Palmerton's Connie Mack team discovered how attrition can play a detrimental role at the wrong time.
Leading 6-3 through the first four innings against Doylestown, fourth-seeded Palmerton couldn't hold the lead in a 15-7 loss, ousting it from the double-elimination Connie Mack State Tournament at Limeport Stadium Sunday afternoon. Palmerton dropped a 2-1 decision to fifth-seeded Montgomery Township in its opening game Saturday.
Palmerton starter Nick Frey was effective through the first four innings, but he eventually succumbed to some arm woes and humidity. Doylestown erupted for seven runs in the sixth inning to seal the victory.
For Palmerton, Ty Achtermann had two hits and Nick Frey and Lee Kuntz scored two runs. Eli Borger had two RBIs. Adam Smiley added a triple in the seventh and scored Palmerton's final run.
"Nick was pitching a great game, but the heat got to him and he had some arm problems," said Palmerton manager Bob Frey. He (Frey) has been throwing great all year for us, but it was just a matter of everything catching up to him. (Frey) pitched a heckava game up until that point, but he just couldn't go any further.
Frey noted that the younger Frey had a strenuous season.
"He (Frey) pitched most of the high school season and most of this season," said the manager. "He threw the bulk of the innings in over 40 games. It was just a matter of him running out of gas."
"We thought we were in a good position at that point, but our relief pitchers just couldn't hold the lead.
In its first trip to the state playoffs, Lee Kuntz hurled an impressive seven innings for Palmerton in the opener as he fanned eight and allowed two runs on just five hits. But Palmerton couldn't generate enough offense.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Frey led off with a double off Montgomery starter Zack Morello - who went seven innings - and went to third on Garrett Kromes' fielder's choice. Alex Raub then singled Frey in to make it 2-1, but the game ended with Krome left on third. Cody Peters and Garrett Krome had the only two other hits for Palmerton.
Despite the early exit, Frey was pleased with his season. Overall, Palmerton (14-7-2 overall) hit .291 as a team and Frey led the team in hitting (.435), RBIs (27) and hits (27). He also recorded a team-high six wins and had 38 strikeouts in 38.2 innings.
Kuntz was right on his heels as an effective one-two punch at the plate and on the mound. He was second on team with a .385 batting average and as well as second in RBIs (18) and hits (25). Kuntz had a 4-0 record on the mound with a team-high 80 strikeouts in 46.2 innings and notched two saves.
Eli Borger also had a strong season with 17 RBIs, 25 hits, and a .373 clip. Borger had a 1-11 record with 10 strikeouts in 26.2 innings and three saves. Achtermann had a 3-1 amrk with 11 strikeouts in 26.1 innings and one save. He also had 18 hits.
Garrett Krome was third in hitting on the team with a .333 mark and had 18 hits. Jonathan Schwarz chipped in with 10 RBIs, and Cody Peters had a 2-1 mark with 31 strikeouts in 20.
"We were a team that always battled back," said Frey. "The kids had a solid season and plenty to proud of. (Nick) Frey and Kuntz were our workhorses on the mound this season. There was one game in which we were down four runs in the last inning, and we battled back to tie it.
"They had a great season and fought back and played hard all season."