LOWER SALFORD >> The battle between two first place Suburban One League teams did not live up to the hype Friday afternoon when Souderton handled Upper Dublin, 11-0, in five innings at Vic Alderfer Memorial Ball Park at the Harleysville Community Center. To make the Indians win even more impressive, the Continental Conference co-leaders only played one regular starter. That lineup of backups was still able to put up 11 hits while three pitchers who rarely see the mound only surrendered three.
“I told the guys since the beginning we have talent,” Souderton coach Mike Childs said. “We have talent across the board and guys can compete against other guys. What’s nice about this team is everybody is pulling for everybody. It’s almost like having two starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Both want the job, but they’re both pulling for each other. That’s the kind of team we have this year.”
Souderton scored in all four innings it batted. It pushed across one run in the first and second, two in the third and exploded for seven in the fourth. Seven different Indians knocked in runs in the win. Brett Moyer – the team’s only regular starter – tallied two RBI, as did Jake Smerecki and Lucas Kullmann. Derek Freed, Greg Gallagher, Jake Morgan and Cole Niles each knocked in one run. The other run scored on a wild pitch. Morgan started on the mound for Souderton and threw three innings of shutout baseball. He allowed two hits, walked no batters and struck out five.
Niles came on in relief and threw just one inning. The left-hander struck out two batters and allowed one hit. Mile Minnick closed out the game. He allowed one base runner on an error and struck out a pair. “If you look at our stats from the beginning of the season as far as walks,” Childs said, “today we didn’t give up a walk. In the beginning of the year it was eight or nine walks. We’re halfway through and we have our backup pitchers right now coming in and doing what they did today against a good team. I’m very happy with that.”
The American Conference-leading Cardinals, who entered the game with a perfect 7-0 record, did not do themselves any favors. They walked six batters in four innings and made three errors in the field, two of which led directly to runs.
“I didn’t have the guys ready today,” Upper Dublin coach Ed Wall said. “Part of it was this is my hometown – I live in Souderton. They knew it was a big game. I think I was on them a little bit about that. We weren’t able to relax and just play some baseball. “When you play tight against good teams, this is what’s going to happen.”
Upper Dublin’s two legitimate scoring chances came in the first and fourth innings. In the first, they stranded runners on second and third with a chance to jump out to an early lead. In the fourth, Thomas Juelke ripped a two-out triple to right-center but he could not be brought home. “It definitely does help,” Wall said of the poor performance coming in a non-league game. “(Souderton) is the type of team that if we do make playoffs or move on, that’s the type of team we’ll have to face and we’ll need to play much better than we did today.”