SPRINGFIELD >> After learning about his grandfather’s passing Monday morning, Broomall-Newtown’s Brett Tanis sent a text message to his coach, Anthony Greco.
“He said, ‘I want the ball today, get me on the bump,’” Greco said. “I texted back to him, ‘It’s all yours, all day.’ He came out, and I guarantee that his grandfather was with him on that bump all day.”
Tanis was sensational in Game 1 of the Intermediate EDCO championship series as Broomall-Newtown rolled to a 9-1 victory over Springfield at Crowell Park.
“It’s tough for a 16-year-old kid to come out and do what he did here tonight,” Greco said. “It all pretty much happened within a couple hours, it was a tough day for him and his family. But he did awesome today. The team played well behind him and everyone had his back.”
Tanis allowed only two hits — both infield singles — and one unearned run. The lefty fanned 12 and coaxed four ground ball outs.
At one point Tanis retired four straight batters via the strikeout and five of six. Tanis’ curveball was particularly effective, and he located his fastball with ease. Only twice did a Springfield baserunner get into scoring position.
“Something I have been working on improving is my breaking ball location,” said Tanis, who will be a junior at Delaware County Christian School in the fall. “I struggled during the regular season at my school with locating my curveball. I would always sail it over my catcher or throw it in the dirt. In the high school season, I was so good at locating my fastball, I have a little bit of tail on it, so I can put it inside and outside and throw it up high when I want to. I didn’t really use my curveball that much, and that hurt me at times. I got it back for the summer, though, and I’m really proud of my curveball.”
Springfield discovered Monday exactly how good of a pitch it is.
B-N ensured that Tanis would have a smooth outing. The bats came alive in the fourth inning, starting with a single by Tanis, who advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Kevin Leon. An RBI grounder off the bat of Cody Moorhatch — Tanis’ high school teammate — made it 2-0.
That is all the run support Tanis would require. In addition to his excellent pitching, Tanis was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a pair of runs scored.
“I only started playing this year (with Broomall-Newtown),” Tanis said. “I feel as though I’ve taken a big step. I’m proud of where I am now, but I definitely feel like I can get a lot stronger. I just love to play baseball.”
B-N tacked on five runs when it sent eight hitters to plate in the top of the fifth. Owen Noonan was hit by a pitch, and back-to-back singles by Joey Lucchesi and John Bousa loaded the bags for Sean Donnell. The shortstop, who started at second base on Marple Newtown’s PIAA Class 5A championship team in the spring, had a sacrifice fly. Leon then ripped a run-scoring single to make it 4-0. After an error, big man Alex Nicolaides slammed an RBI double to deep left to give B-N a 7-0 cushion.
B-N’s offensive performance paled in comparison to its efforts during the regular season against Springfield.
“They actually swept us in the regular season,” said Greco, a 2014 Marple Newtown graduate and an assistant coach at the high school. “We had a lot of high-scoring games with them. It was due to a little bit of a lack of preparation. We probably had as many errors in those games as we did hits. But these kids have a phenomenal mindset. They come here, after getting swept in the regular season, and they played a great game. They executed all game in the field and they came out and hit the really well. It’s all because of these kids.
“As coaches, we just sit back and let them play. That’s something I learned at Marple from (coach) Mark (Jordan). He trusts kids to play the game, and that’s what I’m trying to do with these kids and they’re doing a phenomenal job.”
B-N added two runs in the top of the sixth on a two-run double by Donnell. Springfield starter Mike Eberhardt allowed eight hits and seven runs
(three earned) with one strikeout over five innings of work. John Williams threw the final two innings.
Springfield’s hits came off the bats of Jake Baumann and Jake Vaughan, who stole third base and scored on an errant throw in the top of the seventh, spoiling the shutout for Tanis.
Game 2 of the best-of-three championship series is scheduled for Tuesday at either Thomas Field or Gable Park in Newtown Township.
In the Senior EDCO championship round:
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