Springfield 6, Marple Newtown 4

Shepherd’s big day paces Springfield to a victory

from the Daily Times posted 7/22/20

Every win is a big win in a 16-game regular season, a point the Springfield Colonials were reminded of in their 6-4 decision over the Marple Newtown Black Sox Tuesday night in the Delco Baseball League.

Several players chipped in, Matt Shepherd giving the Colonials (5-4-0, 15 points) a comfortable lead with a two-run single in the first inning on the way to 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs.

The victory solidified the Colonials’ grip on third place, which is critical because all of the teams will participate in the playoffs during the coronavirus-shortened season.

“I think it was big for us,” Shepherd said. “We have a lot of young guys. We don’t usually have so many kids. Especially during the coronavirus when a lot of kids are home. So, it’s a big thing for us to win. We want to hopefully get at least third or fourth seed, so we don’t get stuck playing the 1 or 2 seed.”

The Colonials were in control of a 3-0 lead as starting pitcher Andrew Cantwell cruising into the fifth inning with a shutout.

But after the Black Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fifth, Dante Nikko, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, belted a two-out, bases-loaded single to drive in a run and reliever Colin Eberhardt hit a batter to force in another run, giving the Black Sox life.

After Eberhardt got the final out on a ground ball, the Colonials put three runs on the board, a pair on Luke Piontek’s liner, the other on Shepherd’s bad-hop single.

The Black Sox are in fourth place with a 3-4-1 record.

“Obviously I’d rather be like 5-2-1 or something like that,” Black Sox manager Nick Ducomb said. “Right now, our guys are getting their feet under them. They’re getting more at bats, getting more reps in the field, the pitchers, everybody seems to be getting more comfortable.”

These days, Narberth (9-0, 27 points) is dominating the Delco League along with second-place Wayne (7-1-1, 22 points), the defending champs. Springfield and Marple Newtown (3-3-1, 10 points) are next with Aston Valley (2-5-1), Chester (2-5-0), Concord (1-6-1) andUpper Darby (1-5-0) in the low end of the standings.

The Black Sox had the third best scoring ratio entering the game, having scored 40 runs and allowed 26, the latter figure, the fewest in the league. Springfield had outscored its opponents 32-31.

“It was a little closer than we wanted it to be,” Colonials manager Steve Trainor said. “We have to get a little bit better. But Andrew made his debut for us today and he was huge. Colin came in and he did really well. He stranded a couple of guys. Norm (Donkin) came in for the seventh and he did his job. And Mark Gervasi came of the bench with a two-run single. It’s huge. You love to see guys come in off the bench and contribute. Everybody is competing hard. We’re just trying to win ball games.”

Cantwell, a lefthander out of West Chester University, scattered four hits and two walks and struck out four in 4.2 innings to collect the win.

Donkin went 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs scored and Gerard Sweeney blasted a double for the Colonials.

“We’re young,” Trainor said. “We’re just trying to compete. Right now, we’re in third. We just want to get into a good position for the playoffs so we’re ready to roll.”

Jack O’Reilly went 2-for-4 with one RBI for the Black Sox, who got a double from Nikko.

Tom Mann took the loss, allowing four earned runs and four hits over four innings.