Narberth 4, Springfield 2

Kehoe gets Narberth off and running again

By Matt Smith This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. @DTMattSmith on Twitter

from the Daily Times posted 7/17/20

Tyler Kehoe is locked in at the plate The man they call “Bugs” has had little trouble finding a groove during the first few weeks of this coronavirus-shortened Delco League campaign.

In the first inning, Kehoe ignited Narberth with a smash to left-center field. Hustling around third, he found a second gear when he slid headfirst into home.

Narberth’s success this year— the Mudcats have yet to lose a game— can be attributed to young, hungry, Division I-level talent such as Kehoe, who recently transferred to Northwest Florida State after a stint at North Carolina.

Kehoe’s bat plays anywhere ... even at Church Field Park for a Thursday evening clash with the Springfield Colonials.

“I’m just having fun,” Kehoe said. “I can’t ask for a better opportunity to play baseball here, in the Delco League, and play in front of family and friends. That part to me is what it’s still all about.”

Kehoe’s only hit in Narberth’s 4-2 victory was the sliding round-tripper, but he has been on a tear for the first-place Mudcats (7-0), who have dominated everybody they’ve faced.

Asked what it’s like to play with this loaded team, Kehoe flashed a wide smirk.

“Man,” he said, “we’ve got so much talent here. Our lineup is stacked and our arms, I think we have the best pitching in the league.”

Well, right now, the Mudcats are the best team in the league, period. Creeping behind them are the reigning champs, Wayne, which has an equally young and college laden roster.

“People chirped about us, but we’ve got a ton of talent and we’re just going out there every night, winning games and having fun,” Kehoe said.

An early league MVP candidate, Kehoe’s leadoff bomb was his first of the season and seventh extra base knock. He is hitting .370 (10 for-27) with four doubles, two triples and six ribbies.

“I’m just focused on putting the barrel on the ball every time I’m up,” he said. “Good swings.”

The Colonials (3-4), who entered the night in third place, answered Kehoe’s homer with a run in the bottom of the first. Mitch Helmandollar (Interboro, All-Delco) blooped an RBI single to shallow right field, scoringCasey Vaughan(Springfield), who led off the frame with a walk.

Joe Ravert pitched the first inning for the Mudcats, who dipped into their bullpen early. Chris Clark handled the next 5.2 innings and was excellent before running out of steamwith two outs in the sixth. The Haverford School grad and All-Delco kicker in football, who will be pitching at Harvard next fall, made easy work of the Springfield lineup. Clark finished with eight strikeouts and gave up only two hits and one unearned run.

Narberth grabbed the lead for good with two runs in the third inning. Cardinal O’Hara All-Delco Jim White singled and scored on a Ben Newberth RBI triple. Two batters later Jim Quinn ripped a run-scoring double to make it a 3-1 game.

Tommy Toal (Haverford School) singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on an errant throw to give Narberth a 4-1 advantage.

Springfield battled in the sixth inning, aided by a two-out error, which prolonged Clark’s stint on the mound. With the bases loaded, recent Cardinal O’Hara grad Tom Kane entered in relief and got a strikeout to get out of the jam. Kane mowed down all four batters he faced to pick up the save.

White went 2-for-4 to raise his season batting average to .500 (11for-22). Newbert is batting .470 (8for-17) with a pair of triples and six RBIs. Ryan Guckin coaxed a pair of walks and singled for the Mudcats.

Dan Shepherd reached base three times with two singles and walk for Springfield. Garnet Valley All-Delco Cole Palis (Penn) added an RBI.

Joey Pettinelli (Marple Newtown) started for Springfield. He allowed three runs on five hits, but struck out three over three solid frames. Mike Smith (Springfield), who fanned two, threw well in relief.