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Sports Article
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Perkiomen School Loses in State Tournament Semifinals
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Reporter

Perkiomen School catcher Naty Urbina tags an Episcopal Academy runner at the plate during an 11-7 victory in the Pennsylvania Independent School Tournament on Thursday, May 26.

                A finger injury knocked Levi Stoudt out of Perkiomen School's opening round game in the Pennsylvania Independent School Tournament. Two days later, the team's ace returned to the mound to face Haverford School in the semifinal round.

                Stoudt tossed seven innings, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Panthers from a 7-4, nine-inning loss on Saturday at Upper Perkiomen High School.

                Justin Meyer allowed just one unearned run in 4-2/3 innings of relief to earn the mound victory for the Fords, who scored three unearned runs in the top of the ninth to snap a 4-4 tie.

                David Hogarth drove in the winning run on a sacrifice fly off Josh Cruz. Mac McConnon added a two-run single to cap the scoring.

                Marlon Lindsay's run-scoring double in the bottom of the sixth inning forged a 4-4 tie and forced extra innings for Perkiomen School, which has reached the tournament's title game the past two seasons.

                "When you get this far, all (the losses) hurt like hell," head coach Ken Baker said.

                Stoudt injured the proximal knuckle on his right index finger in the second inning against Episcopal Academy on Thursday, May 26. The pitcher raised his ungloved hand towards a line drive over his head. The ball struck his finger. A few pitches later, Stoudt lost the zip and command on his fastball.

                "After two pitches, I knew something was up," he said. "I was hoping adrenaline could get me through it."

                Following a shift to shortstop, the Churchmen scored five runs in the second inning to go ahead 5-2.  However, the No. 2 seeded Panthers rallied for an 11-7 victory. David Juechter delivered a pair of two-run singles in a three-run, third-inning rally and their four-run outburst in the fifth.

                "We did a real good job Thursday," Baker said.

                Devon Crossin allowed one run in 3-1/3 innings of relief to earn the victory. Joshua Cruz recorded the final five outs to remain alive in the tournament.

                "It was very hard to come out of the game," Stoudt said. "The team displayed confidence coming back. We showed we don't have to rely on just one player."

                Stoudt immobilized the sprained finger, took Advil and iced it constantly from Thursday night until two hours and 30 minutes before game time Saturday, when he met with Baker.

                "I even carried an ice bag to school Friday," Stoudt said.

During the meeting, Baker said the pitcher threw the ball well enough to start the semifinal game.

                Against Haverford, Stoudt allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and issued four walks.

                "I thought Levi pitched well," Baker said. "He made a few mistakes."

                Stoudt, who said the injury affected his fastball command, threw only a handful of Vulcan changeups. He aggravated the injury in the sixth inning when a line drive deflected off his outstretched hand.

                Baker lauded the performance of the senior class – consisting of Stoudt, Christian DelToro, Crossin, Brett Ciocari, David Juechter and Jared Sapirman – which posted a four-year record of 80-19.

                "I consider the success we've had the last three years a victory," Stoudt said. "The key is not the destination, but the journey. It's just hitting me now that I'll never get the chance to play with them again. I'm going to miss them like crazy."






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