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Sports Article
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Perkiomen Squanders Stalford’s Solid Outing in Loss to Pottstown
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

In the third inning, Perkiomen's Zach Miller arrives at second base safely on a steal after a bunt single in Tuesday night's game played at Upper Perk.

        Erik Stalford allowed just one earned run on four hits Tuesday. But the pitcher absorbed the defeat in Perkiomen's 2-0 loss to Pottstown in the Bux-Mont League.

        "Erik pitched tremendously," Indians manager Mike Fitzpatrick said. "I told him that's the kind of effort we need to advance in the postseason. But without hitters executing, that gets wasted."

        The team stranded nine base runners, had a runner picked off at third base in the third inning and struck out twice with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

        "We played down to Pottstown's level, which is not even close to what this team is capable of," the manager said. "When we play our game, we are going to win."

        Gary Wise recorded the final six outs to earn the save for the Steelers and snap Perkiomen's five-game league winning streak.

        "Normally we get the big hits," centerfielder Chris Kachmar said. "We didn't have good night with the bats."  Kachmar expressed confidence the Indians (11-3 league, 16-5 overall), who started play Tuesday atop the league standings, would rebound.  "We're going to bounce back," he said. "We've got a lot of good players. This was just a hiccup."

        Post 184 came into the game on a roll after posting consecutive victories over Nor-Gwyn and Warrington.

        In a 3-1 win over Nor-Gwyn on June 28, Kachmar went the distance on the mound. He allowed one unearned run and registered eight strikeouts. Josh Fell finished with two hits for the Post 184, which scored twice in the fifth to snap a 1-1 tie.

        On June 29, the Indians registered a 9-1 road win against Warrington 9-1. They scored three runs in the second inning to overcome an early 1-0 deficit and never looked back.

        Bryan Pijanowski finished with two hits and two RBI, a two-run double in the seventh. Kachmar added two hits and scored two runs.

        Perkiomen, playing as the visiting team Tuesday after heavy rains forced the teams to shift from Sundstrom Field in Pottstown, has base runners in every inning except the fourth and seventh innings.

        Pijanowski led off the game with a double, but couldn't advance.  "We couldn't get a bunt down in the first inning," Fitzgerald said. "And it cost us a run."

        In the third inning, with his team trailing 1-0, Indians shortstop Zach Miller legged out a bunt hit to open the inning, stole second and moved to third base on a sacrifice.

        Josh Fell worked a walk to put runners on the corners, but Pottstown catcher Nick Irvin picked off Miller diving back into third.

        Fitzgerald, coaching third base, immediately argued the call with the base umpire. He said the third baseman tug Fell with the ball, but long after the runner's hand reached the bag.

        "It was a tough call, and a close play," Kachmar said.

        In the sixth inning, Post 184 put runners on first and second with no outs against Pottstown starting pitcher Aiden Owens.

        After inducing a fielder's choice grounder, Wise issued a walk to load the bases. But the left hander got consecutive called third strikes to quell the threat.

        On Wednesday, the Indians kicked off a stretch of seven games in six days to complete their league schedule.  "We've got to be ready for that," Fitzgerald said.






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