Exeter Blue Jays off to a good start in Berks Legion League

Photo by Ric Webb The Exeter American Legion baseball team is off to a 9-3 start this summer.
Photo by Ric Webb Exeter's Andrew Hertzog one-hit Shillington last week in a 10-0 Blue Jay win.

With the 2014 legion season halfway through, the Exeter Blue Jays are looking to have another stellar season. Through Saturday (6/25), the team is 9-3, and there seems to be no looking back.

We’ve been playing pretty well,” said Blue Jays manager Anthony Fegely. “We’re not performing as well as I think we can, but we’re doing enough to win ballgames.”

As far as expectations go, the skipper noted, “After last year in which we made it to the county championship for the first time, the kids got a taste of what postseason baseball feels like. We have our entire team back save for two, and as expectations go, these guys want to get back into position to reach the county championship again.”

The goal for this year’s squad is to win the county. With the team Fegely has this summer, that’s a very realistic goal.

“There are some quality teams in this league that are going to definitely be there, so we want to be in a good spot that we can beat those teams and get to the championship,” said Fegely “That’s what our goals are set for.”

Coach Fegely noted that he doesn’t have any personal goals for himself this year.

“When I coach this team, I just want to see this team succeed and have fun while they’re doing it,” he said. “As long as that happens, that’s my goal – for the team to succeed and have fun doing it.”

Some key cogs in the Blue Jays machine this year include Derian Sarlat, who came back to play legion after playing at Kutztown University this year

“Derian plays a big part in what we do,” said Fegely. “He’s been a great asset since he’s been 16. This will be his fourth year starting for me as a catcher.”

Sarlat will be returning along with Jake Lloyd, a pitcher for the Blue Jays, who like Sarlat, is returning to legion ball this summer after playing at Arcadia.

Jake came back for the summer and has been throwing really well for us,” said Fegely. “We lean on both of these guys, but aside from those two, we have a lot of guys who can play the game really well, but Sarlat and Lloyd are the two we lean on.”

The makeup of Exeter’s legion team has played a lot of baseball for Fegely and his coaches, so according to him, the players know what is to be expected from the staff.

“The guys play well together and enjoy being around each other, and so far, they’ve done what we expect them to do,” said Fegely.

Basically, this is the same team Exeter fielded last season. During last year and this year, the Blue Jays have won a lot of baseball games.

“This is the team that won back-to-back junior legion county championships for us,” said Fegely. “They’ve got a lot of experience. They know how to go out and win, and that’s hard to teach. These kids know how to do it, and it helps us as coaches being able to get where we want to.”

To be successful this year, Fegely kept it simple.

“I think it’ll come down to our ability to field the baseball,” said the manager. “That’s the most important thing. If we play good defense, I think we’ll be perfectly fine. Our pitching staff has an ERA under two, they’re throwing the ball well, and I have no doubt we’ll be able to produce on the offensive side, but as long as we can field the ball, we’re going to be right where we need to be.”