Delcollo’s late sac fly RBI leads Unionville to 3-2 victory04/04/2023 12:57PM ● By Richard Gaw
Photo by Richard L. Gaw A seventh-inning sacrifice fly RBI by Unionville’s Drew Delcollo (1) broke a 2-2 tie and led to the Longhorns’ 3-2 victory over Avon Grove on April 3.
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
Moments before the start of the Ches-Mont League baseball game between Avon Grove and Unionville on April 3, Longhorns’ starting pitcher Drew Delcollo warmed up his arm on a makeshift mound at Avon Grove.
That which became the lead narrative in Unionville’s come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the previously undefeated Red Devils was not Delcollo’s right arm but his left foot, which he had severely injured prior to the start of the season and was now supported by a cumbersome black wrap around his ankle. While he gutted out a 1-2-3 bottom of the first, Delcollo began to show the signs of his injury in the second, when he surrendered two walks and six wild pitches that led to Avon Grove’s early 2-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Unionville scratched across its first run of the game when Sean Regenye walked, stole second and scored on a ground ball by Vincenzo Sammaritano to the right side that was wildly overthrown. The run seemed to invigorate a Longhorns team that had been stifled early by Red Devil starter Grady O’Rourke and saw Luca Urdaneta relieve Delcollo in the third inning, who promptly held Avon Grove scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“I can’t be more proud of our pitching, which has kept us in ballgames all year,” said Unionville head coach Chris Valis. “When you look at [Avon Grove] on paper, they can hit the baseball, and they have so many guys who are hitting over .300. For our guys to come in and do what they did -- changing speeds and location and having some really strong defense behind them – was impressive.
“If we can pitch and play great defense, we can play with anybody.”
Holding a 2-1 lead through the first four innings, O’Rourke began the top of the fifth by surrendering a lead-off single to Zach Grieco, who was replaced by designated runner Levi Brawley, who stole second and later scored on Delcollo’s single to left that tied the game at 2-2. After holding Unionville scoreless in the fifth inning, O’Rourke was replaced by Jack Mills, who shut down the Longhorns’ two-on-two-out scoring threat in the sixth inning by getting Chase Parise to ground out.
In the top of the seventh inning, Mills walked Grieco, who scampered to second on a steal and was moved over to third on an effective sacrifice bunt by Regenye. As Delcollo stepped to the plate, the memory of his tough second inning on the mound turned into a sweet second chance, as his sacrifice fly to right field scored Grieco with the winning run.
“Drew Delcollo is the heart and soul of this team,” Valis said. “We have two seniors this year – Drew and Sean Regenye – and we go through them. They are the spark and the life of this team.
“Drew had a devastating injury just prior to tryouts, but kept putting in work when he was injured so he could do what he did today. Just to do that was so much fun to watch, and I am proud of him for getting himself back to where he can contribute on both sides of the field for us.”
For Avon Grove (3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Ches-Mont), the loss was the Red Devils’ first of the young season, who will look to bounce back when they host Henderson on April 5. Unionville (3-3 overall and 3-2 in the Ches-Mont) will travel to West Chester Rustin on April 12.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].