By PETER DiGIOVANNI
DOWNINGTOWN -- No Ches-Mont League baseball team has pitched better in the early season than Downingtown West. The Whippets received another strong mound outing Friday afternoon at a cold, damp, dreary Bishop Shanahan field from left-hander Doug Conrad.
Trouble for the Whippets were that Bishop Shanahan junior Frank Chubb was a wee bit better as he scattered six hits on his way to a 4-2 complete-game gem as the Eagles knocked West from the unbeaten ranks. Chubb walked only one batter and struck out six.
"It was tough to get loose because of how cold it was, but that is just the way it is,' Chubb said. "Downingtown West is a real good hitting team and my defense made all the plays behind me. I am very proud of them.'
Shanahan (2-2 Ches-Mont, 2-2 overall) got a big offensive burst from Marc Guerria, who had two hits and an RBI single and the big blow in the bottom of the third inning from Connor Kerns, who jacked a Conrad fastball to the base of the left field wall for a two-run double for a 4-0 lead after three innings.
Guerrria's second inning hit knocked in Ryan McCole, who got on via a hit by pitch, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch.
Kerns' third inning salvo scored Jeff Zebrowski, who singled and Alex Savini, who walked.
"We are just trying to play hard every inning of every game, Savini said. "We knew we had some good bats coming into this season, but today, our defense was really solid also and our pitching has been good.'
With a 4-0 lead going to the top of the fourth and Chubb sailing along, it looked like the Whippets (3-1, 3-1) were dead in the water. But after Jason Borosky struck out to lead off the inning, Mack Edgin singled. Courtesy runner Joey Mejias promptly stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ken Jereema walked and stole second before Josh Marcelli, who hit the ball hard all day, singled them both home with a sharp single to left to close the gap to 4-2.
But, that was all Chubb would allow, even though the Whippets staged rallies in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Toby Welk led off with a single to right. Dan Murphy and Conrad struck out before Alex Janokowski's base hit put two men on base with two out. But, Chubb bore down and got Jason Borosky to fly to center to end the threat.
A leadoff single from Edgin started the sixth, but Chubb retired the next three batters to keep the game at 4-2 going into the seventh. Savini made a great scoop at first on a throw from Kerns for the second out, just one example of some excellent fielding by the Eagles infield.
"I mean, you bear down more with men on base and I just tried to pitch inside out and the fielders made some real nice plays.' Chubb said.
Chubb set the Whippets down in order in the top of the seventh, striking out Conrad to end the game and the Eagles pulled to within a game of West in the very tough National Division.
"Frank just has that bulldog mentality,' Bishop Shanahan coach Brian Boyko said. "He did not want to come out of the game and he said before the seventh inning that it was his inning. We are starting to get that mentality as a team for closing out games. Last year, we lost six games that we were leading going into the fifth inning, so we are working on things.'
With their first loss of the season, the Whippets get ready to host West Chester Rustin today and coach Dave Oleszek hopes that the little things don't hurt his team again.
"We made some mistakes on the bases and in the field,' Oleszek said. "And in this league, where anyone can beat you on a given day, you can't do that. We just have to clean things up and get ready for Rustin.'
Bishop Shanahan 4, Downingtown West 2
DOWNINGTOWN WEST ab r h bi BISHOP SHANAHAN ab r h bi
Conrad p 3 0 0 0 Zebrowski cf 4 1 2 0
Janokowski 2b 3 0 1 0 Chubb p 0 0 0 0
Borosky rf 3 0 0 0 Terra dh 1 0 1 0
Edgin c 3 0 2 0 Savini 1b 2 1 1 0
Mejias pr 0 1 0 0 Kerns ss 3 1 1 2
Jereema ss 2 1 0 0 O'Day 3b 3 0 0 0
Marcelli 1b 3 0 1 2 McCole rf 2 1 1 0
Domblesky cf 3 0 1 0 Kern c 3 0 0 0
Welk 3b 2 0 1 0 McDonald lf 3 0 0 0
Bell lf 2 0 0 0 Guerria 2b 3 0 2 1
Murphy ph 1 0 0 0
Totals 25 2 6 2 Totals 24 4 8 3
Downingtown West 000 200 0-2
Bishop Shanahan 013 000 x-4
Downigntown West IP R H BB SO
Conrad, L 6 4 8 2 4
Chubb, W 7 2 6 1 6