MALVERN- Tuesday afternoon at Malvern Prep the Friars baseball team showed it can beat a team in a lot of different ways. The host Friars played small ball and then long ball in an eight run third inning that propelled the Friars to a 9-3 thumping of Penn Charter in Inter-Academic League action. The win keeps Malvern Prep tied atop the inter-Ac standings with Episcopal Academy going into the last week of the regular season.
Malvern Prep (8-1Inter-Ac, 21-2 overall) also received a sharp six inning pitching performance from Chuck Oschell who limited the Quakers to just four hits while striking out eight batters. Cam Marcum came in and set the Quakers down in the seventh inning and the Friars still had a share of first place in the Inter-Ac.
“We sort of know we are going to get a quality start out of Chuck every time,” Malvern Prep coach Fred Hilliard said. “We like to say we are in a race to five. If we get five runs we feel we are in pretty good shape with Chuck on the mound. He really battled out there today and even when he gave up the home run to Vince (Fattore) in the first inning we were not worried.”
Trailing Penn Charter 1-0 going to the bottom of the third inning, the Friars exploded for eight runs on five hits, some of them not even leaving the infield as Malvern Prep sent 11 batters to the plate against Quakers starter Scott Doran, who breezed through the first two innings.
Matt Tsialais led off the inning with a walk and then Mike Gordon laid down a perfect bunt that the Quakers couldn’t handle and the Friars had men on first and second with no one out. After Doran struck out Jaden Smith for the first out, Ryan Cochran laid down another perfect bunt and the bases were loaded with one out.
“Mike and Ryan laid down two perfect bunts and we like to be diversified on offense and we practice the heck out of those things,” Hilliard said. “And their pitcher was rolling and we wanted to get him a little off balance.”
Trey Tiffan followed with a long two run double and that was followed by an RBI single by Tim Dickerson and the Friars were off to the races. But the Friars were not done pounding out the hits. Ryan Davis ripped an RBI single to right field and Jonathon Holt reached when the Penn Charter left fielder lost a fly ball in the sun to load the bases with just one out.
Up stepped the dangerous Tague Davis. Davi took two pitches then unloaded a bomb that was long and high and went over the right field fence for a grand slam home run and the Friars had a 8-1 lead and were on their way to another big win. davis later in the game lofted a sacrifice fly to end the day with five RBI.
“I hit a two seem fastball,” Davis said. “I was just trying to put something in play intuit spot. My last at bat he threw me the same thing so I was looking for it. It felt really good when it went out and we needed this win because there are no days off in this league. Every team in this league has a dude and you have to be ready every game. So, we get ready now for Chestnut Hill on Friday.”
Oschell gave up single runs in the fourth and fifth innings but the quakers never seriously threatened the Friars and Oschell picked up another impressive league win and the Friars quest for another coveted league tile was still going.
“We played small ball with Ryan and mike and then the big thumpers like trey Tiffan and Tague came through for us.” Hilliard said.
Malvern Prep 9, Penn Charter 3.
Penn Charter 100 110 0-3
Malvern Prep 008 010 -x-9
2B-Fattore, Rowan, Tiffan, Holt.