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Sports Article
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Perkiomen Post 184 Loses Season Opener
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

The Indians' Elias Gabel-Tripp is tagged out as he attempts to slide across the plate in Sunday night's season opening game against North Parkland.

        Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team will go as far its pitching allows, according to manager Mike Fitzgerald.  He said pitching depth is a key strength for the Indians, who opened their season Sunday with a 5-2 non-league loss to North Parkland at Bonekemper Field.

        Fitzgerald said a plethora of talented pitchers could allow Post 184 to compete for the Bux-Mont League title.  "I have no doubt that this team has a really good chance to make a run," said Erick Stalford, who started on the mound and threw two shutout innings against the Buffaloes.

        The manager identified Levi Stoudt and Chris Kachmar as the team's ace-level pitchers.

        According to Stalford, the Indians feature a staff with four or five aces. He said three quarters of the roster can pitch.  Stalford, Devon Crossin and Darin Pijanowski will likely get significant innings, according to Fitzgerald.

        On Sunday, the manager got a look at two inexperienced pitchers. Kacey Myers, a 16-year-old curve ball specialist, worked two innings. He retired the side in the third, but surrendered four runs on four hits.

        The Buffaloes, the defending Region Two champions who competed without half their regular roster, sent 10 hitters to the plate in the fourth and scored four runs to overcome a 1-0 deficit.

        A two-run double to right field by Nick Helfrich highlighted the rally.

Matt Schneider, a 17-year-old who pitched sparingly last season, allowed one run over the final three innings for Perkiomen. He walked one and struck out four.

        "What I'm seeing is that in another game or two, you'll start seeing our defense click," Fitzgerald said. "I liked what I saw. We made most of the plays. But I expect that to improve."

        Developing some offensive consistency could be a key for Post 184, according to Stalford.

        "We've got score some runs to go with our pitching," he said. "Last year, offense was our weakness in most of the games we lost."

        Nate Kern, North Parkland starting pitcher, held the Indians to six hits. Kern – who pitched in the spring for a club team at Boston College, according to Fitzgerald - walked one and struck out three.

        Pijanowski and Stalford each finished with two hits for the Indians. Jake Breyer and Stalford drove in their runs.

        Perkiomen's manager said his team will likely face comparable pitching in the Bux-Mont League.

        "It's just a matter of getting acclimated to that level of pitcher," Fitzgerald said.

        He said the Indians hit too many fly balls and failed to maximize certain base running opportunities.

        "We need to get better at those things," the manager said.

        Post 184 continued its schedule Wednesday with a home game against Warrington. Stoudt, Crossin and Tom Aaron, three members of Perkiomen School's baseball team, may miss the game.  The results of that contest were too late for press time.

        According to Fitzgerald, the trio will not play for the Indians until their high season, as part of the Perkiomen School's team, ends.

        "We'll have to make due," the manager said. "That's why we have 18 players on the roster."






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