MALVERN >> The Malvern Prep baseball team has a long memory. A memory that served the Friars well Tuesday afternoon.
Malvern was facing a Springside Chestnut Hill squad that had defeated Malvern last May on the Friars’ home field to grab a share of the Inter-Academic League title. The Friars paid them back Tuesday, running away with a key 8-3 win.
Malvern Prep (3-0 Inter-Ac, 9-3 overall) chased Blue Devils ace Aidan Frye from the game with a 11-hit attack led by Shane Muntz, Vince Sposato and Connor Dillion, and the Friars got good relief work from Jimmy Kingsbury and Billy Corcoran to stay in first place in the league. Malvern banged out came from behind twice to defeat the visitors.
“They beat us last season right here to take a share of the title so we definitely wanted to pay them back,” Sposato said. “We were really up for this game and we came from behind twice. We don’t care how many runs in a game we are behind, we always think we can come back.”
Malvern had to come back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits, and do so by putting the ball in play. The Blue Devils (5-2, 1-1) helped the Friars’ cause by committing three errors behind Frye.
After Springside Chestnut Hill took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth off Friar starter Jalen Wade, the Friars came right back. Muntz opened the fourth with a double to right field. Chris Newell singled to score pinch runner Brady Deveraux. Sposato singled after Will Burgess flied out. Jack Carpenter singled and went to second on an error and Sposato scored to tie the game at 2-2.
After the Blue Devils chased Wade from the game in the fourth, Kingsbury allowed a run in the fifth on a RBI single from Ian Diaz. But Malvern took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth, scoring four runs on five hits and the Blue Devils helped the Friars by committing two more errors.
Singles by Connor Offshack, Dillion, Muntz and Newell were followed by a two run double from Sposato to put Malvern up 6-3 after five innings and chase Frye from the game.
“We really wanted to beat them this year,” Muntz said. “And you just have to play and not think too much about getting revenge. We put the ball in play a lot better today. We were striking out too much earlier in the year. If you put the ball in play you always have a chance and they helped us with those errors. We were really focused today.”
Malvern tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for an 8-3 lead, and Billy Corcoran came into the game in the sixth to try and quiet a Blue Devil rally. But, the Blue Devils’ first two men singled in the top of the seventh.
Corcoran then bore down and struck out Josh Cucciotti and the game ended on a pretty 4-6-3 double play, as Matt Daller made a great throw from second to nail Diaz running to first to win the game.
“We talked a whole lot yesterday at practice about last year,” Malvern Prep coach Fred Hilliard said. “In this league you have to protect your home turf and we did that today. I was happy we came back twice to win this game and we put the ball in play with two strikes, and that is something we also talked about. You cannot strike out there. You have to put the ball in play and we did that today.”
Malvern Prep 8,
Springside Chestnut Hill 3
SCH ab r h bi MP ab r h bi
Alleyene ss 4 1 2 0 Offshack 3b 4 1 1 0
Cucciotti 2b 3 0 1 0 Dillion 2b 4 1 3 0
Diaz 3b 4 1 1 1 Muntz c 4 0 2 1
Schubert 1b 3 1 1 1 Deveraux cr 0 2 0 0
Hoffman cf 4 2 3 1 Newell rf 4 2 3 1
Fisher dh 2 0 1 1 Burgess dh 3 0 0 0
Spearman lf 2 0 0 0 Sposato lf 3 0 2 2
Salaman c 2 0 0 0 Crpenter 1b 3 0 0 0
McNeil cr 0 0 0 0 Daller ss 3 1 0 0
Elliot ph 1 0 1 0 Li cf 2 0 0 0
Singer rf 1 0 0 0 Wolters cf 1 1 0 0
Williams rf 1 0 0 0
Hendricks rf 1 0 1 0
Totals 27 3 9 3 Totals 31 8 11 4
Springside Chestnut Hill 000 210 0 — 3
Malvern Prep 000 242 x — 9
2B – Muntz.
IP H R BB SO
Springside Chestnut Hill
Frye, L 5 10 6 5 8
Cucciotti 1 1 2 1 1
Wade 3.2 3 2 2 1
Kingsbury, W 1.1 4 1 0 2
Corcoran 1.2 2 0 0 1