HAVERFORD >> The relative comfort of the final scoreline might obscure it, but as Drew Fowler came charging around third base in the fourth inning Tuesday afternoon, Tom Quinn had precious few seconds to make a decision that would alter the game.
With Quinn’s Springfield team leading by three runs and the Haverford bats enjoying a belated (and ultimately brief) awakening against hurler Jared Morris, Fowler chugged around third on Finn O’Brien’s single to shallow right field.
That’s when Quinn came up gunning, hitting catcher Andrew Todaro with a throw on one hop slightly up the third-base line to slap a tag on the sliding Fowler.
Crisis averted, Morris went back into cruise control, piloting the Cougars to a 6-0 win in Central League action.
But with Springfield up just 3-0 in the fourth and Haverford’s bats rapping out two straight hits around a walk, the game hung very much in the balance as Quinn fielded the ball.
“Coming into this game, we were playing back because this field is kind of a minefield out there,” Quinn said. “I tried not to come up too hard, but I came up with a good throw, nice one-hopper to Andrew at the plate.”
“He’s one of the better outfielders I’ve ever seen, one of the best arms I’ve ever seen,” Morris said of Quinn. “I was just hoping our first baseman wasn’t going to cut the ball. Great tag by our catcher, great throw by Tommy. Especially with them getting a couple of hits, getting the momentum on their side, that just took it right back to our side and definitely gave us a boost.”
— Matthew De George (@sportsdoctormd) April 19, 2017
Fowler’s single with one out was the first hit for the Fords (3-5 overall, 2-4 league). O’Brien’s was the last, Morris working six-plus masterful innings, striking out five and walking four. Consecutive walks to start the seventh saw the All-Delco righty hit his pitch limit, and Mike Conran mopped up with three quick outs.
Quinn’s play wasn’t the only bit of outfield brilliance in the fourth, with the rally dampened by Greg Tamaccio’s sliding catch on a dipping Dylan Resnick liner to lead off the inning.
“It’s a little discouraging,” Haverford starter Ben Savitz said of the Fowler play. “But it’s something we have to get over and get another man in the same position.”
Solid outfield play is part and parcel of the balance the Cougars (6-2, 5-1) display. Springfield’s 11 hits came from eight spots in the order. Seven-hitter Dave Bingaman drew first blood with a two-run single in the second inning. Layne Kelly, in the eight hole, singled twice and scored, and nine-man Tamaccio clubbed a thunderous RBI triple in the sixth.
Morris, batting cleanup, provided two hits, and five-hitter Andrew Paulus scored twice. But Springfield’s consistency up and down the lineup is difficult to repel.
“Hitting one through nine, it’s not only great for the kids that are hitting down there, but it picks up the rest of the team and it just makes baseball a lot more fun when everyone’s hitting,” Morris said. “Whether it’s your four hitter or your nine hitter up, hopefully production is going to come out of it somewhere. So it’s huge for the team and huge for being able to play better teams.”
Andrew Paulus a long sac fly to score Mike Smith. Springfield leads 3-0. pic.twitter.com/8Qskvh6VtF
— Matthew De George (@sportsdoctormd) April 19, 2017
Savitz battled ably for 4 2/3 innings, yielding four earned runs on seven hits. He was no match for Morris, though, who took care of business against a familiar foe.
“They’re a good hitting team,” Morris said. “I’ve played against most of them since I was eight years old, so I had a pretty good idea of what to throw and where to throw it and when to throw it, but don’t make many mistakes, reverse-pitch them, and be smart because they can definitely hit mistakes.”
Paulus belted a deep sac fly in the third, then doubled and scored on Quinn’s single in the fifth to add some cushion.
Also in the Central League:
Strath Haven 16, Conestoga 8 >> Luke Mutz tripled among three hits and scored four times from the leadoff spot as the Panthers scored 11 runs in the final three innings to pull away.
Will Carey drove in three runs and worked 4 2/3 innings on the bump for the victory. Evan Atsaves, Anthony Viggiano and Brady Mutz drove in two runs each, while Chase Davis contributed three hits.
Garnet Valley 12, Penncrest 1 >> Matt Lupoli drove in three runs with three hits, and Liam Bendo homered among three safeties, scoring three times as the Jags rolled.
Dominic Bertone added a double and scored three runs, and Mason Miller drove in two runs while working four solid innings on the hill.
Mike Lansberry led Penncrest with two hits.
Radnor 4, Lower Merion 0 >> Charlie Connolly got the win, limiting Lower Merion to one hit in the shutout. Andrew Boujoukos tripled and drove in a run, and George Hoysgaard added an RBI double for the Raiders.
Marple Newtown 9, Upper Darby 2 >> Luke Cantwell doubled and drove in three runs, and Carmen Christiana tripled and scored three times to make a winner of Luke Zimmerman. Cameron Mathes added a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Chris Anderson drove in a run for the Royals, while Nolan Ward struck out seven over five innings.
In the Catholic League:
St. Joseph’s Prep 3, Cardinal O’Hara 2 >> Isaiah Hammond and Jim White collected two hits each, one of Hammond’s a double, but Prep’s Luke Donaphon scored what proved to be the winning run in the bottom of the third, a slim lead the Hawks held by positing four straight zeros.
Archbishop Wood 16, Archbishop Carroll 0 >> Tyler Kehoe’s fifth-inning single was the only hit for the Patriots (6-3, 4-2) on a forgettable day where they committed six errors.
In the Del Val League:
Chichester 27, Glen Mills 1 >> Aaron Smith drove in four runs and got the win on the hill, and Marcus Williams collected three RBIs as the Eagles (7-2, 6-1) benefited from 17 walks issued by Bulls pitching.
In the Bicentennial League:
Delco Christian 8, Valley Forge M.A. 4 >> Clay Corcimiglia tossed a complete game with two strikeouts and helped his cause with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored. Nathaniel Tutton and Nate Carroll collected two hits each for DC (4-4, 4-4).