American Legion Baseball
Exclusive Interview: Jamie Scheck- Manager of Spring City, PA
Interview Part 3
You had the unenviable task of playing Mid-Atlantic power Brooklawn, New Jersey in your first game. They went on to finish second in the region. How did your team prepare for such a big game and was that the best team you’ve played this season?
They were definitely one of the best teams we saw all year. Our kids don’t pay too much attention to as far as who we are playing and what their history is which is what I love about our team. They knew if they played their game they could hang with anyone. But we had a 2-1 lead into the 5th inning and had left quite a few men on base so we felt we were as good as them and the game could have gone either way. They took advantage of a few walks and errors and made us pay with some big 2 out hits to make the game seem like a blowout at 9-3 but we didn’t feel like we were any worse than they were. They definitely played better and pitched better than us that game and got the clutch hits. And although it wasn’t a great draw for us, at that point every team you play is a state title winner so they are all great teams.
What can we expect from Spring City next season? How many players do you have coming back (we heard it’s a lot), and will the goal at the beginning of the season be another state title?
We lose 1 player from last summer’s team and that is our starting CF Dan Larkin. I don’t know if we will get everyone back out. We battle kids leaving for AAU every year so that never surprises me if we lose a player to that. But with us winning last summer and the kids getting some exposure, I feel that will go a long way in helping kids stay in the program. Assuming we get all or most of the kids back, I feel our goal going into the season has to be to win the State title and to see what happens from there. But the experience we gained this past summer can only help us next year and I feel if we play the way we can and we catch some breaks we can definitely get back to the Nationals and that has to be our goal.
Finally, what was your top moment of the season? Any good stories you might want fans from across the state to hear about?
The top moment of the season was winning the Boyertown game which put us into the National Regional. We had a lead most of the game and they scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 8th to take a 1 run lead. We had our 8-9-1 hitters up and Cody Clarke (16 year old) led off with a double. Tom Grablewski bunted him over to 3rd and then a strike out swinging. James Hoff came up with 2 outs and the season in the balance and drove the first pitch he saw to RF for a double to tie the game. The next pitch Ricky Gorrell hit a single up the middle to score Hoff with the go-ahead run. They threatened in the 9th but Elliot Criss was able to work his way out of trouble to get the save. That was by far the most exciting game I was ever a part of and to see the kids loss the lead in the 8th where they could easily have folded and quit, they battled back and won the game the next inning just showed what the character of this team was all about. And they took that momentum into the State title game and came out on top in that game as well.
One story is when we were in the 9th inning against Pennridge in the State title game with a 2 run lead a couple of the kids were talking about who they were going to charge if we won. I turned and said to just relax because we still needed 3 outs. The kids looked at me and said, coach, they need to get 3 outs, we need to plan the celebration after they get them. All I could do was laugh. And they decided to charge the LF coming in, instead of the traditional pitcher’s mound. Just the make up of this team. They were always in the game but yet knew how to have fun and just enjoyed being around each other.
We thank Coach Scheck for his time and input into these questions about the team's defending state championship. With all but one starter returning from this year's team, the future looks incredibly bright for him and his squad. We hope you've enjoyed it, and as always, feel free to send us a message to let us know what you think!