WHITEMARSH >> All seven of Plymouth Whitemarsh’s seniors started and contributed to a five-inning 11-0 win over Abington on Senior Day at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Tuesday afternoon.
“Everybody gets excited for Senior Day,” PW coach Chris Manero said. “Guys really show their best. We set that tone right away from the first inning. We have guys that we’ve coached for four years and these guys have been playing baseball their whole life and some of them are in their very last year — some of them won’t play baseball again after this year. You feel really good for them to see them come out and have a day like that.”
It started with senior Jake Kuruc on the mound. The right-hander gave up a hit to the game’s first batter and that was it. He struck out three batters and walked two to go along with the one hit over five scoreless innings. It was his best outing since a Little League perfect games when he was 12 years old.
“Just throw strikes,” Kuruc said of his plan. “Everything in the bullpen was working — my curveball was on, my changeup was on. I was just trying to get my fastball going then switch it up with the off-speed.
“Last year we saw our seniors win, so it was cool for us to be able to win on Senior Day after struggling so far this year.”
“When (Kuruc’s) most effective he’s keeping guys off-balance,” Manero said of his pitcher who got 10 of his 15 outs on the ground. “He definitely pitches to contact. On our best days he’s throwing strikes and we’re making the plays behind him. When we get that together, he’s pretty effective.”
The Colonials gave him plenty of offensive support. They totaled 10 hits and 11 runs in four innings.
Senior Noah Goldstein got the scoring started in the first inning. He worked a leadoff walk and stole second. He advanced to third and scored on two wild pitches.
PW blew the game open in the second inning. They scored seven runs on five hits and two errors to take a commanding 8-0 lead and force Abington starter Matt Horn out of the game. Freshman Kevin Reilly had an RBI single, Goldstein a sacrifice fly, senior Justin Gelfand a three-run double and senior Luca Amoroso a two-run single.
Three more runs came across in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it an 11-0 game. Amoroso had another two-run single and he scored on an error later in the inning.
Amoroso, a team captain, went 3-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored.
“I’ve had a pretty tough year,” Amoroso said. “Just having my coaches stand behind me … keeping faith in me and letting me hit and giving me a chance.
“I’m seeing more pitches,” Amoroso added about moving out of his early-season position as the leadoff batter, “better pitches, more fastballs. I’m able to time those more and settle down in the six spot.”
Maloney also had a two-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
“I was the most excited to see Corry Maloney get two hits,” Manero said. “He doesn’t play much. He’s a great teammate, a great program, team guy. For him to come out here on Senior Day and get a couple hits like that, that’s the kind of stuff you really feel good about.”
The Colonials still have four games left — three of which are Suburban One League American Conference games. They won’t be making the District 1 Class-6A playoffs, but as Tuesday showed, that won’t stop them from competing.
“We still have a lot to play for,” Manero said. “I keep telling guys if you’re a senior, we want our seniors to really be playing to finish strong and to give themselves a good sendoff. Our underclassmen, they’re playing to show us what they have for the future. Everybody is playing for something. Ultimately they’re still playing for their school, so they still want to look sharp and put a good name out for their baseball program.”
Colin Kennedy had the Ghosts only hit to start the game. He reached second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a groundout.
No Abington baserunners got past first base after that.
“What can you say about a game like that?” Abington coach Jon Morrissette asked. “Came out flat. Maybe all the (Senior Day) festivities and went downhill from there.
“We had a great game (Monday), but a lot of the season the offense was lacking.”
Plymouth Whitemarsh 11, Abington 0
Abington 000 00 — 0
Plymouth Whitemarsh 170 3x — 11
WP: Jake Kuruc 5 IP 3 K 2 BB 1 H 0 R
LP: Matt Horn 1.2 IP 1 K 2 BB 6 H 8 R
2B: PW: Justin Gelfand, Corry Maloney.
Top Photo: Plymouth Whitemarshs Corry Maloney slides into home for a run against Abington during their game on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)