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Quakertown Blazers split busy week


The Quakertown Blazers brought several items into Mercer County Park last Wednesday night against the Trenton Generals.

Quakertown brought both a four-game win streak and the hot bats responsible for that streak; Quakertown scored 34 runs in those four “W”s.

“They turned up the intensity, especially last Sunday,” assessed Quakertown manager Chris Ray after Trenton. “They came out, pitched really well and had some good timely and situational hitting. That got us to where we are tonight. Today was a little bit tough, but it is only one day.”

And the Blazers brought their hard hats and lunch pails to go to work.

Trenton started the first of six games in five days for Quakertown.

“We have to have enough guys to get through all of the games,” Ray stated. “That said, we have to make sure that they are prepared, and we do our jobs as coaches to have them throw strikes and throw as few pitches as possible. We want to stretch them out without taking them out for five or six days at a time.”

Blazer bats stayed hot for a time at Trenton. Quakertown led off the third inning with three straight hits. Andrew Fisher (Elizabethtown) scored on Anthony Viggiano’s (Bloomsburg) double. Viggiano scored on Luke Cantwell’s (West Chester) knock to put the Blazers up 2-1.

“What’s been working for me is having confidence when I go up to the plate,” explained Viggiano, who led Quakertown’s Triple Crown categories through Sunday. “Recently I changed the footwork with my swing. That helped me create a rhythm with the pitcher so I have my swing on time.”

Shortstop Jake Reed (Bloomsburg) doubled in the fourth. Unfortunately for the Blazers, though they’d draw four more walks, the two-bagger was the evening’s last hit.

The double marked the third straight game that Quakertown High’s Reed thumped an extra-base hit. “It’s good to get comfortable in the box. With summer league, you’re trying to work out the kinks,” Reed said. “I started off slow and batting the ball wasn’t going my way but if you keep pushing through it, everything comes back together.”

Trenton knotted it at 2 in the fourth and took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on Chris Walker’s RBI single. The Generals, who had a base runner in every inning, exploited Blazer walks to add runs in the sixth and seventh and go home 5-2 winners.

Quakertown split their six games; the Blazers were 11-9 through the first half of the summer. “Summer league is all about having fun and this is a bunch of guys having fun,” Viggiano said last Wednesday. “We don’t try to come here with a lot of stress. I know it’s a lot of games in a week, but we’ll just come in hard ready to play.”

Quakertown beat the first-place Allentown Railers on Thursday 15-10, thanks to three hits each from Cantwell and Bill Hitman (California University of Pa.). Quakertown split two doubleheaders over the weekend – Saturday at the North Jersey Eagles and Sunday hosting the Ocean Ospreys.

Reed was an unlikely hero in game one against North Jersey. The infielder pitched four quality innings to pick up a 2-1 win. “It’s definitely fun to be back in Memorial Park where I have been my whole life,” Reed offered.

Another local product, Pennridge’s Andrew Mayhew (Millersville) combined with J.J. Spehrley (Bloomsburg) to two-hit Ocean in Sunday’s 7-2 opening win.

“We’ll try and turn the page and move on to tomorrow, but we know what we did wrong,” Ray said after Trenton. “If we make mistakes tomorrow, that’s okay as long as they are not the same ones.”

Cantwell is second on the team with 20 hits and 13 RBIs. On the mound, Spehrley and Nolan Graber (Ursinus) both have three wins and sub 2.25 ERAs.

The Blazers return to action on July 4 against Allentown opens a five-game homestand.