as well as the home plate umpire.
“I do not want to give the impression that I believe rules should always be strictly enforced because there are times that an abundance of ‘common sense’ should prevail. We are a society of laws but this is at the end of the day a game which, in my mind might allow the League President to act with more latitude and good common sense than other rules and laws that govern us. In this situation, after weighing the ‘common sense’ factor with the stated rules this time I feel the rule does prevail and, in effect, this was a judgment call by an umpire that was binding despite ground rules discussed that day and for many years gone by.
“In conclusion, the protest is not upheld and Narberth wins the series 3 games to 0.”
Narberth plays with winner of the series between Aston Valley and Middletown. Aston Valley has a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. Game 4 is tonight (5:45) at Penncrest High School.
Narberth hoping victory holds up to review
August 3, 2013
By HARRY CHAYKUN Special to the Times
LOWER MERION — Friday, Mike Galetta made the big defensive play of the game from shortstop.
Sunday afternoon, when the third game of the Delco Baseball League semifinal series between top-seeded Chester and No. 5 Narberth began at Narberth Playground, Galetta was playing third base for the home team.
As the last two batters of the seventh inning came to the plate, Galetta had moved 60 feet, 6 inches from home and was asked to save the game for Narberth. After walking Matt Scherer to force in a run, Galetta got Pat Warrington to fly out to right field and Narberth believed it had claimed a 7-5 decision and a three-game sweep of the series.
Narberth could have qualified for the finals for the first time since being swept by Wayne in 2008, but Sunday’s contest was played under protest when Chester thought the umpires misinterpreted a ground rule and did not allow a three-run homer by Justin Lamborn in the top of the fifth inning.
Narberth scored four runs in the bottom of the first and got double plays to help starter Kevin Giffin out of trouble in the first two innings.
With Chester trailing 6-0 after four innings, manager Dan McShane’s visitors thought they got back in the game in the top of the fifth. Scherer belted a one-out double — his second two-base hit of the game — before Giffin retired Warrington for the second out of the inning. After Chip Scherer walked, Lamborn smoked a liner to right field that set off the fireworks.
Narberth right fielder Steve DeBarberie went after the ball, which disappeared in some bushes near a small building that sits right off the foul line. DeBarberie put his hands up in the air as if he couldn’t see the ball, but the Chester runners kept on going until each had touched home plate. First base umpire Jake Egan also raised his hands and ruled the hit a ground-rule double.
After a lot of shouting, a meeting of the umpires, and Lamborn’s ejection, the play was ruled a double, only one run scored, and Giffin fanned Lou Baldini for the third out of the inning. When Narberth’s “win” was complete, McShane officially filed his protest to Delco League president Frank Agovino.
Agovino poured over McShane’s protest, Narberth manager Lou Petrellis’ report on the game, and messages from umpires’ commissioner Dennis Keegan and decided that the situation required additional consultation among the league officers before a final ruling on the protest could be issued.
The teams will take tonight off and await the verdict. If McShane’s protest is upheld, the game will resume at Narberth Playground Tuesday with Narberth ahead, 6-3, with two outs in the top of the fifth inning.
“Narberth has been playing well and doing everything they could to get to the finals,” McShane said. “We just didn’t want to see our season finish this way. Our understanding was that if the ball went down there, it was all you could get.”
Narberth’s Lou DeRosa got two triples and a single in four trips to the plate and knocked in a pair of runs, and Galetta, his former Haverford College teammate, had two singles, a double and a walk and drove in one run.
DeRosa missed Narberth’s quarterfinal series win over Wayne.
“A friend of mine and I usually travel for a couple of weeks each summer, and we just got back from Columbia (South America),” said DeRosa, who grew up in San Francisco before settling in this area after completing his studies at Haverford.
“Whenever I miss some time like that, I just try to shorten up my swing and make sure I hit the ball.”
Galetta was pitching for the first time since throwing two innings against Wayne in the middle of the season.
“I threw four pitches before I had to go up to bat (in the bottom of the sixth),” the 2007 Daily Times Baseball Player of the Year said. “I love situations like that. I knew even if I walked the first guy, I still could go after the next guy.
“And if they (tied the score), I had confidence my teammates would pick me up.”
Chester got 13 hits off Giffin and reliever Rich Young, with Bob Williams going 3-for-4 and Matt Scherer, Baldini and Billy Ford (two-run triple, infield single) each adding a pair.
In the other Delco League semifinal series:
Aston Valley 11, Middletown 4: When Aston Valley has its entire lineup hitting, there isn’t much the opposition can do.
Such was the case Sunday as the defending champion Knights pulled away for a victory over Middletown at Penncrest High School.
The host Lions erased a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but it was not enough to keep Aston Valley from taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series.
In the fifth, the Knights erupted for seven runs to move within one game of the championship series for the fifth year in a row.
The Knights bashed 13 hits one day after being blanked by Middletown’s pitcher and Marple Newtown All-Delco Garrett Wrambel.
“We tip our hat to Wrambel,” said leadoff man and assistant coach Steve Maloney. “We haven’t been shut out like that in the last three years. He did a great job, but we were missing a few guys and we’re a different team when we have all of our guys.”
That was evident in the sixth inning when the Knights sent 11 hitters to the plate, smashed seven hits and scored seven runs. The big blows were back-to-back two-run singles by center fielder Chad Stecker and catcher John Plasha that blew the game wide open.
It was a group effort. Eight players had at least one hit. Maloney led the way with three hits, two runs scored and one RBI. Plasha scored twice and knocked in a pair of runs. Joe Poduslenko scored three times, had two hits and one RBI.
Middletown didn’t go quietly. The Lions used an RBI single from Brian Leon and a two-run double by Joe Kelly to tie the game. Kurt Johnson drove in Middletown’s final run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, but it wasn’t enough to give the Lions their second win in the series.
“They’re the best team in the league, win or lose,” Middletown skipper Rusty Abrams said. “There’s no weakness between one and nine. Their No. 9 hitter has batted three or four for them. They’re tough.”
Wrambel, Leon help Middletown pull even with Aston Valley
ASTON — The secret weapon of the Delco League was at the top of his game Saturday.
Garrett Wrambel, who joined Middletown midway through the season after taking a year off from pitching in college, showed defending champion Aston Valley he’s the real deal.
Incorporating a knee-buckling changeup with a sizzling fastball, the Marple Newtown All-Delco was an intimidating presence on the mound at Jim Buggy Memorial Field for Game 2 of a Delco League semifinal series.
Wrambel needed to be very good for Middletown to keep pace with Aston Valley, which won in blowout fashion in Game 1. Instead, Wrambel was great.
“We knew we didn’t want to go down 2-0 and lose the two games here,” he said. “ We knew ... if we could split at their place, then we can take it to our place with some momentum.”
Middletown can thank Wrambel and the team’s offensive hero, Brian Leon, whose two-run single with two outs in the top of the eighth inning lifted the Lions to a 2-0 victory, evening the best-of-five series at a game apiece.
Leon’s clutch knock off Aston Valley starter Fred Hilliard likely prevented a marathon between two of the league’s great pitchers. Hilliard was a tough-luck loser, allowing only four hits, three of which came in that fateful inning No. 8. Hilliard got into a bases-loaded jam before Leon hit a rocket that traveled beyond the diving reach of Aston Valley shortstop Chad Hug, knocking in Joe Kelly and Kurt Johnson.
“It’s tough (in that situation) because Fred’s such a good pitcher. I was just looking for something that was over the plate, something that I could flick to the outfield at least,” Leon said. “It’s hard to barrel something up when he’s pitching like that. I was just trying to put something in play, shorten up.”
Leon broke his bat on the hit, but still got good wood on the ball.
“I hit it right off the end,” he said.
Hilliard’s only mistake came in his matchup with Leon. The key at-bat of the inning came from rookie and Penncrest All-Delco Shane Donnelly, who laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Kelly to second. Johnson hit a tapper to shortstop and legged out the hit, then Andrew Abrams coaxed his third walk of the contest. After Anthony Kyne hit a towering pop up to first base, Leon, the Lions’ cleanup hitter, delivered the hit that might have saved Middletown’s season.
Wrambel capped a masterful performance by retiring the Knights in order in the bottom of the eighth. He struck out Joe Poduslenko on a filthy breaking pitch to end the game. Unable to hold back his emotions, Wrambel let out a scream and pumped his fist as he left the mound.
“I threw a lot of changeups. My fastball velocity was a little down today, and I usually throw fastball-slider, but I’ve been working on a changeup that I’ve been throwing the last two games and I’ve been real successful,” he said. “I threw a lot of changeups and that really helped me keep them off-balanced. I wasn’t locating the fastball, but I was locating the offspeed stuff really well.
“I knew they had a couple of good power hitters, so I tried to stay away and throw a lot of offspeed to those guys. I went after the No. 5 hitter (John Plasha). It was more like, go right after him, but it was more stay away early. In the first inning, the first hitter (Steve Maloney) hit a single right up the middle, so after that I tried to stay away from them. “
Since he joined Middletown, Wrambel has been nothing short of a difference-maker for the youthful Lions.
“I took a year off from school (Lakawanna College), so I wanted to get innings. I was in a West Chester league, then I heard that they lost a pitcher,” he said. “(Middletown coach Rusty Abrams) asked if I knew any guys that pitched, and he asked me to come join the team. That’s how it happened, how I started pitching here.”
Wrambel twirled a four-hitter and struck out five without issuing a walk. After Maloney singled to kick off the bottom of the first, Wrambel allowed three hits the rest of the way — singles by Ed Speakman, Sam Farnell and Chad Hug. Aston Valley failed to get a runner into scoring position. Wrambel forced 10 ground-ball outs and his defense turned a pair of 6-4-3 double plays.
“Obviously, he makes us a better team. We were able to field behind him, and that happens when you get a good pitcher. Aston is such a good-hitting team, so to be able to shut those bats down, it raises your spirits,” Rusty Abrams said. “With Garrett Wrambel, he makes you feel like you’re in the game at all times. He’s been dominant.”
Narberth rallies to put Chester in 2-0 hole
August 3, 2013
The Narberth Mudcats have a commanding 2-0 lead over top-seeded Chester after winning, 7-6, in come-from-behind fashion Saturday in a Delco League semifinal game. Narberth plated four runs in the top of the sevent to erase a 6-3 deficit. Four batters were plunked, including Matt DeBarberie, who knocked in the game-winning run the hard way. Mike Galetta had a run-scoring single in the inning.
Brian Miller slammed the door in the seventh to earn the win after allowing three inherited runners to score in the bottom of the sixth (as Chester staked a 6-3 lead)
Steve DeBarberie delivered a clutch RBI hit in Narberth’s three-run fifth. Richie Young and Lou DeRosa -- back in the lineup after a lengthy respite -- stroked two hits for the winners.
Game 3 is at Nartberth Playground Sunday at 2 p.m.
Narberth keeps rolling with opening win over Chester
August 2, 2013
Most managers in the Delco League would give anything to have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Narberth’s Lou Petrellis is glad his team did not get a break to the semifinals.
“We had the bye last year and got smoked by Aston Valley in three games,” Petrellis said. “We didn’t have the bye this year, and it helped. “
Sharp from a hard-fought quarterfinal win over perennial league heavyweight Wayne, Narberth made all the right plays Friday night in a 2-1 victory over regular-season champ Chester.
Start with the effort from starter Toby MacCart, who went the distance and allowed one run on five hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
“Toby was just dominating,” Petrellis said. “He had them off balance the whole game. He threw all three of his pitches, his fastball, curveball and changeup, for strikes. He was awesome.”
Then there was shortstop Mike Galetta, the 2007 Daily Times Player of the Year. Galetta drove in both runs. He lofted a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning to chase home Mike Coleman with the tying run.
Steve DeBarberie had come up with a big single to right field that allowed Coleman to reach third base.
Galetta wasn’t through. After Matt DeBarberie singled to center in the seventh inning and advanced to second on a wild pickoff throw, Chester elected to walk Steve DeBarberie to pitch to Galetta. Bad move. Galetta ripped a single to bring home Matt DeBarberie with the go-ahead run.
Matt DeBarberie wasn’t through, either. With pinch-runner Carlos Hughes on second, Chester’s Nate Coronado hit a ball to deep shortstop that Galetta fielded and threw to third base to nail Hughes for the first out of the inning.
Chester’s Lou Baldini hit a fly ball that Matt DeBarberie tracked down. Coronado broke for second, and DeBarberie was able to double him up at first base to end the game.
“We played well,” Petrellis said. “I thought we took it to Chester, even though it only was 2-1.”
In the other semifinal series:
Aston Valley 16, Middletown 1: It’s been more than a week since Aston Valley’s last game, but the layoff did not seem to bother the defending Delco League champions.
Chad Hugg and Joe Poduslenko both went deep as the Knights opened its best-of-5 semifinal series with an easy win over the Lions.
Game 2 is set for 2 this afternoon at Buggy Field. Game 3 is noon Sunday at Penncrest High.
Any concerns about the layoff quickly disappeared as the game got started. Hugg went 3-4 and drove in five runs. Poduslenko had a double to go with his homer and three RBIs.
“We had a little practice this week and the guys were fired up to play,” assistant coach John News said.
John Plasha and Sam Farnell both had a double and three RBIs to help Aston Valley extend its winning streak to six games.
“We’re a pretty good hitting team,” News said, “but they’re coming off a tough series and will have their No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers. It’s going to be a good series.”
Narberth ousts Wayne to reach semifinals
July 30, 2013
By HARRY CHAYKUN Special to the Times
RADNOR — If 22-year-old Narberth pitcher Shane Petrellis was nervous about going up against Wayne veteran Rocky Walker (50) in the deciding game of a Delco Baseball League quarterfinal series, his teammates did a lot to take the pressure off the La Salle University graduate.
“Having a lead like that in the first inning was really helpful,” Petrellis said after fifth-seeded Narberth claimed a 6-4 decision at Radnor High Tuesday night and qualified for the playoff semifinals against either pennant winner Chester or runner-up Aston Valley.
Before Petrellis had to throw a pitch, his teammates had scored four runs and gotten five hits off Walker, who has played a role in Wayne’s history of Delco League playoff success, which includes 13 championships, including those from 2007-09 as well as the 2011 crown and finals appearances in 2006 and 2012.
Wayne got even with two runs in the second and two in the third, but Narberth got the runs it needed to earn the victory by scoring twice in the fourth on a pair of hits and two Wayne throwing errors.
“I just tried to get ahead of their hitters,” Petrellis said. “Location was so important for me, and I trusted the guys behind me.”
Narberth had only one error, which helped Wayne to the first of its two runs in the third. Petrellis gave up seven hits, but he retired nine in a row until Jim Vankoski (3-for-4) singled with one out in the bottom of the seventh.
Ted Seiler hit Petrellis’ next pitch to second baseman Mike Coleman, who started a double play that ended with the Narberth players rushing the mound to congratulate Petrellis.
“Marco (Menna) did a great job calling the game,” Petrellis said after accepting congratulations from Narberth manager Lou Petrellis, his father.
Menna had a part in the winners’ first inning rally. Coleman, Rich Young, Steve DeBarberie and Mike Galetta opened the game with hits off Walker, who gave up only three hits in the last six innings, to get the first two runs home. After a pair of outs, Menna hit a blooper behind second base that fell in as two more runs scored.
“I’ll take it,” Menna said. “You put the ball in play and things happen. Sometimes you get lucky like that.”
Menna claimed that Petrellis wasn’t lucky with the pitches he was making.
“He was getting two strikes consistently,” the catcher said. “And he got comfortable coming in on the batters.”
Petrellis had trouble finding the strike zone in the third inning, when he issued consecutive walks to Ted Seiler, Dalton Mayberry and John Shelsy after hits by Kyle George and Vankoski, who had a run-scoring single before Seiler walked with the bases loaded in the fourth.
In the sixth inning, Petrellis needed only four pitches to set down Matt Marquis, Dan Williams and Matt Hendrixson, Wayne’s No. 2, 3 and 4 hitters.
“It’s great to get to the semifinals,” Lou Petrellis said. “And to knock Wayne out in the quarterfinals … that’s something that just doesn’t happen the way they always seemed to finish first or second and get a bye into the semifinals.
“It was a very good win.”
Anthony Kyne has winning attitude for Middletown in Delco League baseball quarterfinals
MIDDLETOWN — Brushing dirt off his uniform long after the final out had been recorded and Middletown had advanced to the Delco League semifinals with a 3-0 victory over Upper Darby, Lions shortstop Anthony Kyne had the look of a ballplayer.
Grime streaked across his cheeks and framed his eyes — the residue of Kyne’s headfirst slide into third base on a two-run, third-inning triple that turned Wednesday night’s Game 3 of the quarterfinal series in Middletown’s favor.
The pant legs were particularly dusty from a handful of defensive plays that helped keep Upper Darby off the scoreboard, including a pair of gems in the top of the third that saw Kyne make a diving stop to his left before firing a bullet to first and then end the inning on a charging, bare-handed pickup and throw across the diamond.
Two people in Lions uniforms that had a special appreciation for Kyne’s highlight reel night were pitcher Josh Karahalis and manager Rusty Abrams.
“It was a team win, with the defense turning four double plays and the guys getting some early runs, but Anthony was unreal with some of the plays he made,” Karahalis said. “We’ve been a good defensive team all season, so I figured if I executed my pitches the defense would have my back.”
The all-out effort by Kyne came as no surprise to the Lions skipper, who described his shortstop as “quiet, intense and he’s all about succeeding.”
“You saw our defense and Anthony played short like clockwork, it was amazing,” Abrams said. “He’s a natural, he’ll play anywhere we need him and he just gets the job done.”
The teams had combined to produce just five runs over the first two games of the best-of-three series, and the early going looked like more of the same as Karahalis and Blue Sox pitcher Dave Lerro whipped through the order.
But on the heels of Kyne’s sparkling back-to-back putouts to end the top of the third, number nine hitter Joe Kelly opened the bottom of the third with a blast over the left fielder’s head that he legged into a triple. Leadoff batter Kurt Johnson drew a walk and, one out later, Kyne ripped a vicious drive to the gap in left-center field for a two-run triple. Kyne trotted home on a wild pitch by Lerro, and the Lions were seemingly in command.
“We haven’t scored a lot of runs this series, so I was looking to jump on the first fastball I saw with a man on third and less than two outs,” Kyne said. “We were able to score a couple runs there and that was enough, because our pitching has been so dominant.”
Lerro did his best to keep the Blue Sox within striking distance, scattering four hits and striking out six.
“Dave pitched a hell of a game,” Upper Darby manager Dave Jerdon said. “But we hit into four double plays, we didn’t get any breaks and they made all the plays. We had one bad inning, but that was the way this series went.”
Upper Darby had runners on in six of the seven innings, and had the bases loaded with no outs in the fifth. But Karahalis induced an infield fly and Kyne snared a line drive and flipped to second baseman Andrew Abrams to let the Lions escape the jam unscathed.
“You just have to stay calm and imagine what you’re going to do if the ball comes to you,” Kyne said of the late threat. “Fortunately the ball was hit right at me and the runner had taken off from second, so it was an easy play.”
Not much has come easy lately for Middletown, which avenged last season’s quarterfinal series loss to Upper Darby with a patchwork lineup that included Kyne switching from third to short and Abrams making the move from short to second.
But even with all the juggling and an offense that has sputtered, the Lions find themselves in the semifinals for the first time thanks in large part to steady pitching.
“Josh is a competitor, he doesn’t get flustered and he’s always gotten us what we need,” Rusty Abrams said. “We’ll need all the pitching, hitting and defense we can get in the next round because Aston Valley has an excellent squad.”
Upper Darby pitcher Brian Stumpf throws to Middletown during a Delco League quarterfinal game at Kerr Field in Yeadon Tuesday. (Times staff/JULIA WILKINSON)
YEADON — As Brian Stumpf hurled Tuesday night, the word "ageless" passed through the lips of more than one spectator at Kerr Field. But the 41-year-old Stumpf was more concerned with another word that began with the letter A.
“Aggressive,” said Stumpf, Upper Darby’s ace right-hander. “I told our hitters, ‘Be as aggressive as you can be.’ It was a one-run game and their guy was pumping in fastballs. You don’t want your guys tensing up because they haven’t had that breakthrough hit.”
Not to worry, because Upper Darby’s big hit was on the way.
Stumpf did what he’s been known to do in the Delco League playoffs. And another of Upper Darby’s elder statesmen, Len Montano, contributed the timeliest of hits, as the Blue Sox staved off elimination with a 3-1 win over Middletown in the team’s quarterfinal set.
The best-of-three series heads back to Penncrest High School for tonight’s deciding tilt. Upper Darby will throw left-hander Dave Lerro, while Middletown will counter with right-hander Josh Karahalis.
Stumpf allowed only one hit and one unearned run in his seven innings of work. The former Phillies farmhand pitched to contact, walking none and striking out only four in the complete game.
For a while, it seemed as though Upper Darby – the Delco League playoff’s sixth seed – would bow out of the tournament without a fight. Middletown, with only one hit to its credit, led the game, 1-0, and Lions starter Ryan Haley was twirling a gem.
Then the sixth inning happened. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Chris Long got on base with a single into the right-center gap on the seventh pitch of his at-bat. Next up, Mike Raimo walked on four pitches. That was the first time Upper Darby had multiple baserunners against Haley.
Leave it to Montano, the 22-year Delco League veteran, to change that. Montano sent a first-pitch fastball into left to score Long and then Raimo when the ball slipped under the glove of Middletown left fielder Josh Everett.
The key, Montano said, was jumping on Haley’s fastball.
“First time up, (Haley) struck me out on a 2-2 changeup Didn’t know he even had a changeup,” Montano said. “Next time, it was a 2-1 changeup I grounded out on. But to get to that changeup, you’ve got to get ahead early, so I’m thinking, ‘Dead-red first pitch.’ That’s what I got and I put the barrel on it.”
Jeff O’Reilly put the finishing touches on Upper Darby’s three-run sixth inning with a single up the middle to plate Montano pinch-runner Kyle Schaffer, and effectively chase Haley.
Three outs later, in the top of the seventh, Stumpf was the winner and Upper Darby had forced a decisive Game 3. As one would imagine, Stumpf has been through a handful of these situations in the Delco League. So he wasn’t tense, or antsy, or the slightest-bit jittery.
“He was everything Brian Stumpf always is,” said Haley. “I mean – pitching against Stumpf, what’re you going to do? Running into a guy like that is just bad luck.”
On a team riddled with 20-somethings who are halving their summers with full-time jobs by day and semi-pro baseball by night, Stumpf and Montano are the outliers. They’re the guys with grey-speckled hair pulling their weight … and showing the younger guys a thing or two.
“Just two older guys doing it today, getting the job done,” Montano said. “We accept that title with honor. Me and Brian kid around about age – it’s just a number.”
Added Stumpf: “Hopefully we can spark these younger guys, inspire them a little, because we have fun and this is a good, solid, young team.”
Curtiss arrives in time to help Wayne get even with Narberth
LOWER MERION — The timing was right for Tom Curtiss Monday night.
As a result, Wayne got even in its best-of-three Delco Baseball League quarterfinal playoff series with Narberth by claiming a 3-2 decision at Narberth Playground after Narberth had put the finishing touches on its 8-1 victory in the opener, which was suspended in the sixth inning Sunday afternoon.
The teams will decide one of the playoff semifinalists when they meet at Radnor High at 5:45 tonight.
Shane Petrellis will throw for Narberth, which is managed by his father, Lou Petrellis, while Wayne will counter with Rocky Walker, who has thrown more than a few important playoff games in his long Delco League career.
Curtiss, who pitched at The Haverford School, the University of Maryland and in the Atlanta Braves’ system, tossed a four-hitter, struck out six and allowed one earned run in beating Narberth. The fact that he didn’t have to make a pitch until 6:30 because of the suspended game was important.
“This is actually my first weeknight game of the season,” Curtiss said. “I have a job in Center City and I don’t get out of work until 6 o’clock. So I’ve only been able to make it to the games on the weekends.”
He spaced the hits he allowed nicely Monday, starting with a single in the first inning to Rich Young, who was erased on a double play on which Wayne third baseman Kyle George made an outstanding stab of a shot hit by Steve DeBarberie.
An error, Mike Galetta’s infield hit and an overthrow helped Narberth to its first run in the fourth.
Mike Coleman beat out an infield hit, and another error and DeBarberie’s sacrifice fly got another run home for Narberth in the sixth. Seamus Finnegan opened the seventh with Narberth’s final hit, before Curtiss retired designated hitter Nelson Russom, pinch-hitter Matt Nelson and Matt DeBarberie to earn the win.
“I wasn’t putting my fastball where I wanted the first couple of innings,” said Curtiss, who is in his first season in a Wayne uniform. “In the third, I started locating it on the inside and outside and was getting strikes with my off-speed pitches.
“It was great to get those runs (in the top of the third and fifth). Then I knew it was up to me to hold them.”
Ted Seiler and Brian Giacobetti opened Wayne’s third inning with walks before Narberth starter Marty McKeone got Matt Marquis to ground into a double play. Dan Williams, who had a pair of hits, was hit by a pitch, walked twice and stole two bases, drove Seiler home with a solid single to center field to open the scoring.
In the fifth, Giacobetti walked and Williams drew a base on balls after the first out. Giacobetti had taken second on a passed ball and moved to third as Marquis flew out. When McKeone threw a wild pitch on ball four to Williams, Giacobetti raced home.
Williams stole second and came in as Matt Hendrixson drilled a full-count pitch from McKeone into center field for his second hit of the game.
“I got a good pitch to hit and stayed on it,” Hendrixson said. “I’ve started feeling good at the plate in the second half of the season. This was a big win for us. Hats off to Tommy Curtiss because he had a lot to do with that.”
Curtiss admitted that he hasn’t always been at his best this summer.
“We started kind of slowly this season,” he said. “I’ve had some good games, but there were others that weren’t that good.
“We’ve been putting things together a little bit better lately. We know how big (today’s) game is going to be.”
In the other quarterfinal series:
Middletown 1, Upper Darby 0: It took two days, but the Lions were able to go 1-0 in the best-of-three quarterfinal series thanks to a timely hit from Joe Kelly and solid pitching from Ryan Haley and Garrett Wramble.
Kelly drove in pinch-runner Tyler Rybarczyk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the winning run. Jim Quinn hit a single to start the inning. Rybarczyk came into run and moved to second on a passed ball. Kelly game through with a two-strike, two-out hit to produce the only run of the game.
Haley, who started the game Sunday, and Wramble, who finished it off when play resumed Monday, combined on a seven-strikeout, one hitter. Wramble pitched the final 5Ï innings to get the win.
“The issue tonight was Ryan Haley,” Middletown manager Rusty Abrams said. “I didn’t think he would be ready to come back today and be fresh so I went with my No. 2 pitcher. Garrett was dominating. Nobody hit the ball hard. They had one bunt single and that was it.”
Abrams said Haley will get the nod in Game 2 tonight (5:45) at Kerr Field in Yeadon. He’ll probably go against veteran Brian Stumpf.
“He knows how to pitch so we know we’re in for a long game,” Abrams said. “He’s a tough pitcher.
Middletown pitcher Ryan Haley throws to first base to get Upper Darby batter in top of the 1st inning. The game was called in the top of the 2nd inning due to rain. (Times Staff / ERIC HARTLINE)
CHESTER — Weeknight games and tight employment schedules, among other things, make it somewhat of a rarity that Delco League dugouts are spilling with players. Just doesn’t happen.
Sunday afternoon, Middletown had a full house — but room enough to squeeze in one more when the rain started falling.
“You’re talking about Brandy. That’s my dog,” said Andrew Abrams, Middletown’s second baseman. “And then my sister over there under my family’s tent has Dakota. They’re good dogs from the same litter. They’re like our mascots, wearing Middletown shirts and everything.”
Everyone in attendance at the Chester High Athletic Complex — furry or otherwise — sought shelter from the heavy rainfall that ultimately forced the suspension of Game 1 in third-seeded Middletown’s three-game quarterfinal set against sixth-seeded Upper Darby. The two clubs will pick up the opener where they left off, with one out, a 1-1 count on Upper Darby’s Kevin Corbett and teammate Vince Gasbarro on first base in the top of the second inning of a scoreless game. The suspended game will resume tonight at 6 p.m. at Penncrest High School.
Officials from both sides, in conjunction with the umpiring crew, concluded that nearly 30 minutes of downpouring rain was all the diamond could handle. Water had puddled in the infield, along the baselines and near the mound. And while the sun began to poke through the clouds a half-hour into the storm, it would have taken “at least an hour” of dry conditions, one Delco League official said, to get the infield anywhere near playable.
“Just wasn’t going to happen,” Upper Darby coach Dave Jerdon said.
Both sides gave assurances that their Game 1 starting pitchers would be given the green light to take the ball when the suspended game continues. Middletown will stick with Ryan Haley, who tossed 1 1/3 innings for the Lions, and Upper Darby will keep it with Grant Kernaghan, who got through the first inning for the Blue Sox on 11 pitches.
The series is sure to include its share of playful yet competitive fireworks, as two of the Delco League’s greenest rosters square off with one another.
“Everyone knows everyone,” said Upper Darby first baseman Len Montano. “Most of our guys played high school ball against their guys and, considering I’m one of the older guys on this team, I get to sit back and watch. It’s great.
“And our guys are becoming good, young ballplayers. It’s only going to help us.”
Adding fuel to the pile of kindling is the clubs’ recent history, too, with Upper Darby having knocked Middletown from the quarterfinal stage of the postseason a year ago.
“We faced (the Blue Sox) last year and they beat us, 2-1, in the series,” Abrams said. “Every time we play at their field, we lose, and every time we play at our field, they lose. Same round of the playoffs, same seeds except this year it’s flip-flopped — we’re the three and they’re the six.
RADNOR — It didn’t take Narberth manager Lou Petrellis long to do the math Sunday afternoon.
“Last year, in three playoff games we scored four runs,” Petrellis said. “It was nice to see us get five in the first inning today.”
Visiting Narberth, the fifth seed, used that quick start to take control of the opening game of its Delco Baseball League quarterfinal series with fourth-seeded Wayne at Radnor High before Mother Nature intervened. With Narberth ahead, 8-0, in the bottom of the sixth inning, a heavy downpour left the field unplayable, and the game was suspended.
The teams will finish Game One at Narberth Playground at 5:45 tonight, then they will begin the second game of the best-of-three series. Wayne will come to bat with a runner on first base, no outs and a 2-2 count on batter Kyle George.
Narberth starter Toby MacCart limited Wayne to five hits, struck out two and walked two before the game was stopped. Three of Wayne’s hits came in the third inning - two were doubles – but MacCart did not lose his shutout.
Wayne catcher Ted Seiler opened the third with a double off his Marple Newtown High battery mate MacCart, and Tony Yiantsos came in as a courtesy runner. Brian Giacobetti followed with a line drive down the left-field line that was ruled fair by plate umpire Anthony Giuliante.
Yiantsos hesitated before heading toward third base while the Narberth players protested the call. Left fielder Greg Kumple heaved the ball toward third, and Seamus Finnegan picked it off and put the tag on Yiantsos.
After the second out, Dan Williams doubled, but Giacobetti had to stop at third base. He stayed there when MacCart fielded a grounder two pitches later and got the last out.
“This is the third time I faced them this year,” MacCart said. “You just try to keep making good pitches. They’ve got good hitters from the top to the bottom of their lineup. They all get their swings up there.”
MacCart’s season has had its ups and downs.
“I haven’t been consistently throwing strikes,” the Chichester Middle School emotional support program teacher said. “I’ve had some good starts that I followed with bad starts. I’ve just tried to keep battling through things.”
Narberth batted around against Wayne starter Kyle George, who gave up all eight Narberth runs before being replaced with one out in the top of the sixth inning. After a walk, an out and an error in the first, Mike Galetta had a run-scoring single and Kumple knocked in a run with a double. Hits by Finnegan, Marco Menna and Matt DeBarberie gave MacCart a 5-0 advantage before he threw a pitch.
DeBarberie, who had a double and scored on Rich Young’s single in the fourth inning, was 3-for-3, and Galetta also got three hits as well as driving in a pair of runs. Kumple forced a run home when he was hit by a pitch with the bases-loaded in the sixth.
“We need to finish this up and get right back after them again (tonight), Petrellis said.
Upper Darby earns final Delco League playoff berth
Wayne 9, Paoli 4: Ken Menchaca’s arm and bat was the difference as Wayne outlasted Paoli, 9-4, in nine innings.
Menchaca tossed three perfect innings in relief of starter Rocky Walker and drove in the go-ahead run as Wayne rallied for five runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Kyle Gillen started the ninth-inning rally with a double. Tony Yiantsos followed with a bunt single and stole second. Menchaca singled to chase home Gillen with the winning run.
Narberth 15, Black Sox 0: Greg Kumple slugged a two-run homer and an RBI double while going 4-for-4 to pace Narberth to its second win in as many nights.
Steve DeBarberie also went 4-for-4 with a double, triple and two RBIs. Richie Young smacked a two-run homer while going 3-for-3 with four RBIs.
Aston Valley 3, Middletown 0: Justin Hanley blanked the Lions on five hits. He fanned 10 and did not walk a batter. Steve Maloney contributed an RBI double. Chad Stecker smashed a triple and scored one run, and Dave News drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The win clinched bye in the first round of the playoffs for Chester and moved the Knights on pace to secure the other first-round bye.
Aston Valley locks up playoff bye with shutout of Middletown
The Delco League playoff picture is rounding into form.
Aston Valley 4, Middletown 0: John Geffre threw a complete-game shutout as Aston Valley blanked Middletown, 4-0, Wednesday night to clinch the remaining bye for the first round of the league playoffs.
The win moves the defending champion Knights within two points of league-leading Chester, which secured a bye thanks to Aston Valley’s 3-0 win over Middletown Tuesday night. If Chester beats Wayne tonight, it will be the first time since 1917 that a team from Chester won the regular-season title. However, if Wayne wins and Aston Valley knocks off the Black Sox tonight, the Knights are the top seed and Chester is the second seed.
As for the other four spots, Middletown, Wayne, Narberth and Upper Darby have clinched a spot in the playoffs. Middletown and Wayne are jockeying for third and fourth place. Middletown can lock down third-pace with a win over Upper Darby tonight or Concord Friday. Wayne will be third if it beats Chester tonight and Middletown drops its final two games.
Narberth is fifth and Upper Darby sixth. The third seed plays the sixth seed and No. 4 faces No. 5 in the best-of-three opening round series, which is scheduled to start Sunday.
Geffre allowed two hits and just four total baserunners. He fanned five and walked two. John Plasha paced the offense with a double and two RBIs. Ed Speakman went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI.
Wayne 5, Upper Darby 2: Wayne scored three unearned runs with two outs in the first inning to keep its quest for third place alive. Matt Marquis drove in one run and Kevin Muldey knocked in a pair to stake winner Joe O’Malley to an early lead.
O’Malley went five innings and Muldey pitched the final two innings to earn the save.
Black Sox 8, Springfield 1: Ed Hild fanned six to get the win. Tom Kerry (RBI) and Brian Tecco led the offense with two hits each.
Dan Haley gets win, relief help to boost Middletown past Upper Darby
July 25, 2013
Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013
Middletown 7, Upper Darby 2; Starter and winner Dan Haley worked four innings and received relief help from John Kosmowski, as the pair pitched Middletown past Upper Darby, 7-2, Thursday in the Delco League.
Anthony Kyne had three RBIs on two hits while Kurt Johnson and Andrew Abrams combined for four hits and four RBIs.
Aston Valley 9, Haverford 1: Chad Stecker’s two-run home run highlighted a balanced attack, and Joe Nester struck out five and scattered four hits over five innings for the win. John Plasha, Sam Farnell and Kenny Elkine each had two hits and two RBIs in the romp.
Chester 10, Wayne 1: Nate Coronado drove in three runs with a double and a sacrifice fly, Justin Lambourn singled, walked twice, scored a pair of runs and knocked in two, and Matt Scherer went 3-for-4, scored and brought home a run.
Starter Ray Gambone allowed two hits over three scoreless innings and was relieved by Glenn Stanners, who struck out five and scattered three hits over three frames.
Concord 8, Springfield 1: Nick Massaro’s single chased home a pair of runners in a six-run fifth inning, and Tim O’Keefe limited Springfield to two hits in going the distance for the win.
Kyle Davis added two hits and scored three times, and Tom Brooks singled twice and had an adventurous night on the base paths by stealing two bases and inducing a pair of throwing errors.
Middletown bats get going early in win over Chester
Middletown 9, Chester 2: Middletown might not catch first-place Chester in the Delco League standings, but Sunday’s convincing 9-2 victory should give the team plenty of momentum as it enters the final week of the regular season.
Middletown’s hot bats made life difficult for Chris Lansberry, who was beat around for four runs in the first inning and struggled with his command.
Ryan Haley pitched a complete game with five strikeouts and only two hits allowed for Middletown. Jim Quinn, Tyler Rybarcyzk and Andrew Karahalis knocked in two runs a piece. Karahalis and Quinn both doubled.
Springfield 8-4, Black Sox 5-5: In the first of two, Vince Piccioni went the distance for Springfield, which was aided by Dan O’Neill and Paul Shepard on offense. O’Neill crushed a home run and recorded five RBIs, while Shephard went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Ryan Tecco hurled two innings of relief in Game 2 as the Black Sox, one day after snapping a 16-game losing streak, edged Springfield when Bruce Williams (4-for-5) scored the winning run in the ninth. Nick Ducomo had the walk-off RBI.
Aston Valley 7, Narberth 2: Brian Campbell pitched six strong innings for the Knights and Nick Kruzinski closed the door in the seventh. Chad Stecker, Rob Caruso and Ken Elkind all supplied two hits.
Wayne 4, Paoli 1: Kyle George yielded just the one run over six solid frames and Kevin Mulvey logged the save. Matt Marquis’ two-run bomb in the first inning put Wayne ahead to stay.
Chester is almost through one of its toughest stretches of the season.
Nate Coronado drove in four runs in the first game and Pat Warrington came up big in the nightcap as Chester downed Concord twice, 12-3 and 7-2.
The sweep gave Chester five wins in the last four days and extended its lead over Aston Valley for the regular-season title to eight points.
Coronado went 3-for-4 with two doubles and Carlos Hughes added three hits including a double and three RBIs. Chester broke the game open with three runs in the third inning and two in the fourth. Todd McGee tossed a four strikeout, six-hitter for the win. Kyle Davis was 3-for-4 with a triple and doubel for Concord.
In the nightcap, Troy Mucchetti allowed seven hits and fanned six in seven innings to get the win. Warrington went 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored. Glenn Stanners also had a double. Phil Pace ripped a double for Concord.
Upper Darby 7, Middletown 2: The top of the Upper Darby order proved a tough out, as Mike Raimo (three hits, one run), Chris Long (two hits, two runs) and Mitch Helmandollar (two hits, RBI) set the table for the likes of Gabe Encarnacion, who drove in a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly and a ground out.
Middletown went hitless until the fifth inning against winning pitcher Brian Stumpf, who struck out five and allowed just two hits in going the distance.
Aston Valley 11, Springfield 3: Chad Stecker and Sammy Farnell combined for four hits and three RBIs, accounting for half of the Knights’ four doubles, and winner Matt Wilcox fanned five and yielded two earned runs while scattering six hits and a walk.
So who would be you designate as “star of the game?” The gentleman who slugged three home runs and drove in eight – yes, eight – runs, or the pitcher who cruised through a shutout?
No one had to make that choice last Friday evening following Chester’s 15-0 rout of the Black Sox in a Delco League game played at Kerr Field in Yeadon, and it seems safe to say that Chester head coach Dan McShane was just happy that both Billy Ford and Glenn Stanners had been on his team’s side.
Ford, a sizable, strong right-handed batter, got the visitors off to a fast start by smoking a two-out grand slam over the left field fence in the first inning. He also delivered similar shots in the fifth and seventh stanzas.
“No, I’ve never had a game like this in the Delco League,” Ford said afterwards.
Ford’s contributions on this sweltering summer evening extended beyond the batter’s box, as he squatted behind the plate to receive the pitches of right hander Glenn Stanners.
The latter was simply brilliant on this occasion. He worked quickly and efficiently from a compact delivery, and took a perfect game into the fifth inning.
“It was easy to stay loose out there tonight,” said Stanners. “It was great to be pitching with that early lead. I tried to throw strikes, and make their batters hit the ball.”
Stanners’ sharp breaking ball froze two Sox hitters for called third strikes over the course of his six innings of work. But for the most part, he let his defense do the work.
And that it did in flawless fashion. The infield of third baseman Lou Baldini, shortstop Nate Coronado, second baseman Kyle Summers, and first baseman Justin Lambourn combined to handle fourteen chances without a miscue, and Stanners helped himself with a couple nifty plays on the mound.
A veteran mentor like McShane readily appreciated how Stanners’ style kept his mates from having to stand for long periods of time on the sun baked diamond.
“Glenn works fast,” he remarked. “He has been getting stronger and stronger for us asthe season goes along
“This is the second or third start that I have caught for Glenn,” Ford noted. “Tonight, I could pick any one of his pitches and know that it would be effective.”
“I was able to mix my pitches well and keep their hitters off balance,” Stanners commented.
Ford was joined in the power department by Coronado and outfielder Carlos Hughes, each of whom launched a long ball in a six run seventh frame.
“We have a good hitting lineup,” McShane agreed. “But not all the home runs we hit tonight would have cleared the fence at another field - the left field fence isn’t that far away here. Actually, we pride ourselves on getting runners on base, moving them up, and getting them in.” The weird thing about this game was that Sox left hander Ed Hild was one pitch away from posting a scoreless first inning.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Hild had Ford down in the count at no balls, two strikes. But an obvious mistake was made, as Ford was served up a fastball over the plate which he smashed for the grand slam.
“I was actually choking up on the bat and trying to find a hole when I was down in the count,” said Ford.
Over the course of the next two innings, Chester added three more runs, thanks to a couple bad hop singles, an error, and doubles by Lambourn and Summers.
Afterwards, McShane was full of praise for Hild, who just graduated from Ridley High.
“Hild will be a very good pitcher,” he said. “He threw the ball better than the score would indicate. We got a couple breaks, and came through with some clutch, two out hits over the first three innings.”
The pop on Hild’s fastball, and the bend to his curve ball, give promise of better days to come.
After Stanners had retired the first thirteen Sox batters, Dave Cassinelli singled in the bottom of the fifth to break up the perfect game. Pat DuFrayne was to add the home team’s only other hit in the bottom of the seventh.
The Sox did receive some fine defensive plays from second baseman Bruce Williams, shortstop Matt Donnelly, right fielder Nate Tolvasa, and center fielder Cassinelli.
After a promising first half of the season, Nick DuComb’s crew has fallen on hard times and out of playoff contention down the back stretch of the schedule.
Also contributing notably for Chester was Pat Warrington, who patrolled center field and knocked out two hits.
The win helped solidify Chester’s hold on first place – a coveted position which would earn them a first round bye come playoff time.
Score twelve runs in a baseball game, and the likelihood is that the team in question pounded out some extra base hits, perhaps including a home run or two in the mix.
But such a supposition would not have been correct when referring to last Thursday evening’s Delco League baseball game in which visiting Narberth downed Paoli by a score of 12-4 at Episcopal Academy.
On this scorching summer night, Narberth drilled fifteen total hits – thirteen of which were singles. When combined with alert base running and a couple Paoli miscues, the result was a fine one indeed for the Mudcats.
“We use speed and singles to score runs,” said Narberth coach Gerard Breslin. “We have plenty of guys who can handle the bat and put the ball in play.”
Foremost amongst those on this occasion was third baseman/ first baseman Seamus Finnegan. The former Archbishop Carroll performer went a perfect four for four at the plate, notching three runs batted in along the way.
“Up and down the lineup, we have good hitters,” he commented afterwards. “We had good at bats as a team tonight.”
It is true that a pair of infield misplays in the first inning paved the way for Narberth to get off to a quick start. But at the same time, their batsmen did not miss the opportunity.
After one run had crossed the plate via the errors, Rich Young and Finnegan stroked run scoring singles to pad the margin to three runs.
Paoli responded with a run in their half of the first, and another in the bottom of the third. With starting pitcher Brian Dixon having retired the Mudcats in order in the second and third stanzas, the score stood at 3-2 entering the fourth.
But Finnegan was to lead off that frame with a single, and with two outs, Mike Coleman delivered what may have been the game’s key hit by roping a single which made the score 4-2, and which tilted the momentum back in Narberth’s direction.
Any suspense as to the outcome was severely diminished when the visitors exploded for seven runs in the top of the fifth.
Following a one out Paoli error, eight of the next nine Narberth hitters connected for singles. By the time the merry go round ended, seven runs had crossed the plate.
Driving home the runs were Young, Finnegan, Matt Nelson, Coleman, Matt DeBarberie, and Anthony Perretti.
The Mudcats’ only extra base blows were struck in the sixth, when Young tripled to deep center and was plated by Finnegan’s double.
Benefitting from the run support was winning pitcher Shane Petrelis, who battled through the heat for five innings.
Paoli did add a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, and what turned out to be final inning.
Offense was the order of the day for Narberth, but the victors’ glove work was none too shabby either.
Right fielder Steve DeBarberie’s throw to the plate nabbed a Paoli runner to account for the game’s final out. Additionally, third baseman Mike Galeta, shortstop Perretti, and second baseman Coleman turned a pair of double plays to back Petrelis.
Hitters not over swinging but making solid contact, good pitching, and defensive excellence-it added up to an impressive showing for a team that plans to make a deep playoff run before long.
“I am feeling great about our team,” Breslin said. “Our lineup is very strong, and we are starting to be consistent.”
“This is my third season with the team,” Finnegan noted. “We’ve been in the playoffs before, and we thing we are going to be right there at the end.”
Over on the other side, Paoli won’t likely be headed for the postseason. But a young group composed largely of former Conestoga players has competed quite respectably in its first Delco season.
“Most of our guys are playing college baseball during the school year,” head coach John Cowell pointed out. “They come home from school looking to hook on with a summer team, and a lot of them have combined together to form this team. We don’t have as many experienced players as do some of the other teams in the league.”
“Our goal is to get the pitchers some innings, and the other guys some at bats,” he continued. “We want to develop them further so that they can play well back at school. We think it has been a successful year.”
Providing RBIs for Paoli in this one were Matt Greskoff, Rob Patete, Jay Farrell, and Brenton Niccolo. Ryan Richter contributed a hit and walk from the leadoff spot.
Defensively, Richter’s first inning throw cut down a runner at the plate-a play on which catcher Justin Roman was injured as he applied the tag.
Left fielder Spencer Stokes and shortstop Doug Trimble also contributed some fine plays, and Dixon’s pitching line could have been better but for the infield errors and a few “seeing eye” singles.
“Paoli is a scrappy team,” Finnegan said. “We had to come back late to beat them in one of our games earlier in the season.”
Needless to say, the torrid conditions left both players and spectators a bit bedraggled by the game’s conclusion. But Finnegan wasn’t complaining.
“After all the rain we’ve had, it’s good to get some real baseball weather,” he said. “It’s easy to get loose in the heat. Personally, I love it.”
There are a number of fine teams which will be competing for the Delco crown in the upcoming playoffs. Suffice it to say that Narberth will be amongst those capable of “heating up” the proceeding
Aston 10, Wayne 4; ASTON — The game in the Aston Valley dugout as they were wrapping up a 10-4 Delco League win Thursday night was trying to spell the name of the rookie pitcher mowing down Wayne batters at will.
It’s Geffre, as in Delaware signee John. And it’s a name Delco Leaguers should start to get familiar with.
Geffre provided a vital service Thursday at Sun Valley’s Buggy Field, wriggling out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning and shutting down the Wayne bats the rest of the way. As important as the “W” he chalked up was his ability to spare a pitching staff in the midst of five games in six days.
“I wasn’t really ready to come in that early,” the Penncrest grad said. “I thought I was coming in later by one inning. But (Kyle McGrath) got hurt, so I came in. I was supposed to start Saturday, but I’m just glad we got a win tonight and move on from there.”
Geffre entered a tie game in the top of the second after McGrath, the Knights’ starter, felt tightness in his pitching arm. With the bases loaded and two outs, Geffre needed just four pitches to strike out Wayne three-hitter Dan Williams looking.
That was supposed to be his only batter, with veteran lefty Matt Wilcox ready in the bullpen. But then Aston rolled the dice on him in the third ... and fourth ... and fifth, until it became clear it was Geffre’s game.
He wasn’t touched up by a hard-hit ball until the seventh when he gave up two unearned runs. He struck out five over 5 Ï innings, allowing five hits, three of them of the broken-bat or bloop variety.
“He just came in and pounded the zone,” said catcher John Plasha, who belted a three-run home run to left in the sixth inning for Aston’s final runs. “He worked fast, a good tempo and everything, and that’s what helped us a lot. And when they do that, it helps all the fielders because everyone’s in the game. It was huge today because it’s the end of the season, so every win counts to help us try to get the bye.”
Where Geffre made sure Wayne didn’t capitalize on its chances, the Knights pushed runs across the plate early and often. Back-to-back RBI hits by Plasha and Chad Hug in the bottom of the first nullified the run brought home by Matt Marquis’ RBI single in the top half of the inning.
With the bases loaded in the second, Sammy Farnell made sure the Knights cashed in, punching a two-run single to right. That was followed by Rob Caruso’s sac fly to make it 5-2.
Lead-off man Joe Poduslenko did the damage in the third, as his double kicked up chalk down the left-field line to chase home two more runs.
The offensive outburst severely tested a Wayne pitching staff decimated by injuries, a problem exacerbated by the backlog of games created by a wet summer.
Starter Kyle Menchaca didn’t have his best stuff and was pulled after two innings. Wayne had to dig deep, Jim Vankoski making a rare two-inning stint on the mound and fellow lefty Tony Ysilos finishing things off, surrendering the bomb to Plasha.
“You can see it on both sides,” Wayne assistant coach John Shelsy. “Everyone’s tired, especially this week with the heat. Everyone’s moving a lot of pitchers when you have to play every single day. At some point, you run out of rest for your pitchers, and you’re just going and going.
Geffre, meanwhile, kept the Wayne bats at bay. It wasn’t until the seventh that scalded RBI singles from Matt Hendrixson and Ysilos got Wayne on the board.
Geffre not only guided his new teammates to a win Thursday but he paid it forward for the weekend games, which the Knights go into with a fresh Wilcox at their disposal.
“It feels really good because it’s my first year playing here,” Geffre said. “It feels good to establish myself on the team.”
Chester 4, Springfield 2: Rob Lord scattered three hits over seven innings, striking out seven, and Lou Baldini drove in three runs to lead Chester.
Pat Warrington collected two hits and scored twice, and Justin Lamborn tripled among his two hits.
Concord 12, Haverford 9: Rich Gallo went 3-for-4, Jim Christie went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Kyle Davis pitched out of a jam in the seventh to preserve the win.
Randy Malia bombed a three-run homer for Haverford to make it a game.
Narberth 12, Paoli 4: Seamus Finnegan went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and Rich Young and Mike Coleman drove in a pair of runs each to lead Narberth.
Paoli 4, Aston 3: After putting together a 12-game winning streak, Aston Valley found itself surprised by one of the league’s worst teams for the second straight night in a 4-3 loss to Paoli.
Jake Carr did the honors for Paoli (11-15-1, 34 points) when he drove in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning. Matt Greskoff was tremendous on the mound as he shut down Aston Valley (19-10-1, 58 points) with a six-strikeout complete game, while Rob Patete smoked a home run and scored twice for the victors. Ryan Richter was 2-for-4.
Chester 10, Black Sox 3: Justin Lambourn ripped a two-run home run and Chip Scherer drove in three runs as Chester (19-7-3, 60 points) used a five-run sixth inning to blow the game open and take back first place in the league by downing the Sox (8-17-1, 25 points).
Matt Scherer and Bill Ford smacked a pair of hits apiece for Chester.
Wayne 15, Upper Darby 1: Rocky Walker fired a three-hitter, Matt Marquis crushed a home run and Dan Williams and Ted Siler each tripled to highlight their two-hit games as Wayne (17-11-1, 52 points) cruised to its fifth win of the past six games by handling UD (15-14-1, 46 points)
Brian Giacobetti and Dalton Mayberry (three-time Garnet Valley All-Delco) both knocked a pair of hits for Wayne.
Narberth 5, Middletown 2: Brian Miller was brilliant on the Narberth bump, whiffing eight batters and scattering six hits, and Anthony Perretti drilled a two-run double to help Narberth (16-13-0, 48 points) knock off Middletown (18-8-2, 57 points).
Richie Young belted an RBI triple for the victors, while Seamus Finnegan added a sacrifice fly.
Despite all of the recent bad weather forcing game delays and cancellations, Paoli was finally able to host the Black Sox in a Delco League baseball game Saturday afternoon at Episcopal Academy High School. This was supposed to be a doubleheader as these two particular teams had a previous postponement but by the time the field was playable, it was decided that they would settle for getting in just one game.
What a game it was for Paoli. After trailing, 3-0, after the third inning, it tied the score in the fourth and gradually built from that point forward to win it, 5-4.
Winning pitcher Burk Fitzpatrick struck out five and gave up eight hits.
“Burk was battling,” said Paoli coach Jim Rosadino. “He hung in there. The middle of the lineup came through.”
“We got a little sloppy,” said Black Sox general manager Nick DuComb. “They got two strike hits.”
There was no scoring in the first inning at all. It was a one, two three first inning for both teams.
The Black Sox wasted no time at all getting down to business in the top of the second. Brett Brenner hit a leadoff single. Nate Tolvasa was walked. Mike Ross drove in Brenner. Tolvasa also scored allowing for a 2-0 surplus.
Paoli came close to scoring in the bottom of the second. Rob Patete was hit by a pitch but was out at second. Matt Greskoff and Justin Roman singled but could not make it past first base.
Bruce Williams walked in the top of the third and made it home all right.
Paoli started battling its way back in to the ball game. Jake Carr singled in the fourth. Patete singled and Greskoff walked to load the bases with one out. Roman singled in Carr and Patete. Spencer Stokes drove in Greskoff who scored the tying run.
Once Paoli got going, its players were able to keep up the good work. Carr hit a fifth inning single and scored on a double by Patete.
Roman hit a leadoff triple in the sixth with John Cowell as his courtesy runner. Trimble followed with an RBI single for a 5-3 advantage.
The game was not over for the Black Sox. Matt Donnelly was walked but got out at second base when Ross singled. Williams singled to load the bases and Ross scored when DuComb was walked. Tom Carey got out at first to end the game.
“It’s a tough team,” said Rosadino. “We play these guys tough.”
Johnny Gonzales spent the entire game on the mound for the Sox.
“Johnny throws very well,” said DuComb.
The Black Sox now hold an overall record of 8-15-1. Paoli stands at 10-14-1.
This marks Paoli’s first season in the Delco League.
“Veterans are tough,” said Rosadino. “We’ve been in great games all season. It’s a good, challenging league.”
Both teams return to action Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at Kerr Field. The Black Sox host Chester. Paoli travels to take on Aston Valley at Sun Valley High School.
“I’m just trying to take it one game, one inning at a time,” said DuComb.
Narberth 7, Paoli 2: Narberth churned out 13 hits in a 7-2 rout of Paoli.
Leading the way was Lou DeRose, who finished with two hits and four RBIs. Matt Debarberie reached base four times and scored four runs.Kevin Giffin scattered eight hits and fanned three in the complete-game effort.
Middletown 8, Springfield 1: Josh Karahalis and Ryan Haley limited the Springfield offensive to only one run. Middletown’s offense was paced by Josh Everett, Andrew Abrams, Anthony Kyne and Joe Kelly, who recorded two hits apiece.
Wayne 8, Chester 6: Wayne stormed back from a defeat at the hands of first-place Chester last week by striking for four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Ted Seiler delivered the clutch blow, a bases-clearing double. Joe O’Malley registered the win, throwing two spotless innings in relief of All-Delco Dalton Mayberry of Garnet Valley.
Concord 5, Aston Valley 2: Concord’s triumph snapped the Knights’ 12-game winning streak. Jason Aikens is largely responsible, as he went the distance on the mound, allowing only four hits while fanning four. Tim O’Keefe and Marty Sessa eachs troke two-run singles and Bill Pace roped an RBI double.
Stumpf, Montano can take the heat as Blue Sox roll
Upper Darby 9, Concord 1: Blistering heat and high humidity was no problem for Upper Darby’s Brian Stumpf and Len Montano Monday. They’re veterans, so they’re used to playing in all kind of conditions.
Stumpf went the distance, and Montano drove in six runs to keep the Blue Sox in the Delco League playoff hunt with a 9-1 romp over the Concord Canes at Kerr Field.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak and kept Upper Darby tied with Wayne for fourth place.
Stumpf fanned six and allowed two hits in seven innings. Montano had two hits including a home run. Mike Raimo chipped in with three hits.
Wayne 1, Springfield 0: Evan McGough and Tyler Smith combined on the shutout. McGough went the first four innings to get the win. Smith pitched the final three frames to earn the save.
Matt Marquis and Brian Giacobetti teamed up for the only run. Giacobetti ripped a double in the fourth inning and scored on a double by Marquis.
Aston Valley 12, Black Sox 0: Justin Hanley and Nick Kruzienski combined on a six-hitter to help the defending champion Knights extend their winning streak to 12 games.
Hanley allowed five hits and fanned six in six innings. Kurzienski struck out two in the seventh inning to close it out.
Sam Farnell led the offense with three hits including a double. Marc Spero was 2-for-2 with 2 RBI.
Stellar pitching leads the Blue Sox to a 9-1 win over Concord
Any baseball coach likes to have a roster which contains plenty of good, young players. But it doesn’t hurt to have a few grizzled veterans dotting the lineup either.
After suffering a double header sweep last Sunday at the hands of Aston Valley, the Upper Darby Blue Sox squared off Monday evening in a Delco League game against visiting Concord at Kerr Field. And on hand to head the rebound effort were the experienced trio of Brian Stumpf, Len Montano, and Mike Shalon.
All played key roles as the Sox trounced Concord by a 9-1 score to erase a bit of the sting from the previous afternoon’s defeats.
Combined, Stumpf and Montano have lived more than eighty calendar years. But you would never know it from watching this duo perform in ninety degree plus heat
Using a varied repertoire of pitches, Stumpf barely broke a sweat in limiting the visitors to three singles and an unearned run.
Montano, meanwhile, utilized his sweet right handed batting stroke to pound out a sacrifice fly, three-run homer, and a two run single to pace the home team’s attack.
“I’ve had some time off between starts,” Stumpf said afterwards. “In this weather, it’s good to conserve some energy.”
The former Springfield High star and Phillies farmhand set the tone by striking out the side in the first inning before relying on his defense over the final six frames.
“We have a young, but skilled team,” he noted. “We got the lead early, and I wanted to make their batters hit the ball and let our defense make the plays.”
That the Sox fielders did, with none being more prominent than Shalon.
Stationed at shortstop, the ex-Monsignor Bonner infielder handled a number of chances flawlessly. Highlighting his glove work was a diving catch on a line drive in the third inning.
The Upper Darby batsmen got to work early in this contest.
Taking some close pitches in the bottom of the first, the Sox loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batter. Shalon plated one run with an infield single, and Mitch Helmandollar smacked a single to drive home another.
In the bottom of the second, Mike Raimo smashed a double to left center, and scored on Montano’s sacrifice drive to deep center.
Three runs were certainly enough for Stumpf on this occasion, but the home team took away any suspense in the fourth frame.
That is when Montano lofted a drive into the trees overhanging the left center field fence for three runs.
“We had faced their pitcher (Tim O’Keefe) before,” Montano remarked. “I hit a curve ball for the home run.”
A Concord error and Montano’s second hit of the night accounted for three more runs in the fifth.
Kyle Davis scored for Canes in the top of the sixth as he drew Stump’s only walk of the game and came around on a throwing error.
There wasn’t much to speak of in the way of Concord highlights. Middle infielders Davis and Bill Pace were solid overall, while third baseman Rich Gallo made a fine play to his left and drilled the team’s hardest hit of the contest. In the outfield, center fielder Jim Christie covered plenty of ground in snagging a couple fly balls.
Upper Darby’s old timers were backed by Raimo (three hits, a walk and good center field play), Helmandollar (two hits), and Gabe Encarnacion, who took over behind the plate after a first inning injury to starting catcher Kevin Corbett.
Concord is struggling to come up with a few more wins before the regular season ends. Upper Darby, meanwhile, finds itself in a familiar position-headed for the playoffs, but still looking up a bit at such perennial powers as Aston Valley.
“We did not play well overall in the doubleheader,” said Sox skipper Dave Jerdon. “But we bounced back well tonight. Stumpf hasn’t pitched all that much for us, but he was sharp tonight. We have good squad-the guys get along well.”
Having played as many years of baseball as he has, Montano knows that “down” days such as the Sox experienced against Aston are part of the game.
“We ran into a real hot team yesterday,” he said in knowing fashion. “We want to get to their level. I remember when I was a young player - you have to learn how to win against that type of team. Experience is a big part of it.”
For Montano, the sport extends beyond the playing field, as his wife pointed out that he is making his own bats and has started a company to sell them. Given the way he handles the lumber, it would seem logical that he should find a ready clientele.
He and Stumpf are certainly a recognizable part of the summer baseball landscape, and that doesn’t figure to change any time soon.
“I still enjoy pitching,” Stumpf (who, along with Montano, competes in the MSBL as well) said. “I want to keep going into the playoffs.”
Aston Valley 11, Paoli 0: Sun Valley All-Delco Sammy Farnell smoked a pair of doubles and drove in three runs to spearhead Aston Valley’s 11-0 romp of Paoli.
Brian Campbell pitched six innings of seven-strikeout shutout ball for Aston Valley (15-8-1, 46 points), while Rob Caruso paired a triple with two doubles to help knock off Paoli (9-13-1, 28 points).
Chester 7, Springfield 2: Chester 7, Springfield 2: Chris Lansberry kept Springfield (7-18-0, 21 points) off-balance to the tune of a 12-strikeout complete game, while Pat Warrington (run scored) and Lou Baldini (RBI) each jacked a pair of hits for league-leading Chester (17-5-3, 54 points).
Paoli 5, Black Sox 4; Burk FitzPatrick spun a complete game and Justin Roman raked a pair of RBIs as Paoli upended the Black Sox, 5-4.
Rob Patete reached based three times, drove in a run and scored once for Paoli (10-14-1, 31 points), while Jake Carr scored twice to polish off the Sox (8-15-1, 25 points).
Aston Valley 10, Narberth 2: John Jeffries only allowed six baserunners in seven innings of work and Dave News cranked a three-run home run to spur the Aston Valley (16-8-1, 49 points) rout over Narberth (13-13-0, 39 points).Ken Elkind was 3-for-3 for AV, while Marc Spero launched a triple.
Wayne 6, Springfield 3: Tom Curtis went the distance and only allowed two hits and a walk and Wayne (14-10-1, 43 points) made all six of its hits count to knock off Springfield (7-19-0, 21 points).
Middletown 5, Chester 4: Andrew Abrams erased a two-out, 4-1 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning with a bases-loaded double and Anthony Kyne’s 10th-inning fielder’s choice scored Jim Murphy to give Middletown (17-7-2, 53 points) a dramatic come-from-behind win over league-leading Chester (17-6-3, 54 points).
Kurt Johnson earned the win in relief for the Lions.
Matt Cella saves the day as Springfield escapes Narberth
Matt Cella kept Springfield’s Main Line Junior Legion title hopes alive Sunday afternoon.
Cella’s clutch single in the bottom of the seventh inning drove in Nick Fox, and Springfield pulled off a thrilling, 1-0 victory over Narberth in a losers-bracket playoff game.
Springfield’s struggles offensively were overshadowed by its pitching. Charlie Carbin started and lasted five innings, striking out four while allowing just three hits. Jared Morris hurled two perfect innings of relief to earn the win.
Wayne 6, Roxborough 1: Will Hoysgaard pitched a complete game, fanning seven, as Wayne rolled to victory in the winners-bracket final.
Wayne, which scored all six runs in the first inning and didn’t commit an error for the third consecutive game, got two hits apiece from Garrett McGurl, Tucker Ballbach and Nick Wojotelwicz.
Wayne advances to the championship round where it awaits the winner of Springfield and Roxborough today.
Narberth brought out the boom sticks.
Mike Galetta, the 2007 Daily Times Player of the Year, was 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs as Narberth cruised, 20-2.
Anthony Perretti reached base five times, while Lou DeRosa finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs.
Chester 2, Wayne 1: Chester reclaimed sole possession of first place when Grant Lamberton delivered the walk-off RBI hit, knocking in Carlos Hughes, who started the eighth-inning rally with a one-out double.
Glen Stanners pitched a four-hit complete game, striking out five, and Kyle George pitched a three-hitter in the loss.
Aston Valley 5-11, Upper Darby 1-7: In the opener, Chad Hug and Rob Caruso cracked two-run homers, and winning pitcher Billy Vandergrift yielded only one hit over five strong innings. Dave News went 3-for-4.
John Plasha launched a two-run bomb, while Caruso and Sam Farnell both drove in runs in the Knights’ second win. Joe Nester was the winning pitcher.
Upper Darby 1, Chester 1; Sean Mohollen bailed Upper Darby out both offensively and defensively.
The Strath Haven All-Delco smacked a fifth-inning RBI single, then gunned down Chester’s Matt Scherer at the plate from his right field spot to ensure that the teams settled for a 1-1 tie.
Upper Darby (13-11-1, 40 points) got two doubles and two runs scored from Chris Long, and Gabe Encarnacion added two hits.
Springfield 5, Paoli 3: Russ Trojan tossed a complete-game gem, striking out six and only allowing two hits, and was 2-for-3 with a run scored as Springfield (7-16-0, 21 points) secured the big win over Paoli (8-12-1, 25 points).
Middletown 11, Narberth 3: Josh Karahalis was brilliant for the league-leading Lions (16-6-2, 50 points) as he struck out five and went the distance to knock off Narberth (14-11-0, 42 points).
Aston Valley 5, Black Sox 0: Matt Wilcox (Academy Park) was his usual efficient self, fanning four and scattering five hits in six innings of work, and Bill Hollingsworth cracked an RBI triple to help the Knights (14-8-1, 43 points) take home their sixth straight win.
Upper Darby 8, Springfield 1; Upper Darby earned an 8-1 and 3-2 sweep of Springfield.
Upper Darby 3, Springfield 2; Matt Anderson was the winning pitcher, punching out five, and Len Montana blasted a home run in the opener. Jonathan Meyer was dominant in UD’s Game 2 win, striking out 12, as he and Springfield’s Shawn Patterson (seven Ks) battled in a pitchers’ duel.
Chester 17, Narberth 6: Chris Lansbery had a quality outing, allowing just two runs and three hits, to help put Chester back in first place (tied with Middletown).
Narberth 6, Paoli 4: Earlier in the afternoon Narberth erased a three-run deficit in the sixth inning with five runs. The big hit came off the bat of Matt DeBarberie, whose two-run knocked gave Narberth the lead for good.
UPPER DARBY — It hasn’t been a pretty stretch lately for Springfield.
The Delco League club has been mired in an ugly losing stretch since splitting the first four games of the year, a streak that went even further south lately when the Colonials had dropped seven of their previous eight games.
For much of that stretch, Springfield was missing second baseman Joe Sheeran. The All-Delco shortstop was celebrating his graduation from Springfield High by doubling up on his Senior Week fun, spending the last two weeks on the beach in Wildwood, N.J.
“It was a good time,” Sheeran said with a laugh. “It was fun.”
Thursday night, Sheeran was back in his customary No. 2 spot in the Springfield lineup and lo and behold, the Colonials got back in the win column by taking out Narberth, 5-3, at Bonner-Prendergast.
Springfield is a team that has struggled to scrape together consistent offense all year, but against Narberth (11-9-0, 33 points), it came up with some non-traditional ways to get people across the plate. At the forefront of it all was Sheeran. In the first inning, he stood on third base with catcher Paul Shepard on first. When Shepard fell victim to Narberth lefty starter Mark Porter’s pickoff move and found himself in a rundown, Sheeran alertly broke for home and swiped the plate.
Two innings later, he got on base with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and eventually sprinted home from third on a wild pitch, then bolted home for another run on a sixth-inning sacrifice fly from Dan O’Neill.
That’s how you’ve got to do things when you’re mired in a bad losing stretch.
He finished his night 2-for-3 at the dish with a team-best three runs scored, numbers similar to his junior year as a Cougar
Batting from the leadoff spot two years ago, he saw a lot of fastballs. In turn, he feasted on those to the tune of an insane .627 batting average with 13 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs. This year, though, he slid down to the No. 3 spot and found life a little tougher, especially with the reputation that he carved out for himself in 2012.
“I think kids knew who I was this year,” Sheeran said, “so they knew how to pitch me. I got a lot more curve balls this year. Last year, I batted leadoff, so I got first-pitch fastballs and I would hit the first-pitch fastball. … It’s a pretty big difference. (When you’re) leadoff, (opposing pitchers) don’t think you have power, so they just get the first pitch over and with a kid like me, I can take advantage of it and get a good swing on it.”
Sheeran’s offensive performance helped set the tone for starter Russ Trojan, a Cardinal O’Hara alum working off of two days’ rest after a dominant double-session of relief in Senior EDCO action Sunday.
It took Trojan a little while to get his arm loose, but once he did, he was able to keep Narberth’s bats guessing all night. Trojan scattered six hits and struck out five in five innings of work before ceding the way to Sean Patterson, who worked two perfect innings to earn the save.
“The arm felt good,” Trojan said. “It was a little tight in the beginning, but it was because of the delay. We started late and I warmed up and then they had to warm up.”
Regardless, that tightness went away as Trojan worked his mid-to-upper 80s fastball around a solid slider and a good changeup and because of that, Springfield (6-14-0, 18 points) found its way back into the win column.
Of course, getting a big offensive night from one of its youngest players didn’t hurt, either. Sheeran, who’s already getting interest from the College of Charleston (S.C.) and Delaware, will take his game to Harford Community College (Md.) next year, but before that, he just might help Springfield rack up a few more wins.
In other Delco League action:
Middletown 2, Black Sox 0
It took until the 10th inning to get any type of offense, but one-out RBI doubles from Josh Everett and Kurt Johnson pushed league-leading Middletown (15-6-2, 47 points) past the Black Sox (8-12-1, 25 points).
Garrett Wramble was brilliant on the bump for the winners, fanning 14 batters over eight innings only to walk away with a no-decision. Andrew Abrams struck out four in a pair of innings of relief to earn the win, which marked Middletown’s 15th win in the past 16 games after a 0-5-2 start.
Chester 6, Concord 3
Grant Lamberton swung the hot stick for Chester with two doubles and a pair of ribbies, Shane Williams added a 2-for-2, one-run scored and Eddie Colon was 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored to lead Chester (14-4-2, 44 points) to the win.
Kyle Davis plated a pair of runs to go with his two hits for Concord, while Phil Pace stroked a pair of hits.
Middletown over Concord
July 2, 2013
Middletown 5, Concord 3; hane Donnelly and Andrew Abrams registered three hits for Middletown while starter Josh Karahalis went the distance in a 5-3 win over Concord.
Karahalis struck out five and worked out of a jam in the seventh inning. Josh Everett added two hits and one RBI.
Quinn powers Middletown to comeback win in sweep
June 29, 2013
Published: Sunday, June 30, 2013
By Times staff
Middletown 5, Paoli 3: It was better late than never for the Middletown Lions Saturday.
Jim Quinn’s two-run single in the top of the seventh inning of Game 1 capped a five-run rally that propelled Middletown to a doubleheader sweep of Paoli.
Quinn’s hit gave the Lions a 5-3 victory in the opener and Middletown carried that momentum to a 7-2 victory in the nightcap. The six points also vaulted the Lions into a tie for first place in the Delco League.
Middletown 7, Paoli 2: Andrew Abrams tied the game with an RBI single. Andrew Belfiglio, the 2012 Daily Times Player of the Year from Penncrest, fanned eight to get the win. Jim Haley slugged a homer and scored three times to make his younger brother Ryan the winner in the second game. Josh Everett chipped in with three hits.
Upper Darby 7, Narberth 2: The Blue Sox took advantage of six walks and two errors in the eighth inning to win it. Dave Lerro struck out five and allowed two hits in eight innings to get the win.
Aston Valley 9, Chester 6: Bill Speakman broke the game open with a three-run double in the fifth inning. Billy Vandergrift allowed four hits and two runs in six innings to earn the victory. Kyle McGrath closed out the win.
Wayne 9, Springfield 1: Matt Marquis ripped a two-run double in the third inning to highlight a six-run outburst for Wayne. Eric McCough had two triples in three at-bats. Dan Williams also went 2-for-3. Tom Curtis pitched the first four innings to get the win. Tyler Smith hurled the final three frames.
Chester 7, Black Sox 1: Earlier in the day, Billy Ford broke the game open with a double in the third inning. Pat Warrington and Nick Valori added three hits each in support of winning pitcher Todd McGee
June 28, 2013
DELEWARE COUNTY/GLEN MILLS ALL-STAR TEAM TO HOST U.S. MILITARY BASEBALL ALL-STARS
The U.S. Military All-Stars consist of outstanding players representing all branches of the military. For over 20 years they have toured the country to promote the awareness of all Americans in support of the honorable sacrifices that our Armed Forces make in defence of our freedom.
This year the Delaware County's Convention and Visitors Bureau, Glen Mills Schools and the Mickey Vernon Museum have invited the All-Stars to play the Delco/Glen Mills team. The game is scheduled to be played at Glen Mills Everett Swanson Field on Friday June 28, 2013. The American Flag ceremony will be at 5:45 PM with the game to start at 6:00 PM.
Karahalis rewards busy Middletown bats with a complete-game shutout
Upper Darby 2, Black Sox 1; Sean Mohollen’s two sacrifice fly balls made the difference Monday and Upper Darby defeated Haverford, 2-1, in Delco League baseball.
Mohollen drove in his first run in the first inning to get things started for the Blue Sox but waited until the bottom of the seventh inning to get his second RBI. Gabe Encarnacion worked his third walk of the game and Mike Raimo hit him over to third base before Mohollen provided the sac-fly walkoff.
Winning pitcher Brian Stumph pitched a complete game despite a rain delay.
Middletown 3, Wayne 2: Jim Quinn had the go-ahead RBI with a bases-loaded walk and with the rain-shortened win, Middletown ended Wayne’s four-game winning streak.
Scott Kelley and Josh Everett provided the rest of the offense for Middletown with one RBI apiece to make a winner of Tyler Rybarcyzk.
Rybarcyzk allowed just one hit in four innings pitched.
Aston Valley 9, Narberth 1: Freddy Hilliard struck out seven over seven innings on the hill and gave up only three hits for Aston Valley in its victory over Narberth.
The Aston Valley lineup amassed 13 total hits with Steve Maloney, Sam Farnell, Rob Caruso, Ryan Howe and Chad Hugg each supplying two hits.
Wayne 9, Concord 1; A couple of Garnet Valley grads helped Wayne take down the Concord Canes and extend its Delco League winning streak to four games.
Dalton Mayberry, who was named to the All-Delco baseball team for the third time, allowed three hits and drilled three hits of his own as Wayne topped the Canes, 9-1.
Wayne has scored 39 runs in its last three games.
Mayberry fanned three in six innings, and all three hits he allowed were singles. He also scored a run. Fellow GV grad Matt Hendrixson paced the offense. He was 3-for-3 with a home run, two singles, a sacrifice fly and four RBIs.
Aston Valley 6, Paoli 1: Rob Caruso and Ken Elkind sparked the offense to lead the Knights to their second straight win. Caruso had two doubles and two RBIs. Elkind added two hits and one RBI.
Bill Vandergrift and Matt Wilcox took care of things on the hill. Vandergrift allowed three hits and fanned three in four innings. Wilcox closed it out to nail down the victory for Vandergrift.
Saturday, Sam Farnell had two hits and two RBIs and Joe Nestor fanned six in four innings in a 6-1 win over Concord.
Narberth 9, Upper Darby 3: Brian Miller went the distance. He allowed six hits and struck out eight. Mike Coleman and Rich Young wielded the big bats. Both went 4-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.
Middletown 3, Black Sox 2; Middletown 3, Black Sox 1; Middletown’s pitching did the talking in a doubleheader Saturday, with a pair of solid outings by its starters leading to wins over the Black Sox, 3-2 and 3-1.
Andrew Belfiglio got the win in the opener, thanks to the walk-off single hit by Brian Leon in the seventh to plate Kurt Johnson. It was the first time the Lions had scored since the first inning, when Dan Haley’s single plated two runs
In the nightcap, Ryan Haley did the honors on the mound with a complete-game effort, striking out eight. The big blow offensively came off the bat of Anthony Kyne, who hit an RBI single in the fourth.
Chester 9, Paoli 1: Glen Stanners got the win by scattering two hits over six innings, and Bob Williams slammed a two-run homer in the third inning for Chester.
Pat Warrington, Chris Pula and Lou Baldini picked up two hits apiece for Chester, while Warrington also scored twice.
Wayne 18, Narberth 7: Wayne banged out 20 hits in the offensive slugfest, including five from Dan Williams and four from Kyle Menchaca, who was also the winning pitcher
O’Keefe’s pitching gem is exactly what Concord needs
Concord 3, Upper Darby 0: It has been a tough season for the Concord Canes.
Sitting in the Delco League basement entering play Thursday night, the Canes needed a big pitching performance from their starting pitcher.
Tim O’Keefe answered the call.
O’Keefe fired a three-hit shutout and struck out four Upper Darby batters in Concord’s 3-0 decision.
Nick Massaro’s RBI single in the first inning put Concord on the board. Drew Giapietro had a clutch two-run double in the seventh inning to make it a three-run game.
Jeff O’Reilly pitched well in defeat, striking out four while allowing just five hits.
Middletown 7, Springfield 5: Jim Quinn’s two-run single in the sixth inning gave Middletown enough cushion to get Garrett Wramble a well-deserved win. Wramble fanned six over six solid innings.
Kurt Johnson and Andrew Adams added two hits each.
Paoli 8, Aston Valley 1: Austin Little to the win, and Ryan Richter, Luke Mogle and Jon Susko drove in two runs for Paoli
Wayne 6, Aston Valley 0: In a game from Wednesday, Rocky Walker hurled a complete game to pace Wayne to victory in a rematch of last year’s league championship. Walker scattered five hits. Matt Hendrixson smacked a two-run double
It may not be the major leagues, but scores of games are still kept, and league standings are still recorded.
That is why the 2013 Delco League baseball season, to date, is proving to be a most enjoyable one for the Black Sox franchise.
After several seasons residing in or near the bottom of the Delco standings, the current campaign sees the Sox basking in a more glorified position at the other end of the heap.
“It sure is a lot more fun to play when you are winning some games,” said Randy Milia.
Milia was speaking last Wednesday evening following a 4-3 victory over Concord at Kerr Field in Yeadon. It is the third summer for the former Bonner and Collingdale Colts’ stalwart with the Sox, and he is enjoying the change in fortunes.
“This was our eighth win - I think we had four or five wins all last year,” he remarked. “We have a good group of guys, and want to keep this going.”
A perusal of the scores from some of the Sox’ victories indicates that the formula for victory doesn’t necessarily include scoring tons of runs. Rather, pitching and defense are the key ingredients for success.
“We have been getting good pitching overall,” Milia agreed.
After some lean summers, Sox player-manager Nick DuComb will take the wins in whatever fashion they are achieved.
“Any win in this league is a good one,” he said. “We played a good overall game tonight. We did enough things right to win the game.”
On this particular occasion, the Sox jumped to an early 2-0 lead thanks to clutch, two out run scoring singles delivered by outfielder Tom Carey (Haverford High) in the first inning, and shortstop Jim Crowley (Eastern University) in the second.
In both instances, neither hitter tried to do “too much.” Carey stroked a grounder through the middle, and Crowley deposited an opposite field liner to right. It was the type of approach that a team needs to prevail in close games.
“Carey played for us last year, and gained experience,” DuComb noted.
Crowley’s total of three hits included a similarly styled safety in first inning as well.
“Against left handers (such as Concord’s Jayson Aikens), I often hit the ball the other way,” Crowley noted.
Upholding that early advantage was Nat Ballenberg, who pitched until a later arriving Milia was ready to take over the mound duties with two outs in the third.
Concord did scratch out an unearned run in that frame, and managed to load the bases in the top of the fourth. But Milia was able to induce a fly ball out to escape the threat.
Displaying a fine breaking ball, Aikens was pitching a steady game of his own, and the contest rolled into the bottom of the sixth with the Sox clinging to that 2-1 advantage.
In that frame, the home team was able to sandwich doubles by Nate Tolvasa and Bruce Williams around a critical Concord error to post two “insurance” runs. And did they ever come in handy.
Showing no quit, the visitors opened the seventh with smashing doubles from the bats of Jim Christie and Bill Pace (Cardinal O’Hara). Two outs, a walk, and an infield single, Milia was staring in Wayne Bryer with the tying run on third base and go ahead run on first.
After coming inside with a fastball, Milia got Breyer to hit on top of a breaking ball. Crowley gobbled up the grounder, and shoveled to second baseman Williams for a game ending forceout.
“Give Concord credit,” Milia said. “They wouldn’t go easily. Fortunately, I was able to throw a good curve ball on that last pitch.”
After a couple early miscues, the infield defense of Tolvasa (third base), Crowley, and Williams played a key part in securing the outcome.
“We are not a big hitting team,” Crowley said. “We need to make the plays defensively.”
“Ballenberg and Milia pitched well,” DuComb said. “It was Randy’s game to win or lose at the end.”
Pace had two hits for Concord, and also turned a line drive double play. Additionally, the visitors received solid outfield play from Andrew Snow, Christie, and Tim O’Keefe.
It was the second one run loss in as many days for Concord, which is struggling for wins in the league’s second division. Those who have played for the Black Sox the last couple years know the feeling.
“All of a sudden, we are starting to see the other teams’ tougher pitchers against us,” Milia said. “That wasn’t the case in the past.”
In his first year of Delco competition, Crowley is appreciative of being in a winning situation, and of the quality of play that he sees.
“I am originally from Harrisburg,” he said. “I played in a similar league out there, and I love it. It is good baseball. I am a teacher, and I had to miss some games, but now I should be able to play regularly and hope we can keep winning.”
Stay tuned to see how the Sox story, and all of the other Delco teams’ journeys turns out
Len Montano drives home six as Upper Darby drops Paoli
Upper Darby 9, Paoli 3; YEADON — It’s never easy being the new kid on the block, especially not if that block is one of the most celebrated semi-pro baseball leagues in the country.
But while Paoli hasn’t been able to translate having the youngest team in the league into a spot atop the standings, it has done a good job of treading water and sticking around the race for the sixth and final postseason spot.
Paoli doesn’t have a player on its roster older than 24 years old, and a handful of its players were on Conestoga’s 2011 state championship team, so the fact that it can hang with some of the upper-echelon teams when most of its players can’t even legally drink is a telling sign of its competitiveness.
In his 22 years in the Delco League, though, Len Montano has seen a lot of teams come and go. Montano has treated a lot of them the way he did Paoli Monday night when he posted a six-RBI night to vault Upper Darby past Paoli, 9-3.
“It’s fun,” said Montano, who went a perfect 3-for-3 before ceding his designated hitter spot to Phil Moses. “I have a lot of fun with these kids. I’ve been in the league a long time. I’m feeling pretty good. Still coming out, getting the bat around a little bit. It keeps you happy and keeps you coming back.”
Montano showed that those 22 years have merely helped him refine his game rather than let it decline. With Strath Haven All-Delcos Mike Raimo and Sean Mohollen on base thanks to an error and a walk, respectively, Montano took Episcopal Academy alum Burk FitzPatrick’s 2-0 offering for a ride, launching a line drive that was still rising when it crashed into the trees behind the fence in left-center field for a 3-0 Upper Darby (8-8-0, 24 points) lead.
“That’s been our problem, getting an early lead,” Montano said. “With (Upper Darby) being a young team, it helps when you have a lead. It’s important for this team to get an early lead, so that helped out.”
Two innings later, Montano smashed a single through the left side to bring Mohollen home for a 4-0 lead, and then in the fourth he capped his night off by welcoming Bryan Dixon to the game in style, smacking Dixon’s first pitch to bring home Raimo and Mohollen yet again and cap a five-run inning to seal Upper Darby’s win.
For Mohollen, who played in six games at York College this year, getting a chance to play at the level that the Delco League offers is a big plus as he aims to make a more sizeable impact next season. He reached base all four times up, scored three times and added a pair of RBIs, production that should give his confidence a spike.
“It’s big,” Mohollen said. “Everybody’s stepping up. That’s when you know it’s going for you, when everybody’s hitting the ball, drawing walks, just feeling good and hitting the ball. (This league) is just different kind of pitching. You’ll see D-1 guys and D-3 guys, but it all just comes into one and you see good pitching all the time. It’s kind of just like the pitching I’ll see at York.”
Paoli (5-7-1, 16 points) will take its fair share of lumps as it attempts to work with a bunch of youngsters who aren’t used to seeing the experienced players that the league offers. Skipper John Cowell is trying to get his players some of that experience, which is why 13 position players and a pair of pitchers saw action as Cowell worked different guys in.
Jake Carr (Conestoga) led the way offensively with a fourth-inning two-RBI double, while Episcopal Academy graduate Doug Trimble smashed a double and swiped a base.
“I know a couple of the guys on the team,” Trimble said. “I played high school ball with them, but it’s a lot of different levels playing in this league and I love it. We’re playing against really good competition and pitching, so it’s been really great.”
If only he and the rest of the Paoli team could keep climbing the standings.
In other Delco League action:
Narberth 12, Wayne 5
Toby Maccart struck out five and only allowed two earned runs, while Lou DeRosa was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored to send Narberth (9-5-0) past Wayne (6-7-1).
Mike Galetta, 2007 Daily Times Player of the Year for The Haverford School, was 2-for-3 with a pair of ribbies and Matt DeBarberie was 3-for-5.
Chester 9, Upper Darby 3: Bobby Williams’ grand slam in the fifth inning broke the game wide open and propelled Chester to a 9-3 triumph over Upper Darby.
Glen Stanners recorded the save, pitching three innings of one-hit ball in relief of Todd McGee, who scattered four hits and fanned three over four innings.
Lou Baldini finished 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.
Narberth 11, Black Sox 7: Narberth erased a 7-0, first-inning deficit with three runs in the first, two in the second and six in the bottom of the sixth.
Mike Galetta and Steve Brouwers both roped RBI singles and two-run doubles to help fuel the Narberth comeback. Richie Young added a 3-for-4 performance, while Kevin Giffin tossed 6Ï innings of shutout ball.
Aston Valley 3, Springfield 1: Matt Wilcox pitched another gem for the Knights, recording six innings of four-hit ball. Steve Maloney shut the door in the seventh.
Joe Poduslinko’s RBI double was the lone offensive highlight in what was otherwise a pitchers’ duel
Steve Brouwers’ bat sparks Narberth’s winning rally in Delco League action
Narberth 3, Concord2: Steve Brouwers laced an RBI double and scored on the tail-end of a double steal to fuel a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning, and reliever Marty McKeone wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh as Narberth nipped Concord, 3-2, Saturday in a Delco League thriller.
Seamus Finnegan (2-for-3) singled in the other run for Narberth, which saw starter Mark Porter strike out four and scatter four hits and two walks over six innings. After Porter issued a free pass to open the seventh, McKeone took the mound and worked himself into and out of trouble — inducing Concord’s clean-up hitter to strand the bases loaded with a pop up to shortstop for the final out.
Middletown 1, Aston Valley 0: Andrew Belfiglio went the distance, striking out eight in tossing a two-hit shutout, and Jim Quinn raced home on Jim Murphy’s infield single in the top of the ninth for the game’s lone run.
Chester 3, Wayne 2: Carlos Hughes doubled and scored the go-ahead run on Justin Lambourn’s two-base knock in the fifth inning.
Nick Valori stroked a two-run double in the second and winner Ray Gambone struck out eight over five innings, with relief help from Jeremy Hutchinson. Losing pitcher Tom Curtiss racked up nine strikeouts.
Paoli 2, Springfield 1: Bryan Dixon scored on Shea Rosadino’s fielder’s choice groundout in the bottom of the sixth to produce the winning run. Matt Cowell pitched a complete game, fanning four and limiting Springfield to four hits and no walks
Raimo puts Upper Darby over Aston in seventh inning
CHESTER — With flip-flops on his feet and a rake in his hands, Dan McShane looked at peace. Then, a grimace curled across his face. He was told only five minutes remained before the night’s first pitch, and McShane, who had yet to write out a lineup card, was scrambling.
Too much to do, not enough time to do it.
Long ago, McShane said, someone taught him that the key to success in the Delco League is learning to delegate responsibility. Sometimes, even the best succumb to their worst habits. Tuesday represented one of those nights for McShane’s Chester club, which coughed up a three-run lead in the seventh inning before settling for a 4-4 draw with Paoli that was halted after eight innings due to darkness.
McShane wasn’t able to add to his ever-growing win total in Tuesday’s tilt against Paoli, a fledgling Delco League program, though he didn’t need to per se. McShane already is cemented as the league’s winningest manager, having met that mark with a win over Concord earlier this month.
Still, this one will stick in his craw … until today, when Chester takes the field against Aston Valley.
“It’s how this league goes, you know?” said McShane, who will turn 49 before the end of the month.
McShane, in his 21st season, has accumulated 462 wins. At the top of the Delco League’s decorated list of managerial win leaders, McShane replaced a guy who might have been his exact opposite. Charlie Kress, who coached Marple Newtown for 25 seasons, was a straight-laced skipper who drew from his roots as the police chief in Newtown Township. Kress, who won five league titles, is the namesake of the Delco League’s championship trophy.
On the other hand, there’s McShane. He’s the lovable manager who so often can’t find his way to the third base coach’s box before his leadoff hitter makes his way into the batter’s box for each of Chester’s at-bats. He’s the guy in shorts up until the first pitch.
“He gets erratic at times, but it’s all with good intentions. He cares,” said pitcher Glenn Stanners, who’s in his fourth season under McShane’s watch. “He shows up maybe five, 10 minutes before the game. He’s running around. Then he hands in the lineup card five minutes after the game has already started. And it’s usually the right lineup, so we can’t complain. He’s raking out there, putting the lineup together at the same time, turning on the sprinkler without a shirt on. That’s Dan.”
Part of McShane’s legacy, he said, is a credit to his lineage. He’s come from good coaching, which made him a good coach. He’s won five Delco League crowns, all of which came during his tenure at Wayne, where he opened his coaching career as a player/manager.
“Chuck, in his great wisdom, realized he could find a better third baseman than me,” McShane said with a laugh, referencing Wayne general manager Chuck Freeman.
“As a player at 20, I was every bit the knucklehead of these guys in my dugout, but I had the great fortune of playing for Chuck Freeman in Little League and coaching for him in this league. I played for Jim Balk in high school (at Radnor), and now I coach with him. I played for Paul Motta in college (at Delaware County Community), and now I coach with him. I’ve been surrounded by the crème de la crème of Delaware County baseball. … It takes a long time and by osmosis, I think it’s set in.”
With one glance at the numbers, it’s clear McShane has had plenty to celebrate during his coaching career. Tuesday, he had very little — if anything.
Chester (6-1-2, 20 points) squandered a three-run lead in the top of the seventh inning against Paoli (4-6-1, 13 points), which picked up an RBI single by Conestoga product Jake Carr and a two-out, two-run single from Matt Greskoff to even the score.
By that point, Stanners — a Sun Valley alumnus — already had been lifted. He had given up three straight singles after recording two outs to open the frame. Stanners, who was in excess of 100 pitches thrown, said he still had something to give.
“When (McShane) came out the first time, he said, ‘If I come out again, I’m going to have to take you out.’ They said, mechanically, I was doing something wrong,” said Stanners, who had 11 strikeouts in 6Î innings. “I felt great. Wasn’t gassed. I think (Paoli’s hitters) were just putting the bat on the ball.”
Chester isn’t a lock for the Delco League playoffs, considering the revolving door to McShane’s dugout. The Los Angeles Angels took right-hander Ryan Etsell in the 16th round of last week’s MLB draft, and the Toronto Blue Jays scooped up left-hander Corey Gorman minutes after the draft had concluded.
Soon, shortstop Nate Coronado could be headed out, too. He’s had workouts with the New York Yankees and the Phillies in recent weeks.
His roster has handled losses. McShane, however, has dealt with far more wins.
“So much in this league is about organization, perseverance and dedication,” McShane said.
Even if that means raking the infield in flip-flops.
In other Delco League action:
Springfield 2, Concord 1
Russ Trojan sprinkled in six strikeouts in six innings, Sean Patterson navigated a two-on scenario in the seventh for the save and Springfield (4-7) snuck past Concord for a nailbiter victory.
Joe Sheeran went 1-for-2 with a run, and Desmond Drummond had two hits and an RBI for Springfield, which overcame an early deficit to pick up the win.
Lamborn the hero in Chester’s comeback win over Aston Valley
Chester 6, Aston 5: Chester keeps piling up wins in the Delco League.
The latest victory came in dramatic fashion.
Garnet Valley grad Justin Lamborn lofted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap a four-run rally that gave Chester a 6-5 come-from-behind walk-off victory over Aston Valley Wednesday night. Troy Muchetti started the rally with a single.
Lamborn finished 2-for-3 with one run scored and one stole base. Brian Campbell allowed just one run and struck out six in relief to earn the win.
Middletown 4, Wayne 0: The Lions may have to change their nickname to the Shutout Lions. It was the fourth win in five games by shutout for Middletown.
Anthony Kyne, Brian Leon and Joe Kelly combined to drive in three runs on their respective base knocks to make a winner out of Ryan Haley. Matt Marquis led Wayne with three hits.
Black Sox 4, Concord 3: Jim Crowley led the Black Sox with three hits and Tom Carey provided some offense with an RBI single. Randy Milia worked four innings to get the win.
Aston 11, Black Sox 2: YEADON — Bill Hollingsworth knew when his pitching days were over. He is reminded by the scars on his elbow.
Any hopes of an extended career on the hill were dashed after the second of two Tommy John surgeries. The Monsignor Bonner product didn’t need pitching to stick around the game. He’s always swung a lethal bat, so he moved to first base while with the Friars and pretty much has been there ever since.
As a recipient of two surgeries to correct his ulnar collateral ligament, he didn’t have a choice. His bat is his calling card nowadays.
“The first time I went in for the surgery, it didn’t really work out for me. My ligaments ... just snapped,” Hollingsworth said. “That’s why I’m over there, at first base.”
After four years at Widener University, Hollingsworth graduated from college and moved on to the Delco League, where he’s tearing the cover off the ball, albeit in limited action. Hollingsworth has played in just a handful of games for the reigning champs, but rest assured, he’s a weapon when he does suit up.
Hollingsworth blasted two home runs over the left-field fence at Kerr Field to help Aston Valley cruise to an 11-2 victory over the first-place Black Sox Thursday night.
“I don’t really play much anymore ever since I’ve been done with school,” said Hollingsworth, who knocked in three runs from the No. 5 spot. “It’s only been five, six games (that he’s played). Tonight was a good night. It was just one of those nights.”
The Knights pounded out 13 hits against the Black Sox, who have jumped out to a surprisingly fast start after struggling mightily for wins in 2012. Aston Valley played with a little bit of a chip on its shoulder, but after winning their fifth consecutive game, there’s no doubt the Knights are rounding back into form. Thursday’s victory puts Aston Valley (7-3-1) in a first-place deadlock with the Black Sox (7-4-1), as both teams have 22 points.
“We have a bunch of good hitters,” Holllingsworth said. “We’re going to hit.”
Matt Wilcox appreciates the run support. Though Wilcox didn’t have the best command of his breaking pitches (he hit three batters), the former Collingdale Colts ace did his job and pitched six solid innings before the game was called due to rain and darkness. The trash-talking Wilcox allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out six.
“I felt pretty comfortable with the pitches I was making, but the slider was hopping away from me here and there. That was pretty much the only thing I was struggling with,” Wilcox said. “I got four innings in last game. I’m getting my control back and getting into that midseason form.”
Wilcox’s batterymate, John Plasha, hit a two-run blast during the Knights’ four-run sixth inning. Brian Meagher also went yard for Aston Valley, which hit four bombs.
Shortstop Chad Hugg was 3-for-4 — all singles — and third baseman Sam Farnell slugged two doubles and drove in three runs.
“When we start getting our full lineup back, I know I only have to hold a team to a few runs and I know we’re going to win,” Wilcox said. “Once we get the full lineup here, that’s when it’s going to get real fun. We don’t get too nervous because we know we’re (undermanned) until the middle of June. We’re starting to get there.”
Justin Decker started for the Black Sox and allowed seven runs in 4Î innings. Relievers Aaron Nestler and Nat Ballenburg didn’t fare much better.
Black Sox outfielder Tom Carey blasted a solo dinger off Wilcox in the bottom of the sixth inning.
If the Knights wanted to send a message to the Black Sox, they got their point across Thursday.
“They might have been thinking they are kind of on the high horse because they’re not used to winning all that much,” Wilcox said. “We’re coming in thinking that we’re the champions, so let’s show them what this league is all about. The goal coming in was to hit them hard. That’s what we wanted to do — set the tone early.”
In other Delco League games:
Narberth 3, Springfield 0: Marty McKeone limited Springfield to a fifth-inning hit while striking out six and walking six, and received all the offensive support he would need in the first inning on a two-out, two-run bases-loaded single by Kelvin Ortiz. Brian Miller followed with a base hit to close out the scoring.
Middletown 9, Concord 2: Josh Karahalis struck out six and allowed four hits over seven innings, Anthony Kyne tripled and drove in two runs and Andrew Abrams roped a two-run double to extend Middletown’s winning streak to four.
Upper Darby 7, Paoli 2: Matt Dolan recorded his third consecutive win, with Jeff O’Reilly and Chris Keenan supplying two hits apiece.
Nate Coronado was golden at the plate, coming through in the clutch several times while producing six hits and eight RBIs, as Chester swept a pair from Paoli Saturday in Delco League baseball.
Chester 7, Paoli 2: Coronado’s two-run double tied it in the seventh inning and he came back with a bases-loaded triple in a five-run eighth that lifted Chester to a 7-2 triumph in the opener. Reliever Nick Moeltner struck out four and allowed just one hit over the final three innings to earn the win, with Chip Scherer (two hits) scoring the game-winning run.
Chester 11, Paoli 0: Rob Gore worked five innings in the nightcap, fanning three and limiting Paoli to three hits, while Coronado (3-for-5, three RBIs) and Justin Lamborn (2-for-3, three runs) supplied the offensive highlights in an 11-0 romp.
Middletown 4, Wayne 0: Penncrest All-Delco Andrew Belfiglio tossed a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and Dan Haley supplied an RBI single for the Lions, who earned only their second win of the season.
Upper Darby 8, Black Sox 7: Kyle Schaefer followed up his four-hit effort from the night before with a pair of base knocks, Kevin Corbett also had two singles and Brian Stumpf picked up the win with relief help from Jeff O’Reilly.
Drummond delivers in clutch as Springfield claims victory
Springfield 3, Narberth 2: Desmond Drummond refused to get saddled with a loss Friday.
With his team trailing by two in the bottom of the seventh, Desmond, who was the pitcher of record, stroked a bases-loaded double that plated the game-tying and game-winning runs to lift Springfield to a 3-2 win over Narberth in Delco League baseball action. Drummond tossed a complete-game with five strikeouts while surrendering three hits.
Concord 6, Upper Darby 4: Rich Gallo’s three hits paced Concord to the two-run victory. Starting pitcher Jason Aiken earned the win and Marty Sessa notched a two-inning save for Concord
Hitters keep Blue Sox on hot streak with victory over Chester
Upper Daryby 8, Chester 3; The top of the lineup came through as the Upper Darby Blue Sox extended their winning streak to three games with an 8-3 victory over Chester in Delco Baseball League action Thursday night.
Chris Long, Mike Raimo and Len Montano scored two runs each to back the complete-game effort of winning pitcher Matt Dolan. Justin Lamborn had three hits for Chester.
Aston Valley 7, Concord 3: Freddie Hilliard allowed five hits, three runs and fanned seven in his first appearance on the mound since Game 5 of the 2012 championship series. Chad Stecker and Dave News both had an extra-base hit and one RBI.
Wayne 4, Springfield 3: Matt Marquis ripped a two-run triple and Matt Hendrixson added an RBI single as Wayne scored three times in the top of the seventh inning to erase a 2-1 deficit.
Middletown 4, Narberth 0: Ryan Haley fired a four-strikeout, one-hitter to give Middletown its first win of the season. Brian Leon ripped a two-run double in the first inning.
Black Sox 6, Paoli 1: John Gonzalez fanned five in a complete-game effort. Matt Donnelly paced the offence with one hit and one RBI.
Wayne 5, Paoli 4; Matt Marquis stepped to the plate in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and connected for a go-ahead grand slam that would make the difference in Wayne’s 5-4 Delco League victory over Paoli.
Paoli managed four runs off Wayne starting pitcher Josh Krautwald, but Tom Close shut things down in relief of Krautwald for the win. Kevin Mulvey got the save.
Dan Williams added a home run for Wayne.
Narberth 4, Concord 3: With Narberth down 3-2, Brian Miller hit a two-out, two-run double with runners in scoring position to lift his team past Concord.
Mark Porter was credited with the win after two shutout innings of relief
Matt Dolan hurls three-hitter in victory for Upper Darby
Upper Darby 4, Springfield 2: Matt Dolan pitched a complete-game three-hitter as Upper Darby edged Springfield, 4-2, in Delco League action Tuesday.
Chris Keenan ripped two doubles and Len Montana had a pair of singles for UD.
Middletown 4, Chester 4: The game was called due to darkness after Dan Haley’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning evened the score. Ryan Haley struck out seven Chester hitters, while Kurt Johnson and Josh Everett both legged out triples.
Concord 5, Haverford 4: Tim O’Keefe recorded five strikeout and allowed only three hits and two runs over six innings of work. Nick Massaro had two doubles and two RBIs while Matt Millen contributed a two-run single. Jason Aiken got the save.
Cichy, Rizzo give Wayne winning edge
May 21, 2013
Published: Monday, May 20, 2013
Wayne 4, Upper Darby 1: Kyle Cichy and Todd Rizzo teamed up to lead Wayne to a 4-1 victory over Upper Darby in Delco Baseball League action Monday night.
Cichy tossed the first five innings to get the win. Rizzo tossed two innings in relief to earn the save. Dan Williams and Matt Marquis slugged solo homers to pace the offense.
Chester 8, Narberth 0: Nick Moeltner allowed four hits and fanned four in four innings to get the win for Chester. Doug Paul struck out the side in his only inning of work. Lou Baldini stroked a two-run double and Carlos Hughes also had a double.
Matt Mullen delivers in seventh as Concord edges Wayne in Delco League
Concord 1, Wayne 0: Matt Mullen’s two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted Concord to a 1-0 win over Wayne in Delco League baseball Saturday.
Mullen slugged two hits, including the walk-off single plating Jimmy Christie with the only run.
Pitcher Joey Barnholt went the distance to register the shutout. Kyle Davis chipped in three hits.
Chester 5, Aston Valley 4: Chip Scherer ripped two doubles and drove in two runs to pace Chester. Nate Coronado chipped in a double and a run scored in support of hurler Eric Murchett, who got the win in his first league start. Chad Stecker thumped a two-run homer for Aston Valley.
Black Sox 6, Middletown 5: Black Sox rallied from 5-0 deficit to improve to 5-0-1 on the season. Justin Decker pitched two scoreless innings to get the win. Randy Milia plated two runs while Jim Crowley led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a double and wound up scoring the winning run.
Wayne 1, Haverford Black Sox 1: Dalton Mayberry’s clutch two-out double in the top of the seventh inning evened the score at 3-3, but the Wayne-Haverford Black Sox game would eventually be called due to darkness. The game officially ended in a tie.
Springfield 7, Concord 6: Norm Donkin — the 2011 Daily Times Male Athlete of the Year — delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the fifth inning. Bob Boyle pitched the win and Matt Gallo got the save.
Matt Marquis paced Concord at the plate with two hits, including a double.
Matt Marquis, Kyle George get Wayne started in Delco League win over Aston Valley
May 16, 2013
Wayne 4, Aston Valley 1: Matt Marquis slapped a two-run single and Kyle George homered with one runner aboard in a four-run first inning, and three pitchers combined to make the lead stand up as Wayne downed Aston Valley, 4-1, Wednesday in Delco League baseball.
George pitched the first three innings to earn the win, with Rocky Walker and Josh Krautwald each going two innings in relief to improve Wayne’s record to 3-0.
Haverford Black Sox 4, Narberth 1: John Gonzalez went the distance, striking out six and scattering six hits — including a home run by Steve DeBarberie — as the Sox extended their season-opening winning streak to four.
Bruce Williams drove in two runs with a pair of hits and Nat Ballenburg singled twice in the win.
Narberth 5, Middletown 1: Richie Young went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, scored once and drove in a run, but it was his work on the mound that ensured Narberth’s 5-1 win over Middletown. Young put in three innings of work on the bump for the save, striking out six along the way. Toby McCart got the win after he didn’t allow any earned runs and struck out six.
Springfield 3, Upper Darby 1: Nick Horan’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly proved to be the decider and Russ Trojan shut the door to make Vince Piccioni a winner.
Hollingsworth, Caruso go deep as Aston Valley rolls to victory
May 11, 2013
Bill Hollingsworth belted a three-run home run and Rob Caruso added a two-run blast to propel Aston Valley to a 10-2 win over Upper Darby in a Delco League game Friday night.
John Plasha stroked two doubles and pitcher Rob Barth earned the win for Aston Valley (2-1).
Narberth 4, Concord 3: Winning pitcher Marty McKeone went the distance, striking out nine batters in just five innings, to help Narberth defeat Concord in the team’s first game of the season. Mike Coleman went 3-for-3 with a double, two singles, an RBI and a run scored and Richie Young added two hits and two runs scored for Narberth.
May 10, 2013
John Gonzalez tossed a complete-game masterpiece for the Haverford Black Sox.
The veteran pitcher scattered five hits and struck out five as the Black Sox nipped Concord, 1-0.
Randy Milia’s solo home run in the top of the sixth inning was the difference.
Will Putnam pitched a gem, but suffered the loss. He allowed only four hits and fanned six for Concord.