By Scott Huff
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
The spring rains have hindered the Suburban One League baseball season. And the outcome of conference titles may be decided by which team has the most pitching depth.
“Everyone is going to be playing a lot of baseball games the last couple weeks of the season,” said Quakertown coach Steve Cherrybon. “We’re going to need a lot of arms, and a lot of games are going to have to be pitched by committee.”
“We have eight conference games the next two and a half weeks,” said Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Robert Slagle. “The league is wide open, and whoever can find the pitching is going to have an advantage.”
“The days of having your best pitcher throw every other game are over,” said Abington coach Dave Torresani. “When you are playing four games in a week – it just can’t happen.”
Therefore, conference titles may well be decided by underclass pitchers who will have to throw in critical games.
Good luck coaches.
SUBURBAN ONE CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE
How about those Panthers?
Quakertown is on a three-game win streak in the conference as the Panthers have clawed by Hatboro-Horsham, Central Bucks South, and North Penn.
“This team has been a very opportunistic baseball team,” said Quakertown coach Steve Cherrybon. “We haven’t really hit all that well as a team, but we have bunched hits together and scored runs.”
In the big 3-2 win over conference favorite North Penn, Quakertown managed just three hits. But the Panthers played fine defense and limited Knight scoring chances.
“Some people didn’t give us much of a chance against North Penn, but that is why you have to play the games - to get a win or a loss,” said Cherrybon. “They have some good players, but by the same token, so do we.”
The ace of the Quakertown staff has been junior right-hander Jason Rathgens. Rathgens – who also is hitting .400 and plays shortstop when he does not pitch – got the win against the Hatters and notched saves against both the Titans and the Knights.
Two other Panthers that are swinging hot bats are junior Kurt Thomas and junior Luke Helm.
“We have a lot of arms, but not too much varsity experience,” said Cherrybon. “The pitching is going to have to carry us.”
Cherrybon listed Helm, along with senior Mike Butterback, senior Zach Slotter, senior Ben Ede, and sophomore Tyler Coleman as pitching candidates down the stretch.
*To view a photo gallery of Quakertown's game against Hatboro, visit the Photo Gallery at the following link http://photos.suburbanonesports.com/
SOL CONTINETNAL CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Pennridge Rams (6-1)
2. CB East Patriots (5-2)
3. North Penn Knights (5-4)
4. Quakertown Panthers (3-2)
5. Souderton Indians (3-3)
6. Hatboro-Horsham Hatters (3-4)
7. Central Bucks South Titans (1-4)
8. Central Bucks West Bucks (1-6)
SUBURBAN ONE AMERICAN CONFERENCE
Colonials March to Victory!
Plymouth Whitemarsh was considered by some as the team to beat in the SOL American Conference – and the Colonials may still be the team to beat.
PW opened the season with three straight losses in the conference, but the Colonials have captured the last three conference games and are once again contending for a conference championship.
“We got off to the tough start, and we decided to give some other guys an opportunity to play,” said Plymouth Whitemarsh coach Robert Slagle. “And they have responded well.
“We have cut down the number of strikeouts, and we are back to running the bases aggressively,” added Slagle. “The Norristown game was a huge turnaround game for us.”
PW was winless in the conference, but the Colonials beat then first place Norristown 6-3. Plymouth Whitemarsh followed with conference victories over both Upper Merion (5-3) and Springfield (13-1).
“We got some key hits in that Norristown win, and it gave us confidence in ourselves,” said Slagle. “Since that game we have done everything better – hitting, fielding, and running.”
The Colonial hitting honor roll in the last three wins includes junior Taylor Runyen, junior Matt Mondimore, and freshman Bob Slagle.
Sophomore Dan Rosenbaum has been the # 1 hurler for PW this season.
“Dan has above average velocity and has control of all of his pitches,” said Slagle. “And he has the confidence that he can go out there and win.”
Another key player down the stretch for the Colonials will be senior Chris Quarino. Quarino – who also plays shortstop – saved the Norristown game and was the winning pitcher against Upper Merion.
“Chris came to me and said he wanted to pitch more,” said Slagle. “And he has come in and done an outstanding job. We’re going to need him the last couple of weeks.”
SOL AMERICAN CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Wissahickon Trojans (6-2)
2. Upper Moreland Bears (5-2)
3. Norristown Eagles (5-3)
4. Plymouth Whitemash Colonials (3-3)
5. Cheltenham Panthers (3-4)
6. Upper Merion Vikings (3-4)
7. Upper Dublin Cardinals (2-4)
8. Springfield Spartans (1-6)
SUBURBAN ONE NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Ghosts scare up big win!
ABINGTON came up with a huge conference win when the Ghosts defeated Neshaminy 5-1 last week.
“When we do things the right way we can be tough to beat,” said Abington head coach Dave Torresani. “We won’t overwhelm anyone offensively, but if we do the little things, we can win baseball games.
“Right now we want to continue to get better, and that makes our program that much better,” added Torresani. “And I think we have gotten better as the season has come along.”
The Ghosts have one of the best pitchers in the conference in junior right-hander Jake Ruch. Ruch – who had seven strikeouts in the complete game win over Neshaminy – is 2-1 overall with a glittering 0.98 earned run average. He also has 30 strikeouts in 28 innings.
“Jake is a power pitcher that also a good breaking ball and a nice change,” said Torresani. “Every time that he goes to the mound, we have a good chance to win the game.
“If we could be just a little more consistent in the field and at bat, we could have won a couple more games this year,” added Torresani. “But we have played well at times, and the wins will come.”
The best of the Abington offense has been generated by senior Cory Hower and junior Kyle Dougherty. Hower leads the team in hitting with a .364 average, while Dougherty is batting .308.
“This team is making strides toward becoming a good baseball team,” said Torresani. “We look like a baseball team.”
SOL NATIONAL CONFERENCE STANDINGS
1. Council Rock South Golden Hawks (7-0)
2. Council Rock North Indians (6-1)
3. Neshaminy Redskins (3-3)
4. Truman Tigers (3-5)
5. Abington Ghosts (2-4)
6. Pennsbury Falcons (2-4)
7. William Tennent Panthers (2-4)
8. Bensalem Owls (0-5)
SUBURBAN ONE SPORTS SUPER SEVEN
1. COUNCIL ROCK GOLDEN HAWKS
2. COUNCIL ROCK INDIANS
3. PENNRIDGE RAMS
4. CENTRAL BUCKS EAST PATRIOTS
5. WISSAHICKON TROJANS
6. UPPER MORELAND GOLDEN BEARS
7. NORTH PENN KNIGHTS