Wayne 16, Marple Newtown 1

Wayne bounces back in big way

Posted 7/7/2018 9:40pm

By Harry Chaykun

NEWTOWN SQUARE – Drew Ehrlich has been taking summer classes at Villanova, preparing for the Wildcats’ 2018 football season, and playing baseball with Delco League leader Wayne.

   James Kantner is taking an on-line summer course through Elizabethtown College, where he plays baseball. He also works in the pro shop at The Springhaven Club, and is a member of the Wayne Delco Baseball League team.

   The two were among many contributors as Wayne (19-2, 57 points) bounced back from having its 10-game winning streak snapped by Narberth Friday night to cruise to a 16-1 decision over host Marple Newtown (11-11, 33 points) in the only Delco League game scheduled Saturday afternoon.

   The winners scored six runs in the top of the first inning, added a single tally in the third inning, and sent 12 batters to the plate in getting nine runs in the top of the seventh.

   Wayne starting pitcher Luke Zimmerman, only three weeks removed from getting the game-winning hit in the PIAA Class 5A state final for Marple Newtown High, gave up four of Marple Newtown’s six hits and one unearned run while striking out four in four innings to earn the decision.

   Anthony Viggiano threw the final three innings, striking out three.

   Ehrlich had a single and walk in his first four at-bats, then smoked a long three-run homer to put the finishing touches on Wayne’s seventh-inning rally.

   “With taking classes, working out for football, and playing baseball at night there are times I’m really exhausted,” Ehrlich, who played at Gilman School in Maryland before heading to ’Nova, said.

   He was a red-shirt member of the football team in his first season on campus last fall.

   “I have a friend who is friendly with (former Villanova baseball coach) George Bennett,” Ehrlich said. “I took batting practice with (Bennett) in the off-season, and he talked to (Wayne manager Brian Fili) for me. Coach Fili had seen me in the Big 26 game several years ago.

   “I wanted to play baseball and football but it didn’t work out last year. We’re still trying to work things out with (Wildcats baseball coach Kevin Mulvey, a former major-league pitcher who played for Wayne after his professional career ended). I really love baseball and would like to be able to play in college.”

   Kantner was headed home after the game to complete work on an on-line quiz that was due Saturday night for his summer course. He had a run-scoring single during the first-inning rally and started the seventh inning with a hit and scored twice while knocking in one run during that inning.

   “I guess losing (Friday) night lit a fire under us and got everyone going today,” Kantner said. “We’re trying to clinch first place as soon as we can, and then we can take things from there getting ready for the playoffs.”

   Kevin Mohollen had a double and scored the first run in the opening inning for Wayne, then batted again in the first and got a sacrifice fly. Jim Loftus replaced him in the bottom of the inning and came up with a double and bases-loaded triple in three trips to the plate.

   Viggiano contributed a pair of hits and walked twice, Ed Paparella chipped in with two hits and a pair of RBIs, and Pat O’Neill walked four times, once with the bases loaded for Wayne.

   Drew Fowler had Marple Newtown’s only extra-base hit, a double in the third inning. Marple’s pitchers were touched for 13 hits and issued 13 walks.

   “The walks were the thing I didn’t like,” Marple Newtown manager Nick DuComb said. “It’s over, and now we’ve got to be ready to come back and play Aston Valley (at noon Sunday).”