To say the 2013 baseball season has been a struggle for Perkiomen Post 184 is probably an understatement. The team entered last Friday night’s game against Souderton with only three wins in 15 tries in league play.
Despite having few wins on its resume, Perkiomen had not yet been mathematically eliminated from earning the league's final playoff spot. With their postseason hopes dangling by a thread, Post 184 would need to run the table in its remaining five games, and would probably need some help along the way from the team it is chasing.
That team was the Nor-Gwyn Hawks, whom they would play two times over the five-day span that would bring a close to the regular season. Entering Friday's game the Hawks held a three-game lead in the standings.
The thin thread of hope became even thinner when Souderton took advantage of three walks and singles by Kyle Wenger and John Santoianni to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
The fast start by the visitors appeared to leave the Perkiomen squad flat, and the energy they had shown in previous games to battle back was nowhere to be found. The visitors went basically unchallenged on their way to an 8-0 shutout of the locals.
Perkiomen’s pitchers struggled all night to find the strike zone. They allowed only five hits but issued a dozen walks, hit two batters and walked in a run in their seven innings of work. Five of the Souderton runs were scored by players who had been issued a free pass.
Perkiomen Head Coach Mike Fitzgerald had little to offer on his teams struggles after the game. “It was just an off night for our guys on the mound,” said Fitzgerald. “This league's no different than any other; walks will kill you. Free passes usually end up scoring. Pitchers have to throw strikes.”
Down 5-0 heading to the sixth, things really came unglued for Perkiomen as three errors produced a pair of unearned runs. Things could have been much worse if Perkiomen third basemen Ryan Harris hadn’t caught a missile of the bat of Souderton’s Zane Moyer with the bases loaded. Souderton would strand 14 runners in the game, leaving the bases loaded twice.
“It’s been a tough season,” said Fitzgerald, reflecting on his team’s spot in the standings. “We played a lot of really good games and for the most part the guys battled every game regardless of the score. We’re a young team most of these guys will be back next season. All we can do is learn and grow from our experiences this year and be better because of it next season.”
Perkiomen still had a slim chance to qualify for postseason play after Fridays night’s loss, but by the time the Hawks showed up at Bonekemper field, Perkiomen’s slim chance had become none as the Hawks eliminated the team earlier in the day with a win over Pottstown.
Perkiomen finished its season last night in a game against Pennridge. The results of that contest were too late for this week’s edition.