I got to kick off the baseball season with an early battle for Del Val supremacy Thursday, a 13-5 win for Interboro over Chichester. You can check the game story here, but here are a few odds and ends that missed the article.
– The conversation with Interboro, as it does every year until further notice, begins and ends with their District One aspirations. The looming question always seems to be: Is this the year that they get their first win in Class AAAA? And while that may be putting the cart before the horse as there are still a lot of difficult Del Val games to get through to earn that honor, let’s look at it anyway. It’s early in the season, but I have concerns about the pitching staff. Sean Menold is a solid No. 1 starter, but he’s only a sophomore. Time will tell if he’s the shutdown guy that Danny Ouimette was last season, or if anyone will fill the role that Josh Breen did as secondary arm/closer. The lineup is certainly deep, with Bob Barnett as a dangerous 3-hitter and Josh Dellipriscoli the ideal leadoff man. They’ll need consistent production on down the line as the season progresses.
– The fact that Chi used three pitchers yesterday, none of whom fared particularly well, is an indication that they’re still figuring things out. There’s no direct replacement for a horse like Nick Kruzienski last season. They have the lineup to win some games, but expect a lot of scores like the 11-9 shootout they lost to Penncrest in the opener. And we’ll see if there’s anyone that can tame a lineup like the Bucs’.
– It wasn’t the reason for the loss, but eight errors for Chi Thursday just isn’t good.
– This isn’t news, but Corbyn Nyemah can hit. He’s a big boy, and it’s good to see that he’s recovered from the knee injury that curtailed his football season. As a result of that injury, coach Joe Thomas won’t have him catching much if at all this season, but he’s got a solid glove at the hot corner. Anything to keep him in the lineup, where he can do damage like the three-hit day Thursday, which included a booming homer in the seventh inning. Nyemah also had best at-bat of the day, a 10-pitch battle with Menold in the third inning as part of a Chichester rally that included four foul balls and ended in a single.
– Nyemah was the only one with the good fortune to find the short porch in left field at the South Avenue athletic complex Thursday but hardly the lone slugger to show his might as there were four bombs of comparable distance hit to fenceless right field. Barnett roped a triple into the right-center gap in the first inning. Dellipriscoli (a pitch after Thomas moved right fielder Demetrius Muse closer to the gap, it should be noted) and John Bellano each ripped triples down the line. And Chichester’s Christian Sims lofted a double into the right-center gap as well.
– It wasn’t all fun and offense Thursday. There was a bit of defense. If you’re looking for the best outfield arm in Delco, Danny Lauser’s a candidate. He made a tremendous sliding catch in left-center field in the sixth inning on a dipping Dave Gideon liner, then got up and fired a one-hop dart to first base to double off Josh Kohlbrenner.
– Barnett isn’t just a hitter. The All-Delco also made a really nice play up the middle in the sixth inning, retiring a Chi batter on a slick play.