Coming into the season, there were a lot of questions about the Oley/Topton 16U City/County baseball team. They had a new head coach in Evyn Seyler and a lot of new players on the team.
So far most of the questions are being answered in a positive way. The team has a winning record at 6-4
“This is my first year head coaching and most of the kids first time playing in the City County League, so there has been lot of uncertainty but a lot of excitement at the same time,” said Coach Seyler. “We have a lot of talent on this team and guys with varsity baseball experience, so I expect us to be competitive right away. The guys come from two successful high school programs (Oley Valley and Brandywine Heights) and will work hard to make this a successful season.
So far the pitching has been excellent. With a team ERA of 1.78 so far, the offense doesn’t need to score too many runs to win.
The staff is led by Zach Tiongson who in 19 2/3 innings has allowed just two runs on 13 hits and three walks. That a 0.71 ERA. He’s struck out an amazing 30 batters.
“He’s really improved from last year and is our number one pitcher on the staff,” said Seyler. “Zach is one of the beat players in the league and provides leadership to our team.”
Tiongson is also the team’s best hitter, batting a lusty .545 (12-for-22) with three RBIs and nine runs scored.
Jarrod Sauder has pitched 10 innings for the team and has yet to allowed an earned run (four unearned runs).
“Our pitching has been exceptional and we have the luxury of having five or six guys get the job done on the mound,” said Seyler.
Offensively, the top of the order has been carrying the team. As time moves on, Seyler wants to see more production from the rest of the line-up.
Another Brandywine Heights player, Cole Swackhamer, is also off to a good start, hitting .364 (8-for-22) with six RBIs and seven runs scored.
“Defensively, he is a phenomenal catcher,” said Seyler.“He’s the best blocking catcher I’ve seen for a 16 year old. He’s very quick with a good arm behind the plate. He calls a good game and will prevent other teams from running.”
Dan Kristan hit .327 this spring as a sophomore at Brandywine. So far he is hitting .333 for Oley/Topton (7-for-21) with six RBIs. He’s the clean-up hitter and provides the power on the team. In the field he can play in the outfield or third base, and has also pitched five innings to give the pitching staff more depth.
Cody Hicks gives the team some speed, He’s a left-handed lead-off hitter and has two of the team’s four stolen bases thus far. He’s hitting .273 (6-for-22) with a team-high 11 runs scored.
Joe Macdonald is also playing well. The Oley Valley player is hitting .333 (6-for-18) with five RBIs and five runs scored. He’s a singles hitter who plays at second base.
“The main goal of our team is to develop and make the kids better baseball players,” said Seyler. “These kids are going to be instrumental assets to our Legion Program and their respective high school programs. We want to make sure they are mechanically sound and give them individual instruction and enough repetition at practice where they can succeed in games. As a team, we want to make the playoffs for the first time and win the league. We have the talent and pitching depth to win in the league’s playoff format.”
In order for the team to achieve that goal, they will need more production from the bottom of the order. Seyler said they need to work on their situational hitting, they have stranded too many runners in the early going.
The good news is that the pitching staff has kept the team in all their games. If they can score a few more runs, anything is possible.