Legion Bears off to strong start
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)