Prep Baseball Report

Scouting Notes: #3 Springside Chestnut Hill at #16 Malvern Prep

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

#3 Springside chestnut hill @ #16 Malvern prep (april 9)

In a sloppy, high-intensity, drama-filled Inter-Ac opener, Malvern Prep used two big crooked numbers (a 4-run 5th and a 5-run 6th) to upend SCHA 9-7. The teams combined for eight errors, which helped run up pitch counts on the starters and turned the last couple innings into a battle of the bullpens.

KozemchakAs the offense built up a 6-0 lead, Matt Kozemchak held Malvern in check for four innings before a couple of walks and an error led to the Friars first big inning and the end of the Lehigh-bound southpaw's day. The barrage on the Blue Devils bullpen started quickly in the 6th, with a HBP and BB preceding a monster bomb from Seton Hall commit Joe Poduslenko (2-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SB) that tied the game at 7. Three batters later, Penn State commit Stephen Robinson (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI) provided the winning margin with his own longball to left.

SCHA loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the 7th and then things got really interesting. 2013 SS Matt Caldwell appeared to get hit by a pitch, but a foul ball ruling from the home plate umpire kept Caldwell in the batter's box and brought the Blue Devils and their fans out of their seats. The next pitch was called strike three (the SCHA faithful were not thrilled with that either) and left Louisville-bound Matt Rowland, who was 2-for-3 with a double already, in the on-deck circle.

2014 RHP Tony Gruenling (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) was on the mound for Malvern as this drama unfolded.  Gruenling has a solid pitcher's frame (6-foot-3, 200-pound) and works from a 3/4 slot. His FB sat 80-82 with occasional sink, but was typically one-plane. His standout pitch was a 68-69 split that flashed sharp downward action. He is still learning to command it consistently, but when he threw it right, the hitters did not have much of a chance.

A couple of underclass hitters for Malvern took quality swings throughout the game. 2015 Chris Butera (3-3, R, RBI, BB) showed good bat speed, stayed inside the ball well, and exhibited a quality two-strike approach. The medium-frame outfielder hits from an open stance and showed above average arm strength. 2015 IF Mark Gentilotti didn't have much to show in the way of results (1-for-4), but he used the middle of the field very well and picked up a big two-RBI single. He hits from a relaxed set-up and showed solid actions and average arm strength at 3B.

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