Marple Newtown 4, Chester 1

Cornell guts out a complete game as Marple advances

By Matt Smith

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CHESTER» Alex Cornell threw 131 pitches Tuesday as Marple Newtown clinched the final berth in the Delco League playoffs with a 4-1 victory over Chester.

It was not a career high for the Archbishop Carroll graduate.

“I threw 146 pitches one time,” said the 6-2 right hander. “I remember it was back in Legion.”

When Cornell took the bump Tuesday, he had a good idea he would be asked to go the entire way or close to it. The Black Sox were short on arms.

Manager Nick DuComb came out for a visit to check his temperature in the seventh, as Chester attempted a two-out rally, but the Bloomsburg junior was poised to finish what he started.

Cornell recorded the final out when he got Pat Warrington to hit a harmless fly ball to center fielder Blaise Rantanen.

“I didn’t have my best stuff, that was pretty obvious,” said Cornell, who allowed only three hits but walked five and struck out nine. “For me it’s just a matter of throwing strikes and being consistent. One thing I learned in college is you don’t have to overpower everyone. So just keep constantly throwing strikes, locate my pitches well, and that’s the best thing you can do especially when you don’t have your best stuff.”

Nick Toms belted a solo homer, and Chip Chapman had a single and double for Chester. Otherwise, Cornell was quite good.

It helped to have a four-run cushion before he threw his first pitch. The Black Sox sent nine batters to the plate against Chester starter Dre Solomon in the top of the first with four hits. Right fielder Nick Cerelli rocketed an RBI double off the fence in left field, and catcher Jake Fallows drove in a pair of runs with a two-bagger.

“It’s huge to jump out and score some early runs against a pretty good team,” said Fallows, a junior at William Paterson University in New Jersey. “Knowing how the season has gone so far we definitely have a chip on our shoulder. We’re playing with no strings attached. No matter what, we’re going to come out to play and try our best to win.”

Colin Myers had a sacrifice fly, and Fallows (2-for-4) hit the ball hard all four times. Joe De-Carlo added a single and a walk for Marple Newtown.

Chris Noles, the son of former Phillies Dickie Noles, pitched two shutout innings of relief for Chester. He struck out three.

The Black Sox (4-18-1) occupied last place in the standings all season. Chester (7-16-2) had 12 more points, but all either team needed was one win to make the tournament.

The sixth-seeded Black Sox play No. 3 Springfield (13-10-1) in a best-of-3 series beginning Thursday at Church Road Park. The other first-round series features No. 5 Aston Valley (10-13-1) against No. 4 Narberth (10-12-1), which gets under way Wednesday. First-place Wayne (19-5) and defending champion Upper Darby (17-6-1) earned byes to the semifinal round.

“I told the guys before the game that I don’t want anyone looking back or looking forward, go out tonight and play seven innings and see if we can knock these guys off,” DuComb said. “We’re going to be the underdog the whole way. We did lose 11 one-run games, so it’s been a very tough season. Springfield is obviously a great ballclub and will be heavy favorites against us. We’ve got to show up and play as hard as we can.”