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Lee Mecherly has seen his Boyertown Jr. Legion Bear-Cubs team get off to a 10-3 start in the Berks League and 20-5 overall in the 2012 season. Mecherly feels that the team is doing well, even with losses to Exeter and West Lawn which moved the Bear-Cubs from first to third place.
“We’ve been playing pretty well all year,” said Mecherly. “The pitching has been good, but we don’t get enough hitting sometimes. We strikeout to many times but the defense has been good.”
With the team three-quarters of the way through their season, the hitting is a concern. They lost a game 2-1, then 12-2 because they couldn’t hit, especially with runners in scoring position.
As a result, Mecherly is trying to manufacture runs any way he can - bunting, stealing and playing a lot of hit-and-run.
“Doing that works to a certain point,” commented Mecherly. “After that, we still have to hit the ball.” Mecherly feels that pitching and defense are the strengths to this year’s team.
The Bear-Cubs have a lot of experienced players back on the team and the coaches are looking for leadership from them. Mecherly feels that they should have enough experience to do well and win the close game.
The 15-year-olds for the Bear-Cubs are Dalton Hughes, Chase Endy, Austin Medja, Ben Longacre, Tom Randall and Jordan Shustack.
“Dalton pitches and plays infield and outfield,” said Mecherly. “He’s a heck of a ball player. He understands the game, and he does a really nice job.
“He (Chase) is a good ball player. He’s a very good pitcher.”
“Austin plays in the outfield and does a really nice job. He has a nice arm.”
The 14-year-old players include Quinn Hair, Seth Endy, John Demartino, Nate Kline, Tyler Kline, Aarron Kratz, Branson Mackey and Noah Weller. Ryan Jacobs is the only 13-year-old but has earned a spot on the team.
“Ben pitches and plays first base,” said Mecherly. He’s a very good infielder and he can play with anybody.
“Tom is our catcher and our best catcher. He does a nice job. He came a long way from last year.
“Jordan pitches and plays infield. He played a lot last year and has a lot of experience. He does a nice job at both (pitching and infield).”
The Bear-Cub coaches expect to do well the rest of the season. Obviously the goal is to capture first place and they will have to bear down in the remaining games to achieve that goal.
“That’s what we’ve lacked in the past week,” said Mecherly. “It’s a concern when you get late into the season. This is when you ought to be playing your best baseball so you can stay up there.”
Mecherly feels that as a whole, the league isn’t very strong this year, but there isn’t much that he can do. The Bear-Cubs have to play the teams that are on the schedule. Mecherly feels that there are three to four very good teams.
“You have what you have,” said Mecherly. “You can’t create something that you don’t have.”
While their counterparts, the Boyertown Grizzlies, are hosting the Jr. Legion Eastern Regional, the Bear-Cubs will have to earn their way there. Mecherly feels that they have enough talent to be able to qualify for the state regional, but the team has to play well to get any further.
“We can get to the regionals, but we have to start playing good baseball,” said Mecherly. “That will determine if we get there or not.”