Anthony Valucci, Roman Catholic's second-year baseball coach, said "a little bit of everything" played a part in his team's disappointing 2-10 start.
"We always had that one bad inning, we were inconsistent on the mound, and we didn't have timely hitting," he said.
Valucci is hoping a combined 32 runs in recent wins over Catholic League Red Division rival Archbishop Ryan (18-15) and Lansdale Catholic (14-4) point toward a strong turnaround and league playoff berth.
Since six of seven Red Division teams qualify for the playoffs, the last-place Cahillites (4-10 overall, 2-6 league) still have a chance to emerge from the basement and make noise.
"We've been a little more consistent over the last few weeks," Valucci said. "I'm hoping we've turned the corner."
Roman's catalyst is senior shortstop Will Dougherty. The Northeastern recruit and leadoff man is batting .563.
"He's a phenomenal player," Valucci said. "He's probably had only two or three errors all season long. On offense, he stays within himself."
The other spark plugs on offense are leftfielder Paolo Gambaro (.498 average), third baseman-pitcher Tom Carroll (.450), centerfielder-pitcher Colin Cooke (.420), and first baseman Matt Simon (.380).
In last Wednesday's win over Ryan at hitter-friendly John Boyce Field, the difference was Simon's walk-off grand slam. Cooke, bound for Gwynedd-Mercy, belted a three-run homer.
Cooke, a lefthander, and Carroll are part of a pitching rotation that also includes fellow seniors Luke Coyle and Eric DeLone and sophomore Kyle Rogalski.
The rain that postponed Tuesday's contest at Father Judge could result in Roman being part of history. The site of Wednesday's makeup contest, set for 3:45 p.m., might be switched to the Crusaders' new turf field on campus.
"I think that would be great," Valucci said, "but I want to make sure our players are properly equipped before we commit to it. Instead of metal cleats, they'd have to have rubber cleats or turf shoes."
Judge, 3-5 in the Red Division, has long played at Frank McArdle Recreation Center, at Welsh Road and Mower Street.
Fund-raising effort. On Saturday, at 25th and Moore Streets in South Philly, Neumann-Goretti's booster club will host a fund-raiser to help fight cancer.
"Saints vs. Cancer" will begin at 8 a.m. with a 4-on-4 Wiffle-ball tournament. Food, drinks, and commemorative T-shirts will be sold throughout the day.
At 2 p.m., the inaugural event will conclude with a nonleague matchup between GAMP and Neumann-Goretti.
Extra bases. Phoenixville's Jack Ashburn, a senior catcher and the grandson of Richie Ashburn, is batting .447 with 18 RBIs, seven runs, and four doubles. . . . Neumann-Goretti hurlers Joey Gorman and Joe Kinee are a combined 10-0. Kinee is 6-0 with a 0.24 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 29 innings. Gorman, a St. Joseph's recruit, is 4-0 with a 1.25 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 28 innings. . . . Frankford's offense has been ignited by Brandon Gonzalez (.560), Augusto Ortega (.547), Rafael Cruz (.429), and Hector Cerda (.385). Ortega, with 27 runs and 14 RBIs, is 22 for 22 in stolen-base attempts. . . . Council Rock North southpaw Jake Drossner, ticketed for Maryland, is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 28 innings. . . . Haverford High's Alex Barr, a junior first baseman, is hitting .425. Next in line for the Fords are junior rightfielder Tom Carey (.391) and senior second baseman Andrew Dougherty (.386). . . . Conestoga's Luke Mogle, a senior outfielder, is batting .548. . . . Haverford School junior Pat Valentine is 4-1 with a 0.19 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 36 innings. . . . Friends' Central senior catcher Jamie Ulrich is hitting .397 with 21 RBIs, 18 runs, 9 doubles, and 2 homers. He will continue his career at Haverford College.