Varsity Baseball

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Varsity Baseball 2018-2019 Season

George School @ Perkiomen School

Thursday, March 28, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 4-7

The varsity baseball team opened its season without the same explosion as the hometown Phillies, but with some of its own fireworks. The team, comprised of five returning letter winners, is in the process of building team chemistry, confidence, and cooperation. Yesterday, the team began to show those characteristics. Senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez got the game started with a single to left field in the first inning. Senior Ryan Oster then singled to advance Kenneth into scoring position. Junior Bennett Lichstein followed up with a single of his own, and the Cougars were on the board with Bennett's RBI.

After relinquishing a run in the bottom of the inning, it was now time for the Cougars to regroup in the third. Once again, junior co-captain Joseph Kumar led off the inning and promptly secured his first hit of the season into left field. After a hard hit single to right by sophomore Justus Agosto, Joseph turned the corner and slid into third to give the Cougars a first and third situation with Kenneth coming to the plate. Kenneth, on cue, hit a high fly ball to left driving in his first RBI from third base. The Cougars were now up 2-1 in the third.

The hosts tied the score in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Perkiomen hitters came alive. They led off the inning with a double. However, relieving pitcher, Justus, got a timely strikeout. Then a misplayed ball gave the hosts some life. In the inning, Perkiomen scored three runs before the Cougars came back to bat. After a quiet sixth inning, the Cougars found some life in the top of the seventh.  Sophomore Aidan Sheehan entered the game and got on with a walk.  Joseph followed Aidan's walk with one of his own and the stage was set for Kenneth again. He delivered again. This time a single to right field ushered Aidan across home plate. Kenneth stole second and on the ensuing play, a heads up play by Joseph gave the Cougars their fourth run. 

Defensively, the Cougars executed well; we ended the game without an error, and we successfully executed against three Perkiomen bunts. The pitching was steady. Kenneth earned a strikeout while giving up just one hit. Justus was flawless at shortstop recording all three outs in one inning. Justus pitched well, recording three strikeouts in two innings of work. The Cougars travel to Westtown on Saturday for their first league contest.

George School @ Westtown School

Saturday, March 30, 2019 @ 1:00 p.m.
Loss 0-15

On Saturday the varsity baseball team traveled to Westtown for their opening season league game. Unfortunately for the visitors, it just wasn't our day. Sophomore Justus Agosto got the start on the mound. The Cougars batted first and had promising at-bats to start the game. Junior co-captain Joseph Kumar lined out to center field, while Justus lined out to second base. Both players hit the ball hard. Senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez then flew out to center field to end the inning. At the bottom of the inning, the hosts took a lead that they never relinquished. A three-run homer put the Cougars down 0-3. The next five of six batters for George School went down as strikeout victims. The hosts continued to compile hits and runs and the Cougars were run-ruled by the third inning with a 0-15 score. George School travels to Lawrenceville School on Monday for a non-league game.

George School @ The Lawrenceville School

Monday, April 1, 2019 @ 4:15 p.m.
Loss 6-14

This game was played more like a tennis match than a baseball game. The lead was volleyed back and forth with several drop shots and smashes in between. To begin the game, GS generated hits by junior co-captain Joseph Kumar, sophomore Justus Agosto, and senior Ryan Oster. However, the team could only generate one run. Fortunately for the guests, junior hurler Bennett Lichstein was on the hill and absolutely took control of the game inducing three ground balls to end the first inning without a score by the hosts. In the second stanza, the Cougars were stymied while Lawrenceville found some offense. In the second, the hosts tallied three runs to take a lead. But the Cougars weren't daunted. In the fourth inning, the team got on the board again when senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez reached base with a high fly ball to right field. After a stolen base got him into scoring position, Ryan walked to give the team two runners. Unfortunately, a double play ball took some wind out of the proverbial sail only to be inflated when sophomore Owen Kirk delivered a single to score Kenneth to cut the lead to one run. In the fifth inning, the Cougars started to put the pedal to the metal and generate some offense; after a leadoff strikeout, Owen reached base followed by a walk by freshman Jordan Harmon. Then sophomore Aiden Sheehan singled to load the bases. Junior Javier Vidal then walked to earn an RBI and drive home a run. Joseph walked. Justus walked. Kenneth was hit by a pitch and suddenly the Cougars scored four runs in the inning. However, some sloppy play cost the guests several unearned runs. In the fifth, the hosts scored five runs to take a commanding lead. They added to their lead in the sixth inning when they tallied six more runs. Although the Cougars played better baseball and everyone contributed something, there is still that break through coming as the team continues to get the rust of spring break out of their system.

George School @ Germantown Friends School

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 6-9

As is the case each season, our first league game usually has George School traveling to Germantown Friends School. This season, the league schedule didn't disappoint the usual manner of things. The boys traveled to GFS, and senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez got the ball to start the game on the mound. In very George School fashion, the guests got off to a great start on offense, scoring a run in the first inning of this game just as we have in three of our first four games. Junior co-captain Joseph Kumar was walked and sophomore Justus Agosto singled to drive Joseph to third. Kenneth's long fly ball to center field drove in Joseph for the game's first run. At the bottom of the inning, Kenneth didn't get many close calls on balls and strikes, but he kept battling. Unfortunately, our defense had some lapses and GFS scored five runs in the inning.  n the third inning, the Cougars began at the top of the order and generated some runs to stay close. Joseph led off the inning and doubled to right center field. Justus then singled to left field and Kenneth delivered a mammoth shot to right center field to score Justus and Joseph. The defense then relinquished runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings on misplayed opportunities. Nonetheless, the guests battled back in the fifth to score two more runs when senior Grant Kind earned his first solid hit of the season and scored his first run of the season. Justus, who was three for four with two runs scored, came through to drive Grant to second. Kenneth was intentionally walked and senior Ryan Oster singled to drive in Grant and Justus. In the seventh inning, now down 9-5, the Cougars had their last at-bats. Kenneth led the inning with a walk and stole second base. Ryan was walked and stole second. Junior Bennett Lichstein was walked but a passed ball sent Kenneth home. The Cougars ended the game down three runs but with some positive improvements on offense. Freshman Jordan Harmon put the ball in play twice with hard hit balls. Grant ended with two hits and a run scored. The Cougars accumulated eleven hits, led by Joseph who was three for three.

George School vs Peddie School

Thursday, April 4, 2019 @ 4:30 p.m.
Loss 1-10
Home Directions To George School
On Thursday, the Cougars played their first home game of the season against Peddie School. Sophomore Justus Agosto earned the start. In the first inning, the hosts were ready to go and played well. Giving up just one hit in the inning, the hosts were ready to bat. To lead off the game, junior co-captain Joseph Kumar reached base with a hit and was advanced by a fielder's choice. Senior Ryan Oster then singled to drive Joseph home for the first and only run of the game. In the third and fourth innings, the Cougars hit some balls hard but right at Peddie Falcons. Justus settled down on the mound, but some misplayed balls in the outfield yielded several extra-base hits by the guests that led to eleven runs. One highlight was sophomore Aiden Sheehan who got his first hit of the season with a line drive up the middle for a single. Ryan had two hits, and senior Grant Kind and Justus both earned hits for the Cougars.

George School vs Moorestown Friends School

Thursday, April 11, 2019 @ 4:15 p.m.
Loss 1-2
Home Directions To George School

MFS won the game in 9 innings.

George School vs Friends’ Central School

Friday, April 12, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 0-15
Home Directions To George School

To begin the week, the varsity baseball team hosted Friends Central School.  Sophomore Justus Agosto got the start and began strongly with two ground balls and a strike out in the first inning.  But offensively, the team struggled to get base runners and to produce runs.  Friends Central broke into the scoring column in the second inning with four consecutive hits before Justus closed the door with three consecutive strike outs.  Defensively, the Cougars did not execute basic plays and allowed Friends Central to accumulate runs in the next four innings.  The hosts only managed two hits on the day.  Junior co-captain Joseph Kumar and junior Bennett Lichstein accounted for the only George School hits on the day.  Justus recorded 6 strikeouts.

George School vs Conwell-Egan Catholic High School

Saturday, April 13, 2019 @ 2:00 p.m.
Canceled

George School vs Westtown School

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 5-8
Home Directions To George School

The Cougars hosted Westtown School in a rematch of their early season game.  The Cougars were determined to play better baseball and that is exactly what they did.  Although Westtown managed a run in the first inning, The Cougars tightened things up and held close.  After two disappointing at-bats in the first two innings, the Cougars generated a run in the third when freshman Jordan Harmon earned his first hit of the season and his first stolen base of the season.  An RBI triple by junior co-captain Joseph Kumar drove Jordan home and the game was now 2-1 going to the fourth inning.  In the fourth, Westtown managed another run and tacked on four more in the fifth inning.  Yet the Cougars still wouldn't go away.  In the sixth inning, Joseph hit a towering long drive to deep center field that resulted in a home run.  At the top of the seventh, the hosts gave up another run that may have put the game out of reach at 8-1.  However, the resiliency of this team came to light.  In the seventh inning, Sophomore Owen Kirk continued to swing a hot bat and reached with a single to center.  After a stolen base, Jordan got his second hit of the game and season driving Owen home for Jordan's first RBI of the season.  After an intentional walk to Joseph, junior Bennett Lichstein hit a ball to right field that dropped in and scored two runs.  The hosts were now with men on second and third with two outs.  Sophomore Justus Agosto hit a ball down the right field line that stayed up and was caught to end the game.  The Cougars played with a mindset of competitiveness and are working through this tough season game by game.

George School vs Morrisville High School

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 5-3
Home Directions To George School
The Cougars hosted local public high school, Morrisville High, who came into the game with a 4-5 record. Junior Bennett Lichstein got the start and earned seven strike outs on the day. Bennett's competitive spirit allowed him to pitch six innings and earn the first win of the season. The Cougars' offense came to play early. Junior co-captain Joseph Kumar was walked and stole second and third to get into scoring position. Bennett singled to drive Joseph home. Sophomore Justus Agosto earned a hit but the inning ended with just one run across home plate. The guests countered with a run of their own in the second inning. At the bottom of the inning, the Cougars responded once again with some productive offense. Sophomore Owen Kirk led off the inning with a double. Owen's double was generated by aggressive running down the first base line; a missed played pick up by the outfielder aided Owen in reaching second twice during the game. A single by freshman Jordan Harmon, his third hit in two games, scored Owen. Jordan reached second on a passed ball and senior Ryan Doyle earned his first hit of the season with a bullet down the third base line and got his first RBI of the season. Bennett continued his stellar pitching and held Morrisville until they scored two more in the third inning. In the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars generated another insurance run when Owen doubled and moved to third. Jordan reached base with another hit and drove home Owen. In the seventh inning, Justus closed the door with twelve pitches striking out the side.

George School @ Shipley School

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 0-3

The varsity baseball team traveled to play on the Shipley turf for another league contest.  Sophomore Justus Agosto, who has had three quality starts in a row, got the ball and was stellar through six innings.  Justus recorded 5 strikeouts and only allowed four hits.  In the first inning, the Cougars went down in order.  When the hosts batted, they, led off the game with a base hit but then two strike outs and a nice play by shortstop junior co-captain Joseph Kumar ended the threat.  In the next two innings, the Cougars reached base only once while earning 5 strike outs against us.  Luckily, defense and Justus' pitching kept us in the game.  On a steal to third, senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez gunned a throw to junior Javier Vidal who applied the tag and ended the inning.  In the Justus reached with a hit and stole second, but we were unable to get him across home plate.  Again in the fourth inning, the defense kicked in and we thwarted a threat.  On a delayed steal, Kenneth threw to first baseman senior Ryan Oster who executed the play perfect when the runner at second tried to advance to third.  Ryan's strike to Javier pinned their runner in a run-down, where Joseph applied the inning-ending tag.  However, in the fifth and deciding inning, a miscue led to two runs and put the Cougars behind for the first time in the game.  Unfortunately for the guests, we were unable to generate a run in our last two at-bats and lost 3-0.

George School @ Abington Friends School

Thursday, April 25, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 2-1

What could only be described as a total team win, the Cougars earned their first league win yesterday. Senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez was spectacular on the mound, while sophomore Justus Agosto distinguished himself defensively and offensively. But they weren't the only story lines. Senior Ryan Doyle, making his second start at third base, got the first ground ball of the game and easily tossed the first out of the game to senior Ryan Oster. However, junior co-captain Joseph Kumar tried to steal the spotlight when he hit his second home run of the season with a blast to left field; this bomb put the visitors on the board in the second inning.  After a single by stellar backstop junior Bennett Lichstein, and a stolen base, Justus came through with a single. After his first stolen base of the game, Justus settled in at second. Kenneth then singled to score Justus and give the guests a two run lead.

At this point, it was all about the defense and pitching. Sophomore second baseman Owen Kirk held down his position securing two pop fly balls and two ground balls that resulted in outs. Offensively, the Cougars put the ball in play. Bennett, and Justus each earned two hits. Justus had a shot down the right field line which he turned into a triple. Bennett also had two stolen bases.  Joseph, Kenneth and Owen all got hits. On the other side, Bennett threw out two would be thieves; Kenneth for his part recorded seven strike outs. He had no walks and no hits allowed in six and two thirds innings. However, there were two outstanding plays that will remain in the minds of George School baseball fans and players for a very long time. On a ball hit in the hole between short stop and third base, short stop Justus Agosto went to his knees, sliding on the wet grass infield and backhanded a hard hit ball. Justus, from his knees, threw a one hopper to senior first baseman Ryan Oster who scooped the ball from the grass. The runner was called safe, but the effort was easily one of the finest plays in recent memory. Even the umpires and host coach thought it was a true highlight.

The play that sealed the day and secured the win came in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Kenneth reached his pitch limit, Bennett took over and had an interesting way of finishing the game. After giving up an infield hit, the bases became loaded.  With two outs, a fly ball went sky high to right field where sophomore Aidan Sheehan had just entered the game. The Cougars were now up 2-1 with two outs and the hosts had bases loaded. Aidan came in on the ball then slowly checked his direction and readjusted as the ball began to descend. In the most dramatic way, reminiscent of Roy Hobbs, Aidan caught the ball while sliding on the wet grass. The Cougars won the game. The Cougars have played excellent baseball in their last three outings. The younger, less experienced players are starting to perform more consistently defensively.

George School @ Princeton Day School

Saturday, April 27, 2019 @ 1:30 p.m.
Canceled

George School @ Academy of the New Church

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 6-3
The Cougars traveled to Friends School opponent Academy of the New Church and returned home with their second league victory of the season.  Junior Bennett Lichstein was given the start and he delivered in a big way.  Overall, Bennett allowed just 5 hits, allowing 3 runs, and recording 4 strike outs.  Offensively, several players helped the cause.  Sophomore Owen Kirk got the game started with a single and stolen base that put him in scoring position for Bennett who delivered a double.  Owen moved up to third and senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez was hit by a pitch.  Senior Ryan Oster stepped up with a deep fly ball to left field that scored Owen.  Heading into the second inning, the hosts reached base with a hit and two walks but couldn't get across home plate.  At the top of the second, sophomore Aidan Sheehan got things started with two outs when he safely reached base with a hit.  He then stole second and Owen once again came through with a hit and an RBI to drive Aidan home.  In the third the teams exchanged runs; sophomore Justus Agosto led off the inning with a triple to right field.  This was his second triple in as many games.  Kenneth's fly to center field scored Justus and the Cougars were up 3-1.  In the fourth inning, the guests struck again three times.  Aidan got his second hit of the game after two outs before him.  He stole second base and put himself in position to score.  Owen had his third hit of the game.  Bennett then stepped to the plate and delivered his second double of the game and scored Aidan.  A single by Justus brought Owen home and the guests were up 6-1, until the bottom of the order when ANC generated a run to close the gap.  In the sixth inning, the final run would cross home plate and the Cougars would secure their second league win when Justus closed the game striking out the side on 12 pitches.  The Cougars will play host to Germantown Friends School on Wednesday.

George School vs Germantown Friends School

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Loss 5-11
Home Directions To George School

The Cougars hosted Germantown Friends School on Wednesday and looked to avenge their early season loss.  Both pitchers were stellar holding at-bats down on both sides.  Sophomore Justus Agosto got the start for the home team.  He ended the game with 6 K's.  Neither team could generate a run until the third inning when GFS got on the board twice.  But the Cougars, as they have been doing recently, responded well with a run of their own when Justus drew a walk and senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez drew a walk.  Senior Ryan Oster thought it was a good idea and he, too, got the opportunity to trot down the first base line with a walk.  Sophomore Owen Kirk then stepped in and delivered a hit to drive in Justus.  But the Cougars, after a missed played ball landed in the outfield, gave up three runs in the top of the fifth.  Would the Cougars respond?  Absolutely.  At the bottom of the inning, the bats came alive again.  Junior co-captain Joseph Kumar started the inning with a single.  Junior Bennett Lichstein, who has been absolutely locked in at the plate, came through with a single.  Justus got walked and Kenneth scored Joseph with a single of his own.  Sophomore Owen Kirk drew a walk.  In one of the most important at bats of his young George School career, Freshman Jordan Harmon stepped in and delivered a double driving in two RBI in the form of Bennett and Kenneth.  The Cougars tied up the game in dramatic fashion.  After a quiet seventh inning, where defense was the order of the day, sophomore Aidan Sheehan corralled his only opportunity at second base and delivered a strike to end the seventh to give the hosts a chance to win the game.  In the seventh, Kenneth hit a double putting him in scoring position.  He stole third base putting him just 90 feet away from victory.  The next two batters put the ball in play but both were thrown out at first base ending the Cougars' threat.  The guests then delivered 5 runs in the 8th inning.  Unfortunately for the hosts, it was too much to overcome.  The Cougars dropped a well-played game 5-11 in 8 innings.  The Cougars will host Friends Select School on Friday.

George School vs Friends Select School

Friday, May 3, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 14-0
Home Directions To George School

The varsity baseball team has played good baseball in the last two weeks.  Several players are showing marked improvement simply through repetitions.  The kids are enjoying their time on the diamond.  In their most recent home game, the Cougars hosted Friends Select School and opened the game with 9 runs in the first inning.  Senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez got his final regular season home start and didn't disappoint.  Kenneth recorded 8 strike outs in four innings of work.  He allowed just two hits.  Offensively, the hosts were led with hits by junior co-captain Joseph Kumar who had his third triple of the season.  Sophomore Owen Kirk contributed with a hit, while junior backstop Bennett Lichstein continued his torrid hitting streak.  Bennett had two hits and extended his hit streak to 10 straight games.  He also contributed two RBI.  Sophomore Justus Agosto contributed three hits and two RBI.  Most impressive on this day was the defense.  On three occasions the hosts thwarted would be runners particularly at home plate.  On one play, Bennett threw to Kenneth on an attempted steal when a runner at third base tried to score.  Kenneth threw a seed to Bennett who applied the tag and secured the out.  On another play, a runner tried to go home on a delayed steal.  Bennett, now pitching, calmly tossed the ball to Kenneth, now catching, and he tagged the runner for the final out of the game.

George School vs Germantown Friends School

Saturday, May 4, 2019 @ 2:00 p.m.
Canceled

George School @ The Hill School

Monday, May 6, 2019 @ 4:15 p.m.
Win 5-1

After a long drive up the turnpike, the Cougars didn't look particularly interested in playing baseball.  However, our IO was pretty good considering the drive.  Sophomore Justus Agosto was got the pill for a start on the mound, and we knew we were sure to get a competitive outing out of him.  In the first inning, Hill struck with a walk and a double down the left field line.  However, the guests weren't intimidated by the MAPL league opponent.  With the 6-7-8 hitters coming to bat, sophomore Owen Kirk walked to lead off the second.  After a strike out, senior Ryan Doyle was hit by a pitch and senior Grant Kind worked a walk with a productive at bat.  Junior co-captain Joseph Kumar then walked to drive in a run to tie the game at one.  Then junior Bennett Lichstein extended his hit streak to 11 straight games when he singled and drove in Ryan Doyle to give the guests at 2-1 lead.  Justus then grounded into a fielder's choice but managed to drive in the Cougars' third run.  After shutting down the Hill offense, the Cougars managed a run in the fourth inning.  This time it was senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez' turn to drive in a run with a single to left center field.  Senior Ryan Oster then singled but the inning was over with the Cougars managing one run.  In the meantime, Justus was racking up strike outs.  He finished the game with 8, and he and Kenneth combined for 10 K's.  In the sixth inning, errors by Hill and some very aggressive base running by Bennett after his second hit of the day, secured the final run for the Cougars.  At the bottom of the sixth inning, Justus walked the first batter but then fielded his position to begin a double play to second.  Unfortunately, we didn't execute the back end but Justus struck out the next batter and then K'ed the final batter in the inning.  Kenneth picked up in the bottom of the seventh, throwing 20 pitches and striking out two of three batters.  Most impressively, however, was the defense.  The Cougars did not commit an error in the game and relinquished just 4 walks and 5 hits against 10 strike outs.  Also, the outfield has really come along and caught every fly ball except one diving attempt by Joseph who almost came up with an incredible play.  The Cougars will host the FSS Falcons on Wednesday for the first round of the Quaker Cup.

FSL Quaker Cup Semi-finals (GS vs FSS)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.
Win 2-0
Home Directions To George School

The Cougars hosted Friends Select School again on Wednesday for the semi-final game of the Quaker Cup.  Senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez was the story.  Period.  He set the tone in the first inning of play when he threw 7 pitches and recorded 2 strike outs and induced a ground out 4 to 3.  On the day, Kenneth had 14 strike outs, 1 walk, and gave up 2 hits against 25 batters.  Offensively, the hosts produced a run in the fourth inning when junior co-captain Joseph Kumar singled to start off the inning.  Sophomore Justus Agosto then doubled to drive in Joseph.  The Cougars struck again in the sixth inning when Kenneth hit a single to left and then stole second.  Sophomore Owen Kirk then singled.  After walks to the next two batters, senior Ryan Doyle was walked and Kenneth came home for our second run on Ryan's RBI.  The Cougars will play on Saturday in the Quaker Cup final.

FSL Quaker Cup Finals (GS @ AFS)

Saturday, May 11, 2019 @ 10:00 a.m.
Win 4-2
It seems there are certain places where success or failure manifest themselves for certain players.  On Saturday, the Cougars traveled to Abington Friends School for the Quaker Cup championship game and sophomores Justus Agosto and Aidan Sheehan must have been salivating once they reached the field.  Because both had stellar defensive performances the last time we played AFS, their hearts must have been pounding waiting for another chance to do something special.  Justus started the game after senior co-captain Kenneth Rodriguez allowed us to advance with a stellar performance on Wednesday against Friends Select School in the Quaker Cup semi-final game.  But on this day, it was about the youngsters.  Justus did everything.  Defensively, he recorded 8 strike outs and allowed just 4 hits and one walk, the final batter he faced in the seventh inning.  He also fielded his position by securing a pop out and a ground ball.  Offensively, Justus broke open a scoreless game in the sixth inning.  With two outs, the Cougars were entering the top of the order.  Junior Bennett Lichstein, who had a 12 game hit streak broken in the semi-final game, got back on track with a single to left field.  After stealing second base, Justus stepped to the plate and swung through the first offering with a determination to make something happen.  After falling behind with two strikes, Justus, ripped a shot to right field.  In our regular season game played at AFS, Justus delivered a triple down the right field line that helped the Cougars eventually defeat AFS.  De ja vue all over again, as Yogi would say, struck Justus' bat but this time his hit cleared the space in right field considered a home run.  His first high school home run put the guests on the board with a 2-0 lead.  However, in the bottom of the sixth, a misplayed ball extended the host's inning and they reciprocated with two runs of their own.  At the top of the seventh inning, senior Ryan Oster, faced with his final high school at bat, was walked.  Freshman Jordan Harmon then successfully sacrificed Ryan over to second base.  Junior Javier Vidal entered the game to pinch hit and worked a walk to give the Cougars runners on first and second with one out.  After senior Ryan Doyle grounded out but successfully moved the two runners into scoring position, Aidan stepped to the plate.  In the previous game at AFS, Aidan caught the diving ball that ended the bases loaded threat that Abington posed two weeks ago.  This time it was offensively that Aidan needed to step up.  After falling behind with two strikes, Aidan, a wrestler, was reminded that this was the third period and he had to dig down and find the resolve.  Aidan calmly delivered the game changing hit on a field where he is familiar with success.  A shot to right center field gave the guests a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning; a lead they wouldn't relinquish.  Justus then went back to work on the mound.  He retired the first two batters with a fly ball to, you guessed it, Aidan in right field, and then a strike out.  He then issued his first walk of the game, just as he reached his pitching limit for the day.  As in the regular season game, Bennett entered the game to close it out.  Unlike the regular season game, when the Cougars were one out away from a victory, Bennett allowed just one walk and then promptly induced a ground ball to sophomore Owen Kirk who side-armed a throw to Ryan Oster at first for the final out.  On the day, Owen, Kenneth, Justus, Aidan and Bennett led the team with hits.  Defensively, Justus pitched well but senior Ryan Doyle made three plays at third base that made a huge difference in the outcome.  The outfield made plays on balls hit to them.  And on the infield, the defense was flawless; every player fielded the routine plays and made the outs.
Although we played with five players this year who were on the junior varsity team a year ago, and with one player who hasn't played baseball since little league, the team stayed together and continued to improve all season.  We lost our first 8 games to start the season.  And although two of those losses were by 2 or fewer runs, and two games were lost late in the game or in extra innings, the kids stayed focused in practice and in the games.  They continued to support each other.  The team ended the season winning 7 of its last 8 games and finished 7-10 on the season with a Quaker Cup championship win.  More importantly, as first year player and senior Grant Kind put it, the season was fun and enjoyable; playing on a team and working with a team, even though baseball is "really hard," was fulfilling.  Baseball is hard.  And steadily improving was fulfilling.  Baseball exposes players like no other sport.  You are at bat, alone.  You either catch the ball or throw the ball successfully.  It is all you.  No one else is exposed when things go wrong in most sports like in baseball.  And it is hard.  It's also a real opportunity to challenge yourself and grow because 10 other players are relying upon you to perform.  This team did that like none other we've had.

Varsity Baseball Seasons