Harleysville uses small ball to thump Hatfield
No matter how good a lineup is, it is not going to crush the ball every single game. For those occasions, small ball is the most important thing to an offense. Harleysville used it to put 11 runs on the board.
After a fairly even three innings of back-and-fourth baseball, Harleysville put the game out of reach with a six-run fourth inning en route to an 11-3 victory over HDWfiHOG. 7KH ELJ LQQLQJ only consisted of four hits, but with Harleysville took advantage of free passes and used the bunt to manufacture runs.
“We like to keep the pressure on a team; we didn’t score any runs against mlumstead, so I didn’t want that to happen again,” Harleysville coach Geoff Ball said. “We need these last games, so I fiJuUHG , ZDV JRLQJ WR WDNH what they give us. Sure enough, we had a six-run inning. I wasn’t just going to let the runs sit on base.”
Both teams had the offense going early. Harleysville started off with four runs in WKH fiUVW WZR LQQLQJV, LQFOuGing a three-run second. Alex Meiler opened the scoring in WKH fiUVW ZLWK DQ 5B, VLQJOH, while Jake Smerecki’s RBI double and a couple runs on defensive miscues gave the home side a 4-0 lead.
HRZHvHU, HDWfiHOG VWUuFN back in the third, scoring three runs of their own on Roben Qawasmy’s RBI ground out, Matt Hoy’s booming RBI double and wach weigler’s RBI single. ,W DSSHDUHG WKDW HDWfiHOG’V starter had settled down and the offense was on the up- swing.
All of that went out the window in the fourth.
“:H ZHUH D OLWWOH flDW DQG they pulled some plays on us that we weren’t ready for,” HDWfiHOG FRDFK BRE (GJDU said. “We were feeling good in the beginning, we had some energy, but then our SLWFKHUV MuVW FRuOGQ’W fiQG the strike zone.”
Although Harleysville led off with two hits to start the fourth, they would be the only two hits that left WKH LQfiHOG LQ WKH VLx-UuQ LQning. Blake Gular started the scoring with an RBI double, but then Harleysville just WRRN ZKDW HDWfiHOG JDvH them: four walks and a hitby-pitch. Recognizing that HDWfiHOG ZDV KDvLQJ WURuEOH with the bunt, mhil Stranle and Chris Tolbr had back-toback successful RBI squeeze bunts. Tyler Despain followed that up by working a walk with the bases loaded and Cory Wilde continued the trend with a hit-by-pitch the next at bat. By the end of it all, Harleysville was up 10-3 and the game wasn’t so close anymore.
Shoudt. “She had to listen to me when I would come home and I would talk to her about school, discipline, coaching or whatever.”
7hH fiUsW FhDSWHU oI Shoudt’s collegiate coaching career was written when he took over the men’s program at Ursinus in 1976. It would bH WhH fiUsW oI Wwo sWLnWs wLWh the Collegeville-based institution that sandwiched a IouU-yHDU Uun DW 9LOODnovD.
MDkLng WhH MuPS IUoP high school coaching to WhDW oI WhH FoOOHgH OHvHO wDs noW PuFh oI D WUDnsLWLon IoU 6houdW. As LW Ls WodDy, 8UsLnus wDs DLvLsLon ,,, IoU DWhOHWLFs Dnd sWudLHs FDPH fiUsW. HowHvHU, SDUW oI 6houdW’s fiUsW sDOHs SLWFh IUoP D UHcruiting perspective was to LnIoUP WhH SUosSHFWLvH sWudent athletes that his intent was to run the program in a manner that made it seem OLkH WhHy wHUH FoPSHWLng DW a higher level.
“It was a great experiHnFH bHFDusH oI WhH sWudHnW athletes I had and that I was able to work with them and help them become successIuO,” hH sDLd. “7hH boWWoP OLnH Ls, HsSHFLDOOy DW DLvLsLon ,,,, you DUH D sWudHnW DWhOHWH. We wanted to make sure that WhHy wHUH sWudHnWs Dnd DOso athletes and I sold them on WhH IDFW WhDW Wo FoPH Wo 8UsLnus would be an experience. As D nuPbHU oI WhHP hDvH sDLd Wo PH sLnFH WhHn, WhHy FDPH Wo 8UsLnus, fiUsW oI DOO because I continued to call them and visit them in the reFUuLWLng SUoFHss. 6HFondOy, , told them I wanted to run the program like it was a Division I program even though it was Division III.”
,W dLd noW WDkH Oong IoU WhH sale to go through.
6houdW, D Fo-IoundHU oI WhH PHnnsyOvDnLD 7UDFk Dnd Field Coaches Association, OHd WhH PHn’s FUoss FounWUy WHDP Wo D SDLU oI MLddOH AWODnWLF ConIHUHnFH WLWOHs. HH took a program that went 4-7 WhH yHDU bHIoUH hH DUULvHd and turned it into an 11-4 MuggHUnDuW Ln hLs fiUsW sHDson at the helm.
Meanwhile, circumstances DW 9LOODnovD oSHnHd WhH dooU IoU 6houdW Wo PDkH WhH MuPS to a Division I program. 7hH OHgHndDUy -uPbo EOOLoWW SDssHd DwDy Ln MDUFh 1981 and his long-time assLsWDnW, -DFk ByUD, Wook ovHU on Dn LnWHULP bDsLs. OOyPSLF goOd PHdDOLsW Dnd IoUPHU 98 UunnHU ChDUOLH -HnkLns was brought on board to take over the men’s teams whLOH WhH unLvHUsLWy wDs sWLOO sHDUFhLng IoU D FoDFh oI WhH women’s track and cross FounWUy SUogUDPs.
,W wDs D voLd 6houdW fiOOHd later in ’81 and the new posLWLon gDvH hLP D fiUsW-hDnd look at the D-I level and its UHsSonsLbLOLWLHs. BHLng Dn HPSOoyHH oI WhH 1oUULsWown Area School District combLnHd wLWh D IuOO SODWH UHcruiting and coaching on the MDLn LLnH PDdH IoU Dn HxWUHPHOy busy WLPH Ln hLs OLIH.
“, sSHnW Dn DwIuO OoW oI WLPH UHFUuLWLng Dnd Py wLIH Dnd IDPLOy suSSoUWHd whDW , did,” said Shoudt. “Through DOO WhH HIIoUW Dnd whDW noW wH wHUH suFFHssIuO Dnd WhH thing to remember is that I wDs nHvHU IuOO-WLPH DW 9LOODnovD; , wDs DW 1oUULsWown. 7hH suFFHss wH hDd DW 9LOODnova was monumental with all that we accomplished and suFFHss sHHPHd Wo hDvH IoOlowed me again.”
Among other accolades with the Wildcats, Shoudt wDs nDPHd 1CAA DLvLsLon , 1DWLonDO 7UDFk Dnd FLHOd CoDFh oI WhH YHDU Ln 1984. The headline-grabbing moPHnW WhDW yHDU wDs whHn WhH women established a world record in the distance medOHy UHODy DW WhH PHnn RHODys.
World records, collegiate UHFoUds Dnd FonIHUHnFH WLWOHs Dnd FonIHUHnFH FoDFh oI WhH yHDU DwDUds (sLx oI WhHP) in what was then the new BLg EDsW ConIHUHnFH wHUH the norm. Such accomplishments were all the more impressive considering Shoudt hDd onOy fivH sFhoODUshLSs Wo work with and was competing against other colleges and universities that had a IuOO DOOoWPHnW oI 16.
“I was getting girls on nickHOs Dnd dLPHs Wo FoPH Wo 9LOlanova,” said Shoudt, who LnhHULWHd EOOLoWW’s dHsk Ln WhH DWhOHWLF oIfiFHs. “You hDd Wo woUk SUHWWy hDUd LI you wHUH working against colleges that had 16 scholarships. I was giving out room and board, books onOy, WuLWLon oU whDW- ever it might have been. I was noW gLvLng ouW vHUy PDny IuOO scholarships because I would noW hDvH hDd Dny. ,W wDs D bDOancing act.”
Shoudt’s success with the woPHn’s WHDPs DW 9LOODnovD SODFHd hLP on WhH UDdDU oI soPH oI WhH FoOOHgHs WhDW hDd D IuOO FoPSOHPHnW oI sFhoODUshLSs. ,n IDFW, hH DFFHSWHd Dn oIIHU Wo bHFoPH WhH woPHn’s FoDFh DW ,OOLnoLs IoOOowLng hLs finDO yHDU DW 98. HowHvHU, BHWWy wDs LOO DW WhH time and Shoudt opted not Wo SDFk IoU D nHw OLIH Ln WhH LDnd oI LLnFoOn.
8UsLnus uOWLPDWHOy FDPH calling again and Shoudt started his second tenure wLWh WhH BHDUs Ln 6HSWHPbHU 1985. “7hH guys , hDd Py fiUsW WLPH WhHUH wHUH so hDSSy , UHWuUnHd Wo 8UsLnus,” sDLd 6houdW. “7hHy gDvH PH D OoW oI suSSoUW Dnd welcomed me back. I picked uS whHUH , OHIW oII, onOy WhLs time I had them to help me with recruiting.”
Shoudt brought along the women’s track program to the point it captured three MAC titles. It was the conIHUHnFH UunnHU-uS Ln 1986, LWs sHFond yHDU oI vDUsLWy competition. The men’s FUoss FounWUy WHDP, OHd Ln no sPDOO SDUW by hLs son, SLOHd uS FonIHUHnFH WLWOHs Ds wHOO. ,W PDdH IoU TuLWH D sHFond DFW IoU 6houdW DW 8UsLnus, where he remained through 1993 bHIoUH UHWuUnLng Wo WhH high school ranks.
Shoudt coached at SpringfiHOd (MonWFo) unWLO 2006. He then had stints Lansdale CDWhoOLF (2006-07) Dnd 9DOOHy FoUgH MLOLWDUy AFDdHPy (2007-08) bHIoUH ODndLng DW Springside.
As Ls oIWHn WhH FDsH whHn soPHbody UHPDLns DFWLvH Ln D SUoIHssLon IoU Dn HOongDWHd SHULod oI WLPH, WhHUH DUH those who doubt an individuDO FDn UHPDLn DW WhH WoS oI hLs gDPH. 7hHy sDy, DPong other things, that time SDssHd hLP by. 6houdW, wLWh hLs dLsFLSOLnH-fiUsW sWyOH, wDs not immune to such static.
Funny WhDW LW wDs WhH doubters who were ultimateOy sLOHnFHd Ds WhH UHsuOWs oI 6houdW’s sWyOH oI FoDFhLng continued to speak volumes.
“People told me in the 1990s WhDW , shouOd gHW ouW because kids have changed,” sDLd 6houdW. “7hHy sDLd , shouOd gHW ouW oI FoDFhLng Dnd WhDW UHDOOy uSsHW PH. 6o, WhHn , IHOW , hDd Wo SUovH PysHOI DgDLn. AW 6SULngfiHOd wH went on to the state championshLS Ln WhH 4x100 UHODy. , dLd WhH sDPH WhLngs , DOwDys did. People were telling me ‘you FDn’W do LW WhDW wDy.’ WHOO, , dLd LW WhDW wDy Dnd , FonWLnuH Wo do LW WhDW wDy. , put demands on people and expect them to do certain WhLngs Dnd WhDW’s WhH wDy wH accomplish things. I don’t FDUH whDW sSoUW LW Ls: you have to have discipline to have success.”
1oW FonvLnFHd? Ask D hHIWy OLnHuS oI hLgh sFhooO Dnd college champions Shoudt coached and mentored over WhH ODsW hDOI FHnWuUy.
“OuU guys know how Wo bunW,” BDOO sDLd. “WH SUDFWLFH D OoW Ln WhH IDOO sHDson. WhHn you’UH FoDFhLng, you gHW D sHnsH oI WhH oWhHU WHDP; whHn WhHy sWDUW gHWWLng IUusWUDWHd wLWh HDFh oWhHU, you hDvH Wo kHHS WhH pressure on. Once that hapSHns, you know you’vH goW WhHP. 6oonHU oU ODWHU WhHy will crack. We just had some kids do some special things tonight.”
HDWILHOd FouOdn’W PusWHU Dny more runs because Stranle, whosH FoPSOHWH-gDPH, IouUsWULkHouW SHUIoUPDnFH SODyHd sHFond-ILddOH Wo DOO WhH Uuns, wDs so good. The three-run third was WhH onOy bOHPLsh Ln hLs ouWLng, Ds he was holding down a solid HatILHOd OLnHuS whLOH hLs WHDPPDWHs were scoring runs.
“PhLO hDs bHHn Ln 1oUWh CDUoOLnD IoU 10 dDys,” BDOO sDLd oI hLs sWDUWHU. “WH wHUH deciding whether to start him or Meiler and I’m glad wH wHnW wLWh PhLO. 1obody hDs UHDOOy gLvHn hLP D OoW oI credit. He has pitched some UHDOOy good gDPHs IoU us, Wonight was another one.”
The win pushed HarOHysvLOOH Wo 12-6, suUgLng IoU D WoS-fivH sSoW, whLOH HDWfiHOd was pushed to 9-9 and on the bULnk oI PLssLng WhH SODyoIIs. EdgDU hoSHs WhHy FDn WuUn WhLngs DUound Ln WhH ODsW IHw games and make a run.
“This loss was tough because it could knock us out oI WhH SODyoIIs,” EdgDU sDLd. “It’s all about throwing sWULkHs Dnd OHWWLng youU dHIHnsH PDkH WhH SODys Dnd wH just didn’t do that tonight.”