WHITEMARSH >> Malvern Prep pushed three runs across the plate in the first inning against Germantown Academy Friday afternoon.
That was more than enough run support for pitcher Billy Corcoran, but the Friars didn’t stop there.
Malvern added runs in chunks to pick up a 12-1 Inter-Ac win in five innings at Germantown Academy.
Connor Dillon led off the top of the first inning with a single and immediately scored on a Chris Newell triple. Brady Devereaux followed with a walk and stole second. Newell and Devereaux each scored on wild pitches to take a 3-0 lead.
Dillon hit a sacrifice fly to score the Friars fourth run in the second inning.
After a scoreless third inning, Malvern blew the game open with a six-run fourth. The first five batters all reached base — and scored — thanks to two walks, an error and two hit batters.
Newell made it a 10-run game with another RBI triple in the top of the fifth inning and scored on a Devereaux double to make it 12-1.
In all, Malvern Prep took advantage of three walks, two errors, three hit batters and six wild pitches.
“We talk about win the freebie war,” Malvern Prep coach Freddy Hilliard said. “Freebies to us are anytime you get 90 feet for free. We want to make sure we’re on the right side of that count. We track that in our dugout on our stat sheet. We want to make sure that if they give us an opportunity to take 90 feet without having to earn it, we’re going to take it. Today we were looking for it — balls in the dirt, any kind of unforced errors. We always talk about running as hard as we can down the line to put pressure on defenses so you create errors and create mistakes. The kids did a good job of that today.”
“Our first two league games we started off 0-2,” GA coach Tim Ginter, who’s team is now 3-5, said. “Some of those things showed themselves periodically through those first 14 innings. It’s something we worked on specifically to try to clean them up a little bit and they showed up again today in a really big way. That’s about as bad as I believe we can possibly play. Hopefully it’s out of our system now. It’s pretty embarrassing, especially consider the game we played against (Malvern Prep) last time (3-2 GA win).”
While the Friars offense was going to work, Corcoran was mowing down the Patriots lineup.
The right-hander opened the game with what appeared to be a strikeout. GA’s Mike Reilly even walked to the dugout before being called back because it was only two strikes. Reilly ended up hitting a single. It was the only hit Corcoran allowed.
“I throw fastball, changeup, curveball,” Corcoran said. “Everything was working for me. My best pitch is usually my changeup — that was going well. Everything was good today.”
In five innings Corcoran, who’s never thrown a high school no-hitter, struck out five batters to no walks.
The only run he allowed was unearned. After Reilly’s single, Corcoran tallied his first strikeout. The next batter hit a roller to third and the ball was throw away, allowing Reilly to advance to third. Jack Sullivan plated Reilly with a sacrifice fly.
Corcoran didn’t allow a Patriots batter to reach base the rest of the game.
“He’s the best,” Hilliard said. “He’s one of the best pitchers I’ve had here and we’ve had a lot. He’s just steady. He goes out there every time and you know what you’re going to get. He doesn’t have bad days … Once we scored for him it’s almost like he knew he wasn’t going to give them a chance. That’s what your ace is supposed to do.”
The win sets up a key game for the Inter-Ac title Tuesday. Malvern Prep and Chestnut Hill are neck-and-neck for first place with two games remaining and face each other early next week.
“We know what we’re in for with Chesnut Hill,” Hilliard said. “(SCH coach Joe Ishikawa) has done a great job with those kids. They’ve turned into a rival of ours. We’re excited about the opportunity. With the slow start we had, to be in this situation. We almost feel like, for being 2-2, to now where we are, everything is right in front of us. We just need to play one more game at a time. That’s all we can control. Control what we can control is what we tell the guys and right now the next opponent is Chestnut Hill and we have to find a way to beat them.”