In baseball, pitching and defense win games. Boyertown Junior Legion manager Lee Mecherly has seen that with his team this year, hence the reason why his team is 15-0 in league and 25-1 overall.
“We’re doing well and playing good baseball,” said Mecherly. “We’re getting excellent defense and good pitching. We were hitting really well early in the year, but now we’re not hitting like we were. But we’re still able to score runs. I think the hitting will come back again. We’re in a slump, but I expect we’re going to go back to hitting the way we were. It will come back in time.”
Mecherly feels that things are going as expected this season. “I knew early in the year that we were going to have a nice team,” said Mecherly. “I didn’t know how good we would be. They’ve come together and they’re playing well. Like I said earlier, pitching and defense is still the most important part of baseball.”
Mecherly notes that you never know what’s going to happen, during the course of a season. The Bear Cubs have had good teams in the past several years, but have come up short of winning state titles. He knows that sometimes there isn’t a real reason why things happen like they do during the season.
The Bear Cubs have returning five players and four of them have been playing for the Bear Cubs since they were 13 yearsold. This is an experienced team with a lot of talent. The players who have been here for three years know what to expect coming into their last year. “That’s definitely going to help us,” said Mecherly.
Mecherly and his coaching staff, Keith Endy and Jeff Pinder, have a different way to talk about expectations for the team. They talk about winning every game, take it one inning at a time and score more runs than them at the end of the game. He knows that if his team does that, the rest will take care of itself.
The strengths for the team come back to pitching and defense according to Mecherly. “We do have good hitting, but I think our pitching and defense is going to carry us,” said Mecherly. “We’ll get the runs, and we’ll score runs on some fundamental things as we do.”
Returning for the Bear Cubs are Ben Longacre, Jordan Schustack, Seth Endy, Tom Randall, Nate Kline and Aaron Kratz. A first year 15-year old-playing for the Bear Cubs is Mitch Pinder.Also on the team are John DeMartino, Ryan Jacobs, Pat Maloney, Anthony Rota, Grant Fronheiser and Justin Weind.
To date, Longacre is 6-0 on the season and recently threw a no-hitter. Shustack has a record of 4-0 on the mound while Mitch Pinder is 5-0.Seth Endy is the lead-off hitter for the Bear Cubs and is hitting .419 on the season. Ryan Jacobs leads the teams in hitting with a batting average of “I expect us to keep playing good baseball and get good pitching and good defense,” said Mecherly. “We want to win the league and get to regionals. We want to win regionals and get to states. But, that’s a long way off. I don’t worry about that until it gets here.”
Mecherly notes that’s everyone’s goal is to win their league and qualify for the regional and state playoffs. He also knows that not everyone gets there.
There will be four state regional tournament locations. They will be held in Pottstown, West Lawn South Hampton and West Scranton. The Bear Cubs want to also qualify for the Junior Legion State Tournament which will be held in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
“It’s absolutely reachable for us to get there,” said Mecherly.