Aston Valley 9, Springfield 3

Aston Valley gets 6 in sixth, moves on

By Harry Chaykun

Eric Stewart and Brad Scull did not play for the Aston Valley Knights during the team’s 2017 Delco Baseball League championship run.

   The two helped make a finals rematch between the Knights and Narberth Mudcats possible this year as Aston Valley rallied for six runs in the top of the sixth inning and defeated the Springfield Colonials, 9-3, to complete a suspended playoff game and finish off a two-game quarterfinal series sweep Saturday afternoon.

   The defending champion Knights, the No. 3 playoff seed, and the second-seeded Mudcats will begin their best-of-5 semifinal series with games at Narberth Playground Monday and Tuesday nights. First pitch for each game is scheduled for 5:45.

   When play resumed between Aston Valley and Springfield at Penncrest High Saturday with the score tied, 3-3, the Knights quickly loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batter. Stewart roped a two-run single off Nate Booth to break the tie, then after another walk and a strikeout, Donovan Davis delivered a three-run double off reliever Mike Smith and the damage was done.

   “I had a positive count, so I knew I could expect a pitch to hit,” Stewart, who played at Cardinal O’Hara High and Cumberland (N.J.) Community College, said. “You forget about having to wait (to finish the game) and it isn’t that hard get yourself back into it.

   “I wasn’t part of their (championship) series with Narberth last year, but I have heard about it. And I’ve played against (the Mudcats) a few times this year, so I know what it will be all about.”

   Davis delivered a key hit in a six-run rally that earned a win over the Upper Darby Blue Sox for the Knights two weeks ago.

   “I guess I got the right pitch,” he said, with a grin.

   Scull gave up only a single to Smith in the two innings he pitched Saturday.

He got four consecutive outs on ground balls, then finished up with a pair of strikeouts.

   “I threw a little the other day,” Scull, who played at Monsignor Bonner and will complete his eligibility at Wilmington College next spring, said. “I knew I had two or three innings left in me for today.

   “Getting all those runs like that takes a lot of pressure off you. I knew I just had to go out there and throw strikes.”

   Springfield manager Bill McMenamin accepted his team’s fate.

   “That’s the way baseball can be,” McMenamin said. “They just came out and got all over us.

   “We had a lot of one-run games this year and we did win 10 games and make the playoffs.”