Le­gion Bears off to strong start

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Rob Zam­ban­ini

The Bears head into the 2018 sea­son with young play­ers, high hopes – and lots of pitch­ers. “It seems as though we have some pitch­ers re­turn­ing, that we have a fairly sta­ble pitch­ing staff,” com­mented head coach Rick Moatz. He also men­tioned that the Bears “… have new peo­ple in the field … some fairly young peo­ple that are al­ready play­ing a big role, so we hope that they’re gonna ma­ture and do the job for us.”

But it is the pitch­ing where Moatz is most op­ti­mistic for the up­com­ing sea­son – and for good rea­son. “With the pitch­ing rules, es­pe­cially in Tour­na­ment-type things, hav­ing enough arms is gonna be cru­cial,” he said. Moatz then men­tioned the Bears who will be see­ing pitch­ing du­ties: re­turn­ing pitch­ers Drew Hart­man (#22) and Jared Waldman (#40), Sean Sut­terby (#29), Nolan Kline (#27), Gavin Richards (#32), Stephen Cisik (#28), Chase Mer­con (#9), Chris Davis (#20), Shayne Hor­rocks (#30), Nick DiCi­acco (#26), and AJ Kline (#35), along with Pa­trick Wie­and (#33) and Tony Xan­thopou­los (#36). “We have a lot of arms that can give us some in­nings,” Moatz said.

With so many play­ers able to pitch, po­si­tions in the in­field and out­field will be a bit lim­ited at time, as Moatz said that “We don’t have a lot of depth and ma­neu­ver­abil­ity with every day play­ers.” In the in­field, the starters ap­pear to be Nolan Kline at third, Davis at short, Broc Babb (#4) at sec­ond, and Tate Yergey (#16) at first. The out­field ap­pears to be DiCi­acco in left, Sut­terby in cen­ter, and Caleb Har­ri­son (#38) in right. Moatz added that Yergey can also play out­field, at that Hor­rocks will be avail­able for in­field and out­field du­ties.

The catch­ing du­ties will be in the hands of Billy Coleman (#7), who will be the ev­ery­day catcher. DiCi­acco and Babb avail­able in re­serve.

Moatz ex­pects the Berks County League to be very com­pet­i­tive this sea­son, es­pe­cially with the re­turn of Oley/Top­ton to the Berks League. “There are a lot of teams with good pitch­ing and depth,” he said. “It should be in­ter­est­ing.”

The early re­turns on the sea­son are quite pos­i­tive, es­pe­cially with re­gards to the pitch­ing staff. The Bears be­gan the sea­son with 3 rather dom­i­nat­ing vic­to­ries be­fore win­ning a rather wild, 19-12 de­ci­sion over Perkiomen to im­prove their record to 4-0. The Bears opened with a 10-1 de­ci­sion over North Park­land in which Hart­man, Waldman, Cisik, and Mer­con com­bined on a 2-hit­ter. Richards and Sut­terby then com­bined on a 2-hit shutout as the Bears blanked Ham­burg, 7-0. Waldman, Hart­man, and Wie­and then con­cluded this fine streak with a com­bined 3-hit shutout in a 12-0 win over Yardley-Mor­risville.

GAME 5, JUNE 4: BOY­ER­TOWN BEARS 5, NORCHESTER BULL­DOGS 2 (8 IN­NINGS) » Caleb Har­ri­son’s rbi-triple high­lighted a 3-run top of the eighth in­ning as the Bears broke a 2-2 tie and de­feated Norchester, 5-2, in a Berks League con­test at Owen J. Roberts High School. Nolan Kline and Jared Waldman scat­tered 6 hits and did not al­low an earned run for the Bears.

GAME 6, JUNE 5: WEST LAWN OWLS 5, BOY­ER­TOWN BEARS 2 » West Lawn broke a 2-2 tie with 3 runs in the top of sev­enth in­ning to win an early sea­son show­down with the Bears, 5-2. The Owls used a pair of one-out walks, a Boy­er­town er­ror on a po­ten­tial dou­ble-play grounder, a sin­gle, and a fielder’s choice to col­lect their three runs. Nick Sk­le­narik had 3 hits and Chase Zu­rawski had 2 hits for the Owls, while Dal­ton Emerich picked up the win in re­lief. Caleb Har­ri­son col­lected 2 hits for the Bears.

GAME 7, JUNE 6: BOY­ER­TOWN BEARS 6, EX­ETER BLUE JAYS 0 » Stephen Cisek tossed a 4-hit shutout to lead the Bears past Ex­eter, 6-0, in a game played at Ex­eter High School. Cisek needed only 92 pitches to blank the Blue Jays, walk­ing one and strik­ing out 8. Nick DiCi­acco had two hits (in­clud­ing his sec­ond triple of the sea­son) to lead the of­fense. GAME 8, JUNE 8 » Boy­er­town Bears 10, Quak­er­town Blue Jays 8, 8 in­nings >> Nolan Kline broke an 8-8 tie with an rbi-sin­gle as the Bears ral­lied from a 6-2 deficit to de­feat Quak­er­town, 10-8, in 8 in­nings. Chris Davis had a pair of dou­bles to high­light the win. Nick DiCi­acco picked up the win in re­lief, while AJ Kline earned the save.

GAME 9, JUNE 9: HAT­FIELD-TOWMENCIN TI­TANS 14, BOY­ER­TOWN BEARS 5 » The Bears suf­fered a 14-5 set­back at the hands of the Ti­tans in the third of four games at Bear Sta­dium on Boy­er­town Mid­get League Day. Atlee Has­son hit a grand slam for the Ti­tans as part of the at­tack. In the other games, the Ko­di­aks beat the Bru­ins, 11-0, the Bear Paws beat South­ern Le­high, 9-4, and the Bear-Cubs beat the Griz­zlies, 8-1. (RECORD: 2-1, 7-2)

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