The Penns Valley baseball team’s path to success was a simple one.
Play two games in two days, execute the fundamentals and come home with two wins. That is exactly what the Rams did as they completed a sweep over rival Bellefonte with a 10-3 win Tuesday afternoon.
The Rams (2-4) won the first game of the two-game series Monday by the final of 5-1 in Spring Mills before making the short trip to Bellefonte to handle the Red Raiders (3-9) in Game 2.
“I just told the guys that the positive things we did in the past two days are the things we have been struggling to do before that,” Penns Valley coach Chuck Romig said. “We are getting timely hitting, more hits with runners in scoring position, we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot defensively and we threw strikes to get ahead of hitters. For us it was another good solid win.”
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There was both good and bad news for the Raiders in the game. The good news is they scored first in the bottom of the opening inning to take a 1-0 lead. However, the bad news is that they didn’t score again until the fifth, a time span that saw the Rams put up a half dozen runs to take a 6-1 lead.
“I think there is a certain intensity you need to have about the game,” Bellefonte coach Jeremy Rellinger said. “As the innings progress you have to maintain a certain edge about yourself and as a team. That is something we certainly have to work on. There is a level of intensity that we need to develop the next two days in practice.”
During the first four innings, Raider pitchers issued seven walks. Of the free passes, four of them came around to score.
“I think we showed good patience at the plate,” Romig said about drawing the walks. “I don’t think there were too many situations where we got ourselves out by swinging at bad pitches. That is what you have to do to win baseball games. It is an odd combination of being aggressive and patient at the same time, but that is what hitting is. Offensively the thing that satisfied me the most was that we were able to come up with more hits with runners in scoring position.”
Rellinger was also quick to point out that the walks were definitely a factor in the game.
“Anytime you lose those freebies it is going to be tough on your team,” he said. “When that happens the guys have to pick each other up and keep working at it. That is what we are all about right now. We just have to get back to work and get things worked out.”
With rain forcing postponements, the Raiders, like most other teams, have had limited practice time.
“That is why the next two days are going to be crucial for us,” Rellinger said. “We have to get back to staying focused on the fundamentals. We have some work that needs to be done on the game defensively and all I can say at this point is that we are going work at it.”
In Monday’s 5-1 win, the Rams got a complete game performance from Adam DeGarmo and on the heels of that solid effort, Cameron Tobias gave Romig and his crew another route-going effort to complete the sweep. For his seven innings of work, Tobias allowed three earned runs on eight hits. The right-hander struck out four and issued four walks.
“Cameron is always going to throw strikes,” Romig said. “He is one of the pitchers we can send out there where we don’t have to worry about the game turning into a carousel on the bases. I think he needs to bring his changeup along a little bit because I think some of the balls they hit hard might have been changeups that he left up (in the strike zone). That (progress) will come and when it does, he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.”
For the Rams, DeGarmo and Wyatt Sharp each had a multiple hit day with a pair of singles, one of Sharp’s hits was good for two RBI.
For Bellefonte, Andrew Stover had a pair of singles as the only Raider to come up with multiple hits.