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Sports Article
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Perkiomen Falls to Hatfield in Bux-Mont Legion Title Game
Written by Bradley Schlegel Staff Reporter

Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team members embrace after a 10-5 loss to Hatfield in the Bux-Mont League title game Monday night.

        Up until the final inning Monday night, Levi Stoudt said every member of Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team had faith that the team would rally to defend its Bux-Mont League title and avenge a second round loss to Hatfield.

        However, the Indians allowed one run in the ninth inning, suffering a 10-5 loss at Quakertown Memorial Park Stadium. "We did not do enough to win," Stoudt said. "This is not a fun way to the end the season, but that's the way it is."

        Post 184 clinched three consecutive victories in the double-elimination tournament following an extra-inning loss to Hatfield on Friday July 8, but fell one victory short of accomplishing its goal of repeating, according to manager Larry Pijanowski.

        He said the team's goal was to return to the Region 2 Tournament, which begins Saturday at Memorial Park Stadium, and go deeper than last year's one-win performance. 

        "The players knew what it was like to get there, and how it felt to be there," Pijanowski said.

        The top-seeded Indians (24-6) opened the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Doylestown at Bonekemper Field. Bryan Pijanowski stole third base and scored the winning run on a passed ball in the bottom of the eighth to clinch the win.

        The next night, against Hatfield, the team held a 7-1 lead through five innings with Matt Schneider on the mound. However, in the top of the sixth, Manager Pijanowski replaced Schneider, who allowed just one run on one hit while striking out six, with Trey Livingstone.

        Hatfield took advantage, scoring three runs in the sixth and seventh innings to force a 7-7 tie. In the ninth inning, the team posted four runs to notch an 11-7 victory and advance to Saturday's winners' bracket final.

        The manager made several additional substitutions after the sixth inning. Stoudt, Elias Gabel-Tripp, Tom Aaron and Daron Pijanowski, a quartet of Post 184's starters, were on the bench when the game ended.

        The manager said he followed a pattern of substitutions utilized during the regular season.  "It's a formula we used all season," Larry Pijanowski said. "I wanted to get some of our other guys in the game. I have full confidence in the entire roster, and I expected them to win. But if I had the chance to do that over, I would have played it differently."

        In Quakertown, the Indians reeled off three consecutive victories to reach Monday's title game. On Monday, Jake Beyer's walk-off, two-run homerun in the bottom of the 10th lifted them to a 5-3 victory over Plumstead.

        Nolan Graber allowed two runs (one earned) in four innings to earn the mound victory. Graber scattered five hits and struck out three in relief of Devon Crossin.

        On Sunday, Daron Pijanowski went the distance on the mound for Perkiomen in a 5-1 victory over Souderton. The left hander scattered eight hits and registered seven strikeouts on 128 pitches.

        Daron Pijanowski, who threw just 14 innings at Albright College this spring, wasn't sure how deep he could go. By the eighth inning, he refused to come off the mound.  "Daron was all business today," Larry Pijanowski said about his son.

        Tom Aaron's two-run single in the first inning highlighted Perkiomen's three-run rally. Aaron and Bryan Pijanowski each finished with two hits, while Stoudt scored twice.

        Stoudt dominated Quakertown on Monday in his turn on the mound in Post 184's initial game Monday. In a 5-1 victory over the host Blue Jays, the pitcher allowed just four hits and registered 12 strikeouts.

        Working without his top-notch fastball, Stoudt allowed one run on three hits in the top of the first inning. After issuing a walk in the second inning, Stoudt retired 19 consecutive hitters. He relied mostly on an effective curve ball until his fastball gained some velocity around the sixth or seventh inning.  "I got into a rhythm in the third inning," Stoudt said.

        Larry Pijanowski described Stoudt as a good enough pitcher to succeed without his best stuff.  "Levi is good enough to hit his spots and still strike people out," the manager said.

        Aaron Pijanowski delivered a two-run triple in the bottom of the first inning off Quakertown starting pitcher Matt Bukavich for the Indians. Bryan Pijanowski and Josh Fell each added two hits.

        Later Monday, in the title game, Hatfield scored three runs in the first inning off Schneider. In the third inning, the team took advantage of three Perkiomen errors to add three unearned runs and take a 6-2 lead.  "Early on we did not play our best defense," Larry Pijanowski said.

        In the fifth inning, the Indians pulled within 6-5 when they scored two runs on a single by Aaron Pijanowski and an error by Hatfield's left fielder.  "At that point, I thought we were going to turn the game," the manager said. "This team doesn't quit."

        However, Hatfield scored three runs on four hits in the seventh inning off Schneider and reliever Devon Crossin to extend its lead to 9-5.  "Give Hatfield credit," Larry Pijanowski said. "They are the best hitting team in the league."

        Aaron Pijanowski paced Post 184 with three hits in the season-ending loss. Josh Fell added two hits.






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