Marple Newtown 12, Wayne 4


Marple Newtown staves off elimination with rout o Wayne

By Matthew De George, Delaware County Daily Times


NEWTOWN SQUARE >> Through two games of their Delco League semifinal playoff series, the Marple Newtown Black Sox had hit the ball hard but had just one run and two losses to show for their efforts.

Through almost two turns of the lineup Thursday night, the Black Sox had hit only two balls out of the infield, none for hits. And by the time 16 batters had come to the plate in the bottom of the third and 11 crossed home safely, none of those power numbers mattered all that much against an uncharacteristically giving Wayne side.

The 11-spot in the third inning proved to be, yeah, more than enough in a 12-4 win over Wayne, the Black Sox staving off elimination and forcing a Game 4 back at Marple Newtown High School Saturday afternoon. First pitch is at 3.

The onslaught in the third inning might have seemed just reward to the Black Sox for the frustration meted out in two low-scoring games to open the best-of-5 series.


“Momentum wise, it was huge because everyone started getting up and confidence started skyrocketing,” designated hitter Alec Manzi said. “Everyone hit tonight, and that’s the biggest thing. There was just no pressure in this game, so it felt pretty good.”

The bottom of the third made for gruesome reading for Wayne. Of the 11 runs, only two were earned. They came via four hits, two errors, three hit by pitch and four walks.

The bottom of the order started it against Wayne starter Joe Miller, with nine-man Owen Margolis loading the bases after Cameron Mathes mishandled his sacrifice bunt to third. A walk, a broken-bat infield single by Corey Woodcock and a walk made it 3-0.

“I think it was all the at-bats,” Woodcock said. “I think we just kind of kept things going. We were in a pretty good groove and we kept it going.”

That was it for Miller, giving way to Matt Eiel, who appeared to extinguish the threat with two flyouts with the bases still juiced. But his command got away from him. Eiel hit a batter to force home a run, walked the next guy to make it 5-0, and then the Black Sox bats took the hint.

Manzi singled to left to plate a runner. Margolis singled to chase home two. After CJ Costales was hit by a pitch, Woodcock delivered his second base knock of the inning, driving home two more runs to make it 11-0. Only a fielder’s choice force-out at second in which Wayne got a mercifully generous call ended the threat.

“It was definitely nice because they played basically mistake-free the first two games,” Manzi said. “They had a couple of errors here and there that opened it up for us. And we hit the ball hard, I thought, both games coming into today, and today, you hit the ball hard and it finally goes through, and it feels good.”

That was more than enough cushion for Steve DiStefano on the mound, though the Ursinus hurler didn’t allow himself to think that way. He certainly channeled the run support into an effectively aggressive approach, only walking one batter in his first five innings of work and not giving an inch to Wayne’s dangerous lineup.

“I just kept telling the guys, it’s a 0-0 ballgame at the end of the day,” he said. “For myself, I was just trying to stay loose, stay warm. I wanted to come out strong.

“The biggest thing for me was not to get the mentality that we’re winning. Anything can happen. Whatever we had, it wasn’t a big enough lead. So oh-oh ballgame, new inning, next pitch, it doesn’t change whether we have a bunch of hits or we’re getting no-hit. I just come out and keep grinding for them like they’re grinding for me.”

DiStefano ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth, when he walked three batters, all of whom scored. Kevin Mohollen led off with a double, Mathes supplied a run scoring single and Tommy Jacobs capped it with a two-run single to give the top seed a glimmer of hope.

But DiStefano responded with a strikeout to end the inning, then a 1-2-3 frame in the seventh, capped by his seventh punchout of the night, four of them looking.

Marple Newtown added an insurance run in the sixth on three hits, Margolis (three RBI) driving in Geo Morales (three runs). Woodcock and Manzi both finished with three hits, the top and bottom of the order doing the damage and taking what Wayne gave them.

That method helped the Black Sox prevent any elimination-game jitters. And it’s a recipe they hope to follow again Saturday.

“Especially because Wayne is such a good team, when everything’s meshing for us and we see that, we were putting pressure on them instead of having to play defensively,” DiStefano said. “So we were able to relax a little more, stay fun at the plate, stay loose, relaxed and that’s when we play our best.”