WHITEMARSH >> Exactly one year ago to the day Plymouth Whitemarsh pitcher Ben Mascio threw a no-hitter on junior varsity against Springfield Township.
Tuesday he faced the Spartans varsity squad and came up just short.
The sophomore left-hander allowed one hit over seven innings while striking out five batters and walking none to lead the Colonials to an 8-0 Suburban One League American Conference win at Colonials Field.
“(Mascio) came out and was firing from the beginning,” PW coach Chris Manero said. “He got a little fired up before the game, came out and used it to his advantage.
“He’s confident in himself and it shows when he’s out there. This is back-to-back outstanding performances from him.”
Springfield’s lone hit came in the top of the seventh inning. Nick Pave hit a 3-1 pitch straight into the ground towards the right side of the infield. The ball bounced high off PW’s brand new turf. The ball landed between first baseman Brett Bottinger, second baseman Jacob Nunez and Mascio. No one covered first base and Pave ran through the bag for the Spartans first hit and first base runner since the first inning.
“I didn’t (know) until the end of the game,” Mascio said. “That last hit in the seventh inning — I didn’t even know that was the only hit until the end of the game when I came in.”
Mascio used his fastball, changeup and slider to carve through Springfield’s batting order and didn’t allow a single ball to leave the infield all game.
“I was getting the slider in for a strike,” Mascio said. “Good thing was I didn’t have to bring that in until the fourth inning, so I didn’t have to show that early. They weren’t ready for that when I brought it in in the fourth inning.”
Offensively, the Colonials did plenty to help Mascio. They scored four runs off of Pave — arguably the SOL American’s best pitcher — including two right off the bat in the first inning.
“Jacob Nunez led off the game with a hard-hit single to right,” Manero said. “We got guys on base. One of the big things that was our key today was that we didn’t leave a lot of guys on base. Every time we had opportunities, we made sure we drove those guys in. Nick Pave is an outstanding pitcher. If we let him off the hook in the first inning by not scoring those runs, it’s a completely different game. Our guys kept finding ways today to drive in runs really from the beginning of the game all throughout. That was the key to our offense.”
PW added four more runs in the sixth inning after Pave exited.
Drew Kliesh led the team with two RBI. Mascio, Brad Krenicky, Richie Werner and Mike Orensky also knocked in runs. Tyler Willans — pinch-running for Werner — and Orenski each scored on wild pitches in the sixth.
After the win, PW will be off until next Tuesday with seniors going on Senior Trip.
“Right now we played five school days in a row,” Manero said. “We want to keep playing, but obviously we know we have a long way to go still. We’re challenging these guys to find ways to get better every day, different ways to get better, different things to do better. We’ve been making plays, but today we made some outstanding defensive plays — big plays. That’s something we haven’t done too much of yet. Every day we find something new.”
Pave threw five innings for the Spartans. He struck out eight batters, walked two and gave up four runs on six hits.
“We don’t hit, we don’t win,” Springfield coach Dennis Primavera said. “It’s that simple. (Mascio) pitched a great game for PW. (Pave) had some early problems — that first inning was a killer for us as far as his pitch count goes, but hats off to the pitcher for PW.”
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