Lenape lends Milley a hand
The Indians had 12 hits and played solid defense to top Eastern, 11-0, and reach the S.J. Group 4 title game.
A pitcher's best friend is an offense that produces 12 hits and 11 runs in five innings.
A pitcher's second-best friend is a defense that turns two double plays and quells another scoring threat by making three infield outs with a runner on third base.
Kevin Milley was surrounded by good company Tuesday.
Milley, a sophomore lefthander, pitched a complete game and received plenty of help from his friends as Lenape stunned Eastern, 11-0, in the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals.
"They played championship-caliber baseball," Eastern coach Rob Christ said of Lenape.
Milley allowed just four singles in the five-inning game, and senior third baseman Jeff McGarry went 3 for 3 with three RBIs for Lenape (18-8), which advanced to face Millville in Friday's sectional title game.
Senior first baseman Bryan Clayton went 3 for 4 and senior second baseman Chris Malinowski had two hits, reached base three times, and scored two runs for the Indians.
"We had a lot of quality at-bats," Lenape coach Phil Fiore said. "We had a plan up there."
Junior shortstop Tyler Love had two singles for Eastern, which was unable to use ace righthander Steve Volpe because of illness.
Eastern (21-8) will play its final game of the season Wednesday night against Cherry Hill West in the Camden County Tournament championship game.
Eastern beat Lenape twice in the regular season, but the Indians seized command of the third meeting by scoring three runs in the second inning and six in the fourth.
"We were walking up, and I was telling Coach [Fiore], 'I've got a feeling we're going to get out of the gate today,' " said McGarry, who had two RBI singles and an RBI double.
Malinowski had an RBI single, Stefan Kancylarz drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and McGarry added an RBI single in the second.
Kancylarz cracked an RBI triple, and McGarry and Clayton added RBI singles as the Indians batted around in the fourth.
Milley struck out two and walked three. He played a part in his team's strong defense, knocking down a grounder and holding a runner on third while throwing out the batter in the first, and starting an inning-ending, 1-2-3 double play in the fourth.
Malinowski and Kancylarz turned another double play in the fifth.
"I was very fortunate to have that," Milley said of the defense behind him. "It helps out a great deal.
"I know if I throw a ground ball, those guys are going to make the plays behind me."
Lenape 030 62 - 11 12 0
Eastern 000 00 - 0 4 1
WP: Kevin Milley. LP: Steve Priolo. 2B: L-Chris Malinowski, Jeff McGarry. 3B: L-Stefan Kancylarz.