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Sports Article
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Post 184 Shows Promise During Playoffs
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Despite its early ouster from the Bux-Mont League playoffs, Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team showed promise during a pair of one-run losses,

Perkiomen shortstop Malachi Duka, left, avoids Dalton Dunlap

to make a play during a July 12 playoff loss.

according to manager Mike Fitzgerald.

            "These guys are good," he said. "I wish I had more time to practice with them and go over what went wrong."

            Last weekend, the shorthanded Indians allowed just five runs in two post-season road games. Playing without three starters, they lost 3-2 to Hatield-Towamencin in nine innings. The following night, with a fourth starter absent, they suffered a season-ending 2-1 loss to Quakertown.

            "We played our best two games of the season," Fitzgerald said. "We just didn't have the horses."

            The manager expressed optimism about next year's team. He said all but two players are eligible to return in 2020.

            On Friday, July 12, Post 184, with nine first-year players, opened the league playoffs with an extra-inning loss on Friday at School Road Park. Atlee Hasson's hit in the bottom of the ninth inning snapped a 2-2 tie.

            Connor Ertel, who reached on an infield error to start the inning, stole second and came around on the hit off Evan Shade. The home plate umpire ruled that Ertel's head first slide beat the sweeping tag of catcher Lance Templeton.

            Shade absorbed the loss despite not allowing an earned run over the final 4 1/3 innings. He pitched out of jams in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to extend the game.
            "Evan did a great job," Fitzgerald said. "He doesn't let anything get to him. "He's a calm, collected player."

            In the eighth inning, Hatield-Towamencin opened the inning with a double and bunt hit. However Shade retired the next three hitters, stranding runners on second and third.
            Ryan Rossiter scored both runs before being ejected in the eighth inning for Perkiomen (10-19-1). Malachi Duka delivered two hits.

            Down 1-0, the Titans took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning on Alex Lee's two-run infield single against Aric Kressly. Billy Collins scored from third and Chris McClean came around from second base on Lee's slow roller to the right side. The previous hitter hit a ground ball back to Kressly, who looked to third initially but got the out at first.

            In four innings, the pitcher allowed four hits and registered four strikeouts. The manager called it Kressly's best outing of the season.

            "Aric threw the ball really well," Fitzgerald said. 
            Post 184 scored the tying run in the sixth inning. Rossiter, who was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, advance to third on a single by Duka and a ground out before scoring on Templeton's hit down the first-base line. The manager described the comebacker in the fourth and the pickoff to end the top of the sixth inning as the game's pivotal plays.

            A balk by Hatield-Towamencin starter Joe Valenti in the first inning helped Post 184 take a 1-0. The pitcher's misstep allowed Rossiter and Duka to advance to second and third, respectively. Kilroy then delivered a sacrifice fly.

            The following day, the No. 6 seeded Indians suffered a 2-1, season-ending loss to Quakertown at Memorial Park Stadium. Shade, Gooch and Dalton Dunlap each accounted for the team's two hits.

            Hunter Gooch went the distance on the mound. He absorbed the loss despite permitting just one earned run on two hits in six innings, while striking out five.

            Matt Ciarrocchi pitched the host Blue Jays to victory in the elimination round. In seven innings, he surrendered one run on three hits while striking out six.

            Quakertown scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to go ahead 2-0. In the third, Sean Brennan reached on a two-base outfield error to open the inning. Brennan then scored on an infield error on a ball off the bat of Anthony Bostick.

            One inning later, Post 242 added an earned run. Griffin Kelley led off the fourth with a hit, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored two hitters later on Nolan Byrnes' ground ball.

            The Indians mounted a two-out rally in the top of the sixth inning, scoring once to get within 2-1. They loaded the bases on single by Gooch and consecutive walks. Gooch came home on a single by Dunlap. However, a trailing runner was thrown at third base on the play to end the inning.  Fitzgerald ascribed the miscue to inexperience.






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