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Perkiomen Legion Survives Unusual Finish in Win over Hatfield
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Bryan Pijanowski watched the activity around home plate in the seventh inning from center field with interest Saturday. After one run scored on wild pitch, Pijanowski noticed the trail runner round third towards home plate.

            "There's no way we would allow two runs on a wild pitch," he said. "As soon as I saw the pitcher get in position to back up the third, I knew we had it under control."

            Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team allowed a run on the final play of a 3-2 victory over Hatfield at Bonekemper Field. 

            Corey Stouffer scored a run on a wild pitch with two outs in the top of the seventh. However, Nolan Graber tagged out pinch runner Dan Kirwin at the plate on the same play to preserve his mound victory in the Bux-Mont League.

            The improbable finish allowed the Indians (5-2 league, 8-3 overall) to rebound from a 4-2 loss to Nor-Gwyn the night before.

            "We challenged the players to come back strong (against Hatfield)," Manager Mike Fitzgerald said. "They responded."

            Allowing Hatfield to score the potential tying run to score on the play would have felt like a punch to the gut, according to Fitzgerald

            The Titans put runners on first and second with one out in the seventh on consecutive hit by Graber. A sacrifice bunt moved them to second and third. With Joe Picozzi at the plate, Graber uncorked a pitch the backstop. A flip by Post 184 catcher Ben Tryon towards the plate deflected off the face of Stouffer and rolled towards the Hatfield dugout. However, Kirwin rounded third and found himself in a rundown.

            Third baseman Justin Wornham caught a relay throw from Tryon, threw home to Graber, who tug out the runner to end the game and preserve his compete-game win. According to Fitzgerald, his players handled the pressure well. He said everyone was in the right spot.

            "I knew we would be able to make the play," Pijanowski said.

            Pijanowski, the leadoff hitter, registered two of the Indians' five hits. He led off the game with a single to right center field and eventually scored on a double-play ground ball. The manager called him an effective leadoff man.

            "We go as he goes, "Fitzgerald said. 

            Pijanowski said his goal is to set a positive example for his teammates on the field with hard work and solid contact that the plate. "Hopefully that will motivate them to do the same, "he said.

            Perkiomen added an earned run in the second and fifth innings to go ahead 3-0. Graber, meanwhile, opened the game with five shutout innings. The pitcher worked out of a bases-loaded, two out jam in the fifth inning.

            Post 933 posted an unearned run in the sixth inning to get within 3-1. According to Fitzgerald, the run help to fuel Hatfield's seventh inning flurry.

            On Sunday night, Post 184 fell 9-6 to Quakertown. The host Blue Jays scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to snap a 6-6 tie. Victor Morelock drove in the go-ahead run on a ground ball. They added two additional runs on an error by shortstop Brett Fullerton.

            Pijanowski went 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored twice for the Indians. Trey Livingstone and Fullerton each drove in two runs.

            Brian Robison went 2-for-2 and scored three runs for Quakertown. Tyler Guidos scored three runs.





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