State Preview: Boyertown
This is the first of a series of previews and articles we have planned leading up to the 2010 state tournament. Check back here for previews on all eight teams and much more! Please leave a comment and let us know what you think!
League: Berks County, regular season champion
Boyertown heads into this year’s tournament as the three time defending state champion. After winning their record twenty-second state championship last year, in what was surprisingly considered somewhat of a rebuilding season, the Bears have faltered a bit this year. A mundane high school season did not leave the team with lofty expectations. With a solid pitching staff, and a balanced line-up, they were able to claim another regular season Berks County League championship.
The team was able to make it to the winner’s bracket final of the league tournament, where they were defeated in extra innings by the upstart Twin Valley Raiders. After battling back through the loser’s bracket, Twin Valley once again got past the Bears in game fifteen of the tournament. The Raiders moved on to the region two tournament where they subsequently went two and out.
Boyertown, despite not advancing to the regional tournament, certainly has enough talent and does not lack the ability to post another state championship this season. That being said, the team has seen a bit of a roller coaster season. Their hitting can be good enough to storm past teams, but has also gone a bit stagnant against some of the better pitching teams they’ve seen. Their situational hitting is what ultimately cost them the league title, as the Bears were unable to push runs across the plate in the most crucial of times.
Boyertown’s pitching has been much of the same. Led by starters Steve Price and Taras Letnaunchyn, the Bears once again have a plethora of pitching depth. Both pitchers had more than their fair share of pitching woes last week, unable to get outs when they needed them most. They aren’t the only ones who have been plagued by getting in to trouble by allowing too many walks. The Bears have a great pitcher in Bryer Eschbach who holds down the back of the bullpen for them. The fireballer needs to regain his form if Boyertown hopes to make their way back to national regionals.
Boyertown is certainly not your average host, as they will be no pushover. They do have somewhat of an unfavorable draw, ending up with an opening night showdown with State College. If the Bears get the win, they’ll likely see Western PA power Hopewell in the second round.
Their first game will be game four against State College, the region seven champions. First pitch should come sometime around seven thirty.