GRATERFORD — Spring-Ford is sitting pretty in the PAC-10. The Rams sat at 10-2 in the conference (tied with 9-1 Boyertown in terms of standings, but a game ahead by points) — good for first place.
Friday afternoon was no different than many afternoons have been for Spring-Ford baseball this season, as the Rams traveled to Perk Valley and easily beat the Vikings, 15-2.
"It never feels good to get our butts kicked like that,' PV coach Ryan Hinkle said. "It's a tough situation. We had five games this week, and it's not really the way you want to end a five-game week.'
SF set the tone quickly, scoring three runs in the first off a wild pitch and a two-RBI single by Zach Wedemeyer. The Rams went on to score three more in the third, four in the fifth, and five in the seventh innings.
Liam Grande started for PV, and ended up charged with the first 10 runs before giving way to Chase Koffel with two outs in the fourth.
"Liam has really been dominant for a lot of the year,' Hinkle said. "Today really wasn't a good game. He couldn't locate his off-speed, but he battled through. He struggled early, but started locating a bit later.'
Spring-Ford starter Cam Simmons, on the other hand, tossed a dandy. He went five innings, giving up two runs, one earned, while striking out six. Simmons had quite a day at the plate as well, going 2-3 with a third-inning RBI triple and a hit by pitch.
"Cam did a great job today,' SF coach Bruce Brobst said. "This is only his second outing, and he did a really nice job throwing the ball over the plate. He mixed his pitches well, and did all the things you needed to do as a pitcher.'
Spring-Ford also had a wealth of offensive diversity on display — something that's not difficult to imagine given their 15-run outburst — as seven Spring-Ford starters and two subs drove in a run, and all starters managed to get a hit.
Other than Simmons, leading the way with the bats for the Rams were Connor Murphy with a 2-for-2, three-run day and Corey Rantz, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Ryan Cass went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
"We have guys that can hit,' Brobst said. "And we did hit the ball today. It was good to see. We got a lot of guys on base and did a lot of good things offensively today.'
Perk Valley scratched a run across the plate in the second and fifth innings, when Nate Yoder scored on an error by the Spring-Ford shortstop and when an RBI single by Matt Kellar drove in Grande, respectively. Kellar finished 1-3 with a walk on the afternoon.
Spring-Ford is virtually a lock for the District One playoffs and would need a catastrophe to fall out of the PAC-10 Final Four fray, but Perk Valley now sits on the outside looking in at 4-8 in the conference, and hopes to put it together in time to make a run to snag a spot in Districts.
"We're hoping that something like Districts wouldn't be out of the question,' Hinkle said. "If we can get these last six, finish at 10-8 (in the conference), there's always a possibility of a district berth. The thing we've really got to take care of is our mental approach to the game.'