Bauer, Boyertown top Perkiomen Valley 9-0

BOYERTOWN– Andrew Bauer had been waiting.

After making his most recent appearance over a week ago in Boyertown’s Pioneer Athletic Conference semifinal loss to Spring-Ford, Bauer took the mound in the Bears’ District 1-AAAA second round matchup with Perkiomen Valley.

And the right-handed junior took advantage of the time off, going the distance in Boyertown’s 9-0 win over the Vikings on Wednesday afternoon at Bear Stadium.

“I had a lot of time to rest,’ said Bauer. “There was definitely a different mindset coming into today. We needed to execute, make the easy plays and put the bat on the ball. We had a lot of time to think about it, so we were all dialed in and ready to go in this game.’

Bauer was dialed in on the mound, where he needed just 79 pitches in a complete game effort, as he struck out five hitters while allowing four hits and no walks. The Bears will face No. 4 North Penn (a 9-3 winner over Hatboro-Horsham) on Friday afternoon in the District 1-AAAA quarterfinals.

“My slider was breaking nicely today, and my four-seam fastball had a lot of movement on it,’ he said. “I tried to jam them inside, then come back with a slider away.’

“We tried to rest (Bauer) last week because he was tired,’ said Boyertown skipper Todd Moyer. “Now today he came out and threw an absolute gem. We made a few errors behind him, but he didn’t seem to let that phase him at all.’

The Bears totaled four errors in the field, including two in the first inning which the Vikings were unable to take advantage of.

“If we could have capitalized on their two errors in the first inning, it could have been a much different ball game,’ said Perkiomen Valley head coach Ryan Hinkle. “We didn’t execute and make that big hit when we needed to.’

Boyertown’s bats weren’t exceptional either as the team totaled just five hits, but the Bears were efficient at the plate working the Vikings’ pitching to six walks and three hit-by-pitches.

Ryan Jacobs had two singles and two RBI, while Dalton Hughes (two walks), Austin Madeja (two hit-by-pitches) and Mitch Pinder (stolen base) each scored two runs apiece.

Liam Grande took the loss for Perkiomen Valley, where he went just 2 1/3 innings allowing six runs (four earned) on one hit, four walks and three hit batters. Gabe Kolb went the rest of the way, yielding three runs on four hits and two walks.

At the plate, Grande posted the first hit of the afternoon in the top of the third inning, while Nate Yoder, Chase Koffel and Nick Mikesic each finished with a hit for the Vikings.

“All credit to Bauer on the mound,’ said Hinkle. “He hit his spots really well and had a lot of first pitch strikes, so he was able to work ahead in the count. He works efficiently and at a quick pace, which he really worked to his advantage.’

Two days after collecting its first district win in 11 seasons behind Tyler Krause’s no-hit effort, Perkiomen Valley’s memorable season comes to a finish.

Hinkle says his team is slowly making “baby steps’ as each season progresses.

“It’s gotta be one step at a time,’ he said. “You’re never going to get that miraculous result that you want all of a sudden. We’ve won a district game, we’ve got a winning attitude and the kids plan to work hard in the offseason. That’s all I can really ask for.’

With the win, the Bears advance to the district quarterfinal for the third straight season, most recently losing to Methacton 7-3 in the championship last season.

Although it wasn’t their cleanest win, it’s one Moyer believes will keep the team moving in the right direction.

“We’re excited for Friday,’ he said. “We’ll practice tomorrow and work on some defensive skills, but we’ll see what we can conjure up. Our approach was good today — we made them work and made them make tough outs. Hopefully we can carry that approach with us.’

The Bears will soon find out if their day of rest is worth the wait.

NOTES– Bauer improved his record to 6-0 on the season … Of his 79 total pitches, 59 were strikes including 21 first-pitch strikes against 29 batters … Bauer stranded eight Perkiomen Valley runners on base while Boyertown left five on … The Vikings had just one error in the field.

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