Monday, April 8, 2013




 Orwigsburg, Memorial Field. April 6, 2013 –

 It only took four innings for the new look Rohrer’s ball club in their burnt orange and black uniforms to sink a projected good Millers` ball club on a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon on opening day. Well, Cranks, as far as this writer can see the Rohrer’s ball club doesn’t have a weak spot anywhere on the field. The returning veterans looked superb, and the new rookies look sharp and ready to play ball.

There was a little anticipation on this writer’s part for the ball club after losing three power hitters and pitchers from last season to include Jake Biever, Drew Grace and M.J. Oswald. But as the Rohrer’s club took the field and went to the box in the top of the first, I can guarantee you I didn’t see anything different than what we all witnessed last year. The hitting was superb. The fielding was quick and accurate.  The Rohrer’s ball club brought in two runs in the first inning, to the shock of the management at Millers` making the score 2 – 0. It will certainly prove interesting for the opponents of the Rohrer’s club as the Rohrer`s heavy hitters they will face this year will be clouting the ball right and left.

As the ball club came off the field, manager Ken Grace congratulated the boys on the fine play at bat they showed for the first-inning. Brent Kaunas, Dylan Biever, Blake Lipko, Nate Dixon, four of the returning veterans, were  strong at bat along with Dylan Grace and Todd Schappell. As I noted in the preseason story, manager Ken Grace stated, “The boys should be able to hold their own against anybody in the league this year.” Now what came to this writer’s mind was, let’s see what happens on the defense.

 As we well know the hunt for the league honors this year will not be an easy one for the Rohrer’s club. I watched two of the three games played today and some of the clubs that were supposedly going to be weak looked quite strong in the field and at the bat.

When the club took the field in the bottom of the first, Brent Kaunas, the bullet throwing right-hander, was the pilot of this new juggernaut. With stunned silence from the Millers` dugout, Brent fanned the first batter, second Millers` hitter got a single, and Millers` got an on base run from the rule of being able to run on the third strike. But to no avail for Millers`, Brent kept the score at 2- 0 at the end of the  first inning.

Up to bat first for Rohrer’s in the top of the second was rookie Troy Oswald making his debut in the majors. He is one of the consistent outfielders on the club. With a good eye, Troy scopes each pitch from the Millers` hurler and takes a walk . Blake Lipko slammed the ball into right field and rounded the bases to third with a standup triple but then was ordered by the  manager to go on home which he did and scores. Dylan Biever was up next and he  poped out. Brent Kaunas enters the box and slams one to deep right and rounds the bases right back to home for another score. Big Nate Dixon, the third baseman, slams a hard-hit ball to center field and gets on base. Dylan Grace takes his position in the batter`s box and pounds out a single scoring Nate Dixon. And to finish out the rotation, J.T. Foulkrod was called out. Kyle Bainbridge slams another single to right field while TJ, our catcher, pops out. Back in the rotation, Blake Lipko slams another hit into the outfield for a double. And finally to end the inning, Dylan Biever strikes out. Score is 9-1 as the stunned fans for Millers` looked shocked. Base hits are as plenty in this inning, for the Rohrer’s club, as straw hats in August. They made the pitching delivery of the Miller’s pitcher look like a target on which a squad of sharpshooters has been working at short range.

Brent “The Bullet” Kaunas is on the mound at the bottom of the second.  Brent gives up a single to the first batte . Then in quick succession, Brent drops the next three batters for three outs and the score is still 9-1 Rohrer’s.

 In the third inning Brent gets a hit and during a run down to second dives for second base and is called out by the rule of no diving headfirst into a base. Nate Dixon pops up and gets tagged out at first and TJ Shappell strikes out for the final out in this inning.

Manager Grace made judicious and crafty use of his pitching staff as he called  Blake Lipko, the tall right-hander, to the mound. As the Millers` batter steps up, Blake gracefully makes him swing at dead air for the out. The next Millers` batter drives a screaming grounder to the left side of Nate Dixon who snags it down low, throws quick to  Dylan Biever who is on the bag at first  and makes the out. Next batter gets a single and the fourth batter drops to Blake’s consistent right arm for the final out.

The final inning for Rohrer’s was just another hit fest with Troy Oswald getting a single. Blake Lipko banged out his second triple and Dylan Grace nailed a solid single. Brent Kaunas finishes off with a hard driving triple. Nate Dixon gets a nice little daisy cutter right past the short stop.

Manager Grace in his final talk with the club stated,” We had a lot of hits and good pitching. Brent and Blake, you had really good pitching today and we got to keep it up.”

After the first game of the season this writer is well pleased with the play of the infield and our outfield. Power hitting was superb and our pitching from Blake and Brent Kaunas was excellent. TJ Shappell caught a good game. JT Fulkrod was a good catcher and in the infield also. The outfield looks superb with Troy Oswald, Matt Ross and Kyle Bainbridge standing tall. All in all, the club looked pretty impressive for the first game. But, cranks, remember, we have a long haul to the final game.

Thanks to the coaches for their expert mentoring and support!

We’ll see all the fans at Memorial field on Tuesday, April 9 as Rohrer’s vs. Schuylkill MRI at 5:50  See you there.



Our boys in action at the bat and on the field


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