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Sports Article
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One Inning, Struggling Offense Cost Perkiomen School
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

Naty Urbina, Perkiomen School's catcher, tags out a Westown 

School runner during the first inning in last Saturday's game.


            Carlos Torres found himself in a familiar situation during the third inning Saturday. A spell of wildness on the mound by the Perkiomen School junior led to three runs.

            Torres quickly recovered to go the distance, however a lack of offensive punch helped cost the Panthers a 4-0 non-league loss to Westtown School. They managed just five hits, including two by Naty Urbina, and struck out 10 times.

            "We need to do a better job putting the ball in play," Head Coach Ken Baker said.

            For the third straight outing, Torres allowed multiple runs during one inning. In the third against the Moose, he issued two walks, allowed hits and hit one batter. Patrick Culcasi's walk with the bases loaded put them ahead 2-0. A two-run single to right by Aaron Bram capped the rally.

            Baker made a mound visit during the rally, but opted to allow Torres to stay in the game. The coach said he reminded the pitcher challenge the hitters 

            "I need Carlos to be more mentally tough," Baker said. "He was trying to be too fine with his pitches. Every pitch is a competition."

            Torres said his issues have been mostly mechanical. He admitted to struggling with his release point, among other things, during the third inning. 

            However, the Perkiomen School junior found a groove in the fourth inning. Torres did not allow a base runner in the final four innings. He faced just one hitter over the minimum the rest of the way and finished with six strikeouts. Baker called the Torres' final four innings progress.  "It's what we were looking for from Carlos," the coach said.

            Torres didn't receive much offensive support from the Panthers (11-7 overall), who struck out 10 times against Culcasi. Eight of their strikeouts came on the lefthander's curve ball.

            According to Torres, several of their hitters were trying to pull Culcasi's curveball, rather than keep their front shoulder in. He said the Panthers have faced better pitchers so far this season.

"We weren't swinging at the right pitch," Torres said.

            They put runners at second and third in the second inning with one out on a single by John Crane and a double by Jayden Kemp. But consecutive strikeouts ended the threat.

Baker described the Perkiomen School offense as struggling. He said the team has struck out 92 times in 12 non-league games.

            "That's an inordinate amount," the coach said. "The players have to make the adjustment with two strikes."

            On Monday, the Panthers allowed four unearned runs in a 7-6 non-league loss to Lower Moreland. In the second inning, the host Lions took advantage of three bunts and two errors to score four runs.

            Zach Smith finished with two of the Perkiomen School's seven hits and scored twice. Urbina, David Smith and Kemp each drove in a run for the team, which rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth inning to force a 5-5 tie. Molnar, who worked the bottom of the sixth, absorbed the mound loss despite permitting an unearned run. David Smith, the starting pitcher, permitted hust two earned runs over five innings.






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