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Sports Article
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Blazers Split Doubleheader With Trenton Generals
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Correspondent

Blazers infielder James Bleming tags out the Generals' Ryan Reitmeyer as he heads for second base during Sunday afternoon's game one of a doubleheader at Quakertown.

        Nine games into its 40-game season, Quakertown Blazers manager Matt Hollod hasn't felt the need to do much talking.

        Except for a brief discussion last week with his players about their responsibility to the team, Hollod has done little more than fill out the lineup card and watch.

        The manager said he has no plans to change his approach, since the Blazers started their Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League season 6-3.

        "We're playing very well, and I don't want to mess anything up," Hollod said Sunday afternoon after his team split a doubleheader with the Trenton Generals at Memorial Park Stadium. "When we hit a rough patch, I might change my approach."

        Pitching has carried the Blazers – who entered play Sunday in second place in the Wolff Division, one game behind the Allentown Railers – during the first quarter of the season. Starters Trey Bickel (two wins, 10 strikeouts in 11 innings), Andrew Schuler (two wins), Dan Morrin and Pablo Matos have provided significant innings, according to the manager.

        He said Kyle McKelvy, a junior from Weidner University who lives in King of Prussia, and has tossed 6 1/3 shoutout innings and recorded two saves in five appearances, has been a key contributor out of the bullpen.

        "Right now this team is defined by its pitching," Hollod said. "But I don't know how that is going to turn out."

        In the first game, Quakertown managed just two hits in a 1-0 loss. Generals catcher David Osnato drove in the game's only run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly off Scott Orr, who absorbed the loss.

        David Brown, a sophomore from Kutztown Univerity, tossed 3 2/3 innings of shutout relief for the Blazers.

        Quakertown's offense rallied in the second game. It posted 10 hits in an 8-4 victory, six of which came in the fifth inning. Connor Lafferty's two-run single highlighted a six-run rally.

        Devin Beverly and Cal Baer, its No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, respectively, each delivered two hits. Beverly scored two runs.

        Andrew Schuler, the Quakertown starting pitcher, earned the win after allowing four runs on five hits in six innings.  "We're playing very well," said Lafferty, a freshman at DeSales University in Allentown who lives in Langhorne. "We're doing everything well when we play our game."

        According to Lafferty, the players – from colleges and universities from various levels as well as geographical extremes of Illinois, Indiana, Florida and South Carolina – bonded quickly.

        Hollod, the head baseball coach at Wilkes University who managed a team in the Northwoods League, another wooden bat circuit in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, from 2010 to 2013 – says his philosophy is to allow the players' personalities to come out "so long as it doesn't affect the game between the lines."

        The manager said he would like to add pitching depth so that the Blazers can better handle a stretch of 10 games in 10 days later in the season.

        Hollod said that the roles for the position players will evolve as the season continues.

        "The players will determine that be their performance," he said.






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