After finishing the regular season in the middle of the pack and the fifth seed going into the seven-team, double-elimination tournament, the Orioles won four straight games to capture this year’s Phoenixville Babe Ruth League baseball title.
“Our team really came together down the stretch of the regular season, winning three of our last four games. We then just kept that momentum up right through the tournament,” said manager Joe Little. “Everyone contributed. This was truly a team win. It is nice to see our 15-year-olds go out on top [Watson, Washington Kerper, Carnevale and Loftus]. We had very good pitching performances throughout the tournament from Morgan Bennyhoff, Josh Watson, Logan Perrone, Zack Masalski. We then had Jimmy Loftus, who only threw once for us this year, come out and give us five strong innings in the championship to anchor our victory.
“Every kid on the team had a big hit or made a nice play during our run. Absolutely a team effort, and Coach Bergey and I are really proud of this group of kids.”
Both Little and Bergey coached many years with longtime Orioles manager Denise Kuleski, who passed away a little over a year ago.
“Our players wear number 22 on their sleeve for Coach D,” Little said. “This championship is a little extra special because Coach D’s last draft was this group of 15-year-olds. She would be really proud of them. There were several times during the season, even when we filled out our lineup card in the finals, where coach Bergey and I asked each other, ‘What would Denise do here?’ She created a great tradition in her many years out here with the Orioles. We are just honored to have the chance to follow in her footsteps.”
Things are really looking up for Phoenixville Babe Ruth. Just this year alone, the organization added a new team to our league (the Giants) and also a new Sandlot team for 14-year-olds. This is after adding a 13-year-old Prep Legion team just two years ago.
This is all very good news for Phoenixville baseball. It is nice to see more kids playing during the season and also having quality local options to continue playing throughout the summer.