Indians Baseball rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to defeat Perkasie Baseball Club 10-5 in the opener of the Bux-Mont Baseball Classic Monday. Photos provided courtesy of Kim Supko. Check back for a gallery of photos.
INDIANS BASEBALL 10, PERKASIE BASEBALL CLUB 5
It was still early in Monday’s opener of the Bux-Mont Baseball Classic and trailing 4-0 wasn’t really cause for concern, but Indians Baseball needed a lift.
Conlan Wall gave it to them, ripping a triple to deep center field to lead off the third inning. The recent Souderton grad – in a moment that was vintage Conlan Wall - raised his fists in the air and screamed, and just like that, the Indians had life.
Wall was stranded at third by Perkasie starter Alex Podraza, who retired the next three batters he faced, but an inning later, the Indians – who trailed 5-0 after Perkasie scored a run in the top of the frame – put four runs on the board.
“My job is to put energy into our team, so I’m glad I was able to do that on that triple,” Wall said. “I’m always trying to bring the intensity and bring fire to the team because that’s important. We obviously needed it being down five runs early. I’m just glad I was able to help our team win.
“We kind of caught fire. Hitting is streaky. We were able to string a few hits together, get some walks, get on base and put up some runs. I’m very proud of the team.”
Brian Reiner – whose two-run single highlighted the Indians’ four-run fourth – pointed to Wall when asked what turned the tide.
“I think we just needed to get one thing to finally flip the switch,” Reiner said. “Conlan, of course, always brings the energy. When he gets a hit and you see him screaming, how’s that not going to hype up the whole team?”
Indians Baseball took a lead it would not lose in the fifth. Ryan Canfield’s one-out infield single was followed by back-to-back walks, loading the bases for Wall. The St. Joseph’s University-bound Souderton grad delivered, lacing a two-run double to right field that gave the Indians a 6-5 lead. With the bases loaded, Jake Horton was hit by a pitch to push another run across.
In the sixth, the Indians added three more runs, benefitting from a walk and hit batsman as well as a wild pitch. Wall singled in the inning, and Reiner delivered the big blow – a two-run double.
“This means a lot,” Reiner said of the opportunity to play with his teammates. “I was very upset I didn’t get to play with them the whole year, and now we’re getting to play together. We all get along together so I was looking forward to this.
“Obviously, I care a lot whether we win or not, and whether it means anything or not, I’m always going to be competitive, and I’m sure everybody else will be too.”
Wall finished the game 3-for-4, a home run shy of the cycle. He scored three runs.
“I’ve been getting some live ABs here and there, but most of the kids aren’t playing anything because they’re not playing in college so it was their first at-bats live so it took a little bit to get into it, but eventually we did,” Wall said. “When I first started going against live pitching, I was definitely rusty – I went like 0-for-7, but luckily, I was able to settle in and find my timing.”
Reiner – who will continue his baseball career at Penn State Harrisburg - finished with a pair of hits and four RBIs and, for good measure, closed out the game by throwing a scoreless seventh.
“This was my first live pitching or game,” Reiner said. “That’s another reason why I’m taking it very seriously.”
He isn’t alone.
“I hate losing, so I’m doing everything I possibly can to win these games,” Wall said.
Rising senior Xander Giordanni notched the win on the mound for the Indians.
Sean Lerro, who finished with a pair of hits, had an RBI single in Perkasie’s four-run second.
“I was excited, I was ready to go,” said Lerro, who will be attending Penn State University where he will major in finance. “I was really upset that we missed our senior year, so I was ready to get a couple more games in before I hung the cleats up.
“Personally, I thought we were done. My bat was sitting in the garage – all dusty. A couple of practices I got some swings in, and I started to feel a little better about my swing. After a couple of practices, I was feeling pretty good.”
The tournament is especially significant for the seniors who missed their final high school season.
“All my seniors played tonight,” Perkasie Baseball coach Craig Whitten said. “There’s only one senior that wasn’t able to make it – he’s out in Colorado already for college, everybody else got in the game today.
“It’s nice because I got some of the 2023s up that would have been on the freshman team so they could see a game. We actually got two of them in tonight. It was good to get our seniors at least a game together. I coached the seniors when they were freshmen and jayvee, but I never coached them in an actual game. This is awesome.”
Childs was equally glad to be back on the diamond.
“When you coach, you look out for the kids, that’s the number one thing,” the Indians coach said. “All of us miss this.
“Right at the beginning I said, ‘This isn’t about winning or losing – this is about fun. It’s about you guys playing together, having these last three games, hopefully four if we’re in the championship, and having a four-game memory. Let’s do it.’
“The enthusiasm is there. We have some guys going to play in college, so it’s important to them, but I think just having the memories is huge for these guys. Even the underclassmen – watching how the upperclassmen do stuff, it’s just really neat to see.”
Indians Baseball will host Casey’s Place Hooligans at Harleysville Community Center on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Perkasie Baseball Club will host the Buckingham Patriots at James Memorial Park on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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