Billy Corcoran was mostly used out of the bullpen in his first two years at Malvern Prep, and the hard-throwing righthander believes that greatly aided his development. That's because he was often called upon with the game on the line.
"You have to come in with your best stuff right away," he said. "Being out there in pressure situations like that taught me a lot. It prepared me to be a starter."
The ever-steady Corcoran shined as the visiting Friars, who are working on overcoming a sluggish start to the season, downed Springside Chestnut Hill, 7-2, in Friday afternoon's Inter-Ac League matchup.
He had nine strikeouts, yielded three hits, and walked none in 6 2/3 innings. Both of the Blue Devils' runs were unearned.
Corcoran, who has committed to play at the University of Pittsburgh, mixed a fastball that was clocked Friday in the high 80s, a change-up, and a slider.
Of his change-up, the 6-foot-7, 195-pound senior said, "It got a lot of righthanded batters swinging over it, so my pitching coach [E.J. Moyer] kept calling it."
Malvern Prep overcame six errors while improving to 14-6 overall and 2-2 in Inter-Ac League play. "You can't let those mistakes bother you," Corcoran said. "I know the guys behind me are doing the best they can. You have to put it behind you and focus on the next batter."
Friars coach Freddy Hilliard said the Mariners, Orioles, Royals, and Yankees are among the major-league organizations keeping tabs on Corcoran. "He's one of the toughest kids we've ever had on the mound, he doesn't get rattled, and he's a good team leader," Hilliard said.
Last fall, while participating in a World Wood-Bat Association tournament in Florida, Corcoran's fastball topped out at 92 mph. There's a chance the 18-year-old from Ridley could be selected in the Major League Baseball draft in June.
"It's my dream to play major-league baseball," he said. "But I'm realistic about the process. You could get picked in any round or not get picked at all. Either way, I'm excited about the chance to play for Pitt.
The visitors broke a 1-1 tie against Springside Chestnut Hill (8-6, 2-2) in the fifth on Chris Newell's triple to right-center field and Jordan Dissin's sacrifice fly to left. A five-run seventh was highlighted by RBI singles from Lonnie White, Charlie Andress, and Connor Dillon.
Hilliard has tinkered with the lineup and used some younger players in what has been an uncharacteristically shaky start. "We're still in evaluation mode," he said. "We're to trying to figure out who can do what and consistently play well."
Malvern Prep 0 0 0 1 1 0 5 — 7 11 6
Springside Chestnut Hill 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 — – 2 5 1