Tuesday, June 15, 2021

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Post 184 Returns to the Field
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2021-06-09

            Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team recently returned to action for the first time in two seasons. Manager Mike Fitzgerald said the resumption of practices and games is greatly appreciated.  "It felt so good to be back on the field with the guys," he said.

Perkiomen infielder Evan Shade awaits a throw from the plate

on a stoen base attempt against North Parkland during a non-

league American Legion game on June 2.

 

            According to the manager, the Indians' 2021 season will be close to normal. However, some changes have already occurred.

            The Bux-Mont League is down to seven teams, meaning members will play a 12-game schedule.  Four teams recently dropped out, including Pottstown, Lansdale, Warrington and Souderton. Fitzgerald described the withdrawal of the latter, which came within two victories of qualifying for the American Legion World Series in 2018, two days before the deadline to submit a roster as a shocker.  "We won't have to fight for a spot in the playoffs," Fitzgerald. "That will likely take some fun out of the season."

            Post 184 (0-1-1) has currently scheduled four non-league games. The manager said he would like to play between 25 and 30 games overall before the start of the league playoffs. Potential matchups with Muhlenberg and Boyertown – two teams whose high schools qualified for the PIAA playoffs – possibly loom, according to Fitzgerald.

            Officials have yet to determine the playoff format, according to Fitzgerald, whose coaching staff includes former players Logan Curley and Hunter Gooch. The manager said it's likely that the No. 1 seed will receive a first-round bye.

            To qualify for the Region 2 Tournament, scheduled for July 16-20 in West Lawn, Perkiomen will likely lean on pitching depth. One team from the league will qualify, according to league President Bill Brown.

            According to Fitzgerald, the team has nine quality arms. He identified Malachi Duka as the ace and said that Gabriel Reptsik is being developed as the closer.  Duka is among five players remaining from the 2019 season. Fitzgerald said the Indians will rely heavily on the quintet, which includes Evan Shade, Arik Kressley, Conor Martin and Daulton Dunlap, for leadership. The roster also includes one player from Pottstown, Jake Eagle.

            In two recent non-league games against North Parkland, the Indians' pitchers posted 22 strikeouts. In a 4-4 tie on Saturday, June 5, they fanned 13 hitters. Three days earlier, four pitchers scattered three hits and registered nine strikeouts in a 1-0 loss at Bonekemper Field.

            In terms of offensive success, Perkiomen will need to get creative to generate runs. He said the team doesn't have a lot of speed.

            Fitzgerald attributed the popularity of travel baseball to the elimination of four league teams. He said Post 184 is the only team not carrying those players.

"It's not fair to the bulk of the guys on the roster that some can come and go," the manager said.

            Moving forward, Fitzgerald is hoping to schedule some weekend tournament appearances for the team this season. He said the plan next season is to fully incorporate those tourneys into the schedule to attract travel players who competed on Upper Perkiomen's high school team.

            "These kids deserve to be seen," the manager said.


 

 

 

 

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