Baseball: High points from a busy Thursday

Last Thursday was that hallowed event each week, the big day where it seems all the baseball teams and then some play games. It was also a day that I wasn’t in the office, so allow me to make up for lost time by hitting the highs of the day’s action.

Haverford pitcher Alex Barr, here delivering during his five-inning no-hitter against Lower Merion Monday, has led a resurgent Fords squad. (Courtesy of Paul Bogosian)

Haverford pitcher Alex Barr, here delivering during his five-inning no-hitter against Lower Merion Monday, has led a resurgent Fords squad. (Courtesy of Paul Bogosian)

– There’s a lot of baseball left in the Central League this season, but Strath Haven’s 5-3 win over Conestoga no doubt put the title race firmly in their control. The fact that they can roll two aces in Kevin Bosco, who shut down ’Stoga, and Donovan Davis is crucial. It also helps that they can win a game like this with just four hits, the key knock coming from a bottom-of-the-order guy like Nate Engleka (2-run double in the second).

– Somebody stop Evan Harvey. The Archbishop Carroll first baseman’s home run in a 16-4 win over Bishop McDevitt made it four straight games with a dinger. He leads the county with six for an offense that has come alive, averaging 20.4 runs scored over the last five games. Carroll has won its last seven; Harvey has 20 RBIs in those games. Wow.

– Speaking of Catholic League supremacy, Bonner-Prendergast’s second straight win over Archbishop Wood – the latest a 12-9 survival in a game started by Pat Vanderslice – bodes well for its Catholic League title credentials. Brad Scull is hitting the ball really well, and Jimmy Haley blasted a 400-foot, three-run homer to break a tie in the fourth inning. This team is hitting on all cylinders.

– It took a little while for the penny to drop for Haverford this season, the Fords dropping their first five games. But the Fords knew they were better than that, and a couple of breaks here and there means they’re showing it. They’ve won four of their last five – the only loss a 10-7 setback to Conestoga in a game they could’ve won – and Haverford pitchers have given up just one run in the last three outings. Matt Morella’s seven-inning two-hitter in a 1-0 win over Springfield Thursday was the latest installment, coming off a five-inning no-hitter by Alex Barr over Lower Merion earlier in the week.

– The flipside of that pitchers’ duel was John O’Doherty, who gave up just three hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, one of those was an RBI single to Joe Sardella that scored Tom Carey in the bottom of the seventh. O’Doherty as had rotten luck this year, including an 0-5 record despite not giving up more than four earned runs in any of his six appearances.

– It’s been a bad week for Lower Merion: After Barr blanked them, Dalton Mayberry made sure that they went another five innings without a no-no in a 10-0 Garnet Valley win Thursday. Mayberry walked four but struck out eight for his first no-no of the season (he had two of the five-inning variety a year ago).

– Radnor’s 11-0 win over Penncrest is a good-news, bad-news game. The good news was all Radnor’s: Adam Erkis threw a one-hitter over five innings and drove in three; his emergence in both categories is important if the Red Raiders hope to duplicate last year’s districts bid. The bad news continues for Penncrest. Just one hit from an offensively challenged team isn’t good. Neither is the fact that they gave up 11 runs on just nine hits – that means costly walks and four errors.

– Strath Haven isn’t the only undefeated team left in Delco – there’s also Christian Academy. TCA’s win over Pilgrim Academy, 9-0, Thursday makes them 6-0. They’ve already downed Gloucester Christian, one of their big adversaries last year, and they may be the class of the Tri-State Christian Conference.

– Just when you thought you had a beat on the Del Val, Academy Park jumps up and jolts Chichester to reality with a 6-5 win in nine innings. It’s the Knights’ second 6-5, nine-inning win this week. After Chi scored twice in the top of the ninth, AP came back with three; they also scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to push the game to extras. Steve Leidy, also the winning pitcher, scored the game-winning run. Chichester had beaten Interboro, the first loss of the season for the Bucs, Tuesday.

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