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Panthers Dominate in Sweep Doubleheader
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2021-04-28

            Perkiomen School relied on solid pitching and timely hitting to sweep a doubleheader from the Barrack Hebrew Academy on Sunday. Head coach Ken Baker

Tony Holden dives safely into home plate during the first game of 

Perkiomen School's doubleheader sweep on Sunday afternoon.

described it as his team's best performance of the season.  "It was definitely one of our better days," he said.

           Shaky defense and a lack of offensive contact early on have the Panthers (5-7) battling to get back to .500. According to Baker, they have struggled against their more challenging non-conference opponents.

           The team posted a pair of lopsided wins over the visiting Cougars, in its first season in the Penn Jersey League. In the first game, Perkiomen School overcame four errors to register a 9-2 victory. Owen Taylor pitched it to an 8-0 win in the second game.

            The Panthers' infield defense, usually a key component of the program's success, has struggled at times to make the routine play, according to Baker. He said he's not sure if it has something to do with the pitching staff, which lacks hard throwers or a clear ace.  "We've been struggling to play clean baseball," the coach said. "When the pitchers don't throw strikes, our defenders lose focus."

            In the first game, the team overcame four errors. Owen Taylor struck out 10 hitters over five innings to earn the mound victory. He allowed just one unearned run. Ryan Stubblefield worked the final two frames, permitting just one unearned run on one hit.

            At the plate, Tony Holden – a junior from Brooklyn, N.Y. – posted two hits and scored four runs for Perkiomen School, which delivered a five-run rally in the third inning to extend a 2-1 lead. Zach Smith went 2-for-4 and scored twice.

            Shane Baird dominated the Cougars in the second game. The sophomore from Audubon went the distance on the mound, allowing just three hits and fanning eight. Perkiomen School's defense supported him by turning three infield double plays.

            Catcher Carlos Quinones went 3-for-3 and drove in four runs for the Panthers. He delivered consecutive two-run doubles in the third and fourth innings.

            Holden added a two-run double in the fourth inning. T.J. Khela scored three runs. 

            Two days earlier, they lost 12-2 to The Hun. Two first-inning errors by the Panthers helped lead to four runs for the host Raiders.

            Quinones finished with two hits. T.J. Khela scored both runs for Perkiomen School. Starter Zach Smith, who pitched into the third inning, absorbed the loss.

            According to Baker, Perkiomen School's offense recently utilized a different approach to become more aggressive, and productive, at the plate. Through the initial seven games, the team averaged 10.5 strikeouts per game.

            "I'm pleased with the turnaround," said Baker, whose team resumes its schedule Saturday with a non-league doubleheader at Malvern Prep. "When you put the ball in play at the high school level, you can compete."

            According to the coach, the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association has cancelled the state tournament, which usually concludes on Memorial Day weekend, due to concerns over the novel coronavirus. However, Baker – who organizes the annual event – said he is working on setting up an open tournament to replace it. He suggested that the event, which could be called the "COVID Classic," might occur during the week leading up to the holiday weekend. 


 

 

 

 

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