Even though it didn’t end on a high note with a 4-3 loss to Doylestown in its season finale Tuesday night, Quakertown’s Legion baseball team remains optimistic about the upcoming postseason.
With their 15-2-1 league mark, the Blue Jays will either finish first or second in the Bux-Mont League. They were waiting to see if league officials would decide to award positions in the league playoffs based on points earned or winning percentage.
Based on points, Quakertown would take the top spot and play Doylestown beginning Thursday, or it would be second based on winning percentage and meet Lansdale.
It was a regular season that was pieced together through experience and chemistry.
“These guys have been playing together for a while,” said assistant coach Shane Helm, who has been acting manager in place of his father, Bob, as he recovers from recent hip surgery. “They have been together throughout the season, and the seniors can see the end coming.
“These guys are peaking at the right time. They are playing for each other and that is the big thing.”
The Blue Jays (18-4-3 overall) had a seven-game winning streak snapped (6-0-1), in which they outscored their opponents, 53-18, in the process.
They received an emotional lift with impressive 11-1 and 10-2 victories over traditional power Souderton in a recent doubleheader and also propelled themselves toward the league title.
“Those wins were huge for us,” added Helm. “The guys on both teams know each other well and they have played together for a long time.
“It was a big lift for us in many ways.”
Recent graduate Mason Hicks reiterated his coach’s thoughts. Hicks, who has been hitting above .300 throughout the season, recently had a four-RBI night with a homer in a 9-2 win over Nor-Gwyn.
“They beat us twice during our regular season,” said Hicks. “We were really motivated to play them. It reminded us that we can play at a high level and compete with anyone.”
Hicks believed a recent 11-inning, 3-2 win over Pennridge could have been a springboard toward the postseason.
“We just kept battling against them and everybody was trying to come up with the big hit,” he said. “We won the game and we all proved how much we support each other.
“We’re all playing with a lot of confidence, and I have had some of my better games lately.”
Fellow recent graduate Matt Ciarrocchi allowed two runs and four hits against Nor-Gwyn and struck out seven over six innings.
He sees the Blue Jays’ starting pitching depth as a key to its future.
“All of us across the board have been doing pretty good on the mound,” said Ciarrocchi. “I think I could have thrown a little better, but we have had strong support all year. My fastball has been coming, and my curveball and change-up have been good.
“We have been doing well in all aspects of the game, and that’s all we can ask for.”
With overall pitching and hitting depth, Helm envisions his team making a deep run in the postseason.
“We have five starters who we’ll throw in any game and four of them have an ERA around 1,” he said. “We have had different guys stepping up for us all season, and we have been solid from top to bottom.
“We just have to keep working.”