Rams baseball on a roll

Andrew Eross, Sports Editor

Spring-Ford baseball team took a 2022 season-ending, first-round District loss to Perkiomen Valley personally and have quickly turned a corner for the 2023 season.

Following a first-round bye and three easy District wins, the Rams still sit atop the District 1-6A Tournament as the No. 1 seed in the finals on June 1 after a 6-1 victory over Plymouth-Whitemarsh in the semifinals.

Spring-Ford has already punched a ticket to states, and earned a chance to play against Central Bucks West at Villanova Ballpark for the District title.

Losing All-Area infielders Jake Books, Griffin Straface, and Ayden McNelly, as well as ace Garrett Wible, from the 2022 graduating class, there were questions concerning who would step up to encore the 2021 State Semifinal run. A deep lineup, consistent pitching, and a clean defense has propelled the 2023 squad to secure a 15-1 league record heading into the postseason. While a tough, first-round exit against Phoenixville ended their league championship hopes (despite beating the Phantoms on a walkoff in extras the week before), the Rams have their eyes set on the District Title and a long run at states.

The Rams success this season can be credited partly to pitcher and third baseman Dylan Broderick. The Chestnut Hill commit was a rotation arm last year without a large sample of at bats, but in his senior year Broderick has soared to an all-PAC Player of the Year candidate as an elite two-way player. Broderick, serving as the team’s cleanup hitter and first in the rotation, is batting .534 with 9 extra base hits including 3 homers.

On the mound, the ace has recorded a 2.08 ERA in 43.2 innings racking up a team high 68 strikeouts. The highlight of Broderick’s season was his seven-inning, 13-strikeout no-hitter in an away win against Owen J. Roberts, with one walk issued being the only blunder away from a perfect game.

Senior Mike deHaan joins Broderick as part of an elite 1-2 punch, with the sidearmer hurling a team-leading 47.1 innings pitched and a 2.07 ERA. An elite strike thrower, deHaan consistently forces weak contact, good for a 7-0 record and a pair of saves.

The pitching staff is nicely filled out by a tandem of bullpen arms including the likes of senior PJ Pozniak (1.87 ERA), senior Sean Crawford (2.17 ERA), junior Austin Ludwig (2.69 ERA), and sophomore Andrew Wible (4.80 ERA).

Offensively, Broderick is joined by bats including juniors Nick Flores (2B, VCU commit) and David Ruckman (CF), with Flores posting a .477 batting average with a pair of homers and Ruckman batting .379 out of the leadoff spot. Jake Witmer, who has swung between RF, 1B, and DH, has fit in nicely as well in his sophomore season with a .360 batting average, a pair of long balls, and a walk off single against Phoenixville.

Other impact players have included SS Nick Moyer (Messiah commit) serving elite defense up the middle, LF Gage Swanger (RPI commit for football) in a season including several multihit games,  and power threats 3B/1B Brian Korchok (Misericordia commit) and catcher Ryan Cecconi. Seniors Andrew Eross (1B, DH), Jared Leighton (RF), Jack Baumgardner (LF), as well as junior Brennan McVey (RF, LF, DH), have all provided depth to a deep team.

Spring-Ford certainly has the talent to keep winning, but they pride their team chemistry in reaching the point they are at. The Rams understand the importance of playing with each other, for each other, to take advantage of each opportunity they have to do their role for the team.