BOYERTOWN — Souderton’s season came to an end Wednesday evening with a 3-0 loss to South Parkland in the Region 3 championship game at Boyertown’s Bear Stadium.
South Parkland took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning when the leadoff batter doubled, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly. They added two more runs in the sixth when Souderton committed three of their four errors.
“One error just compacted on each other,” Souderton shortstop Conlan Wall said. “That lead to a run. Then one of my errors was a slow-roller, bare-handed, I rushed it and made a bad throw. That cost us a little bit, too. That definitely did not help us, but sometimes you have bad games and it happens.”
The Post 234 offense managed to out-hit South Parkland, 7-6, but wasn’t able to get the big hit when it mattered. Souderton left runners on base in five of the six innings.
They started the bottom of the first inning with the first two batters reaching base, but South Parkland pitcher Adam Smith recorded three straight outs to end the threat.
“We were so calm before the game and they were even kind of cocky.” Souderton manager Paul Meara said. “I thought we were going to play well today. Then the first couple innings we came out, we got a couple on, but we didn’t capitalize. Then we made a few mistakes late and they got us.”
The same thing happened in the sixth. Trailing 2-0, Frank Pollack and Moses Clemens started the inning with back-to-back singles to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs, but South Parkland’s Smith tallied a strikeout, forced a pop up and fielded a ball hit right back at him to get out of the jam.
Smith threw a complete game, allowing seven hits over seven innings. He struck out one batter to two walks.
“I know Adam he’s a great pitcher,” Wall said. “He spots up really well, he’s smart and he can locate his curveball. He just kept us off-balance all game.”
Aaron Groller started for Souderton and took the loss. In 4 1/3 innings he allowed one run on three hits. He struck out five batters to four walks.
David Gulibon came on in relief, surrendering two runs in 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three hits to go along with one strikeout and two walks.
End of a run
The loss ends a long run of success for Souderton baseball.
Most of Post 234’s roster played on the team last year, when it won the Region 2 championship.
A majority of them also played for Souderton Area High School’s varsity baseball team, which won the PIAA Class 6A state championship last month.
The loss to South Parkland ends a season where Post 234 won the Bux-Mont League regular season and tournament championships.
“These kids are my brothers,” Wall said. “I’m going to miss playing with them. It was a great run. We had, like, 60-something games in a row. We’re all tired, but it was hella fun and I’m just really thankful for the experience.”
“To do it in the compressed time period,” Meara said, referring to winning the league championship and reaching the regional final after starting the season late due to the high school state championship. “We got all those games in. I don’t know what we finished, maybe 27-4. These kids have played 60 straight games. It’s been tough. That’s why I’m so proud of them — they give up work, they give up everything to come. They’re a good group. They play well together and they root for each other. Camaraderie to me is everything and this team’s got it.”