Unbeaten Quaker Valley baseball team not celebrating yet
By Nathan Smith
Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
After the Quaker Valley baseball team defeated Ambridge, 6-2, last week to wrap up a perfect regular season, there was no cheering. There was no Gatorade shower or much celebrating if any kind.
It was just business as usual.
“We don't talk about records,” Quaker Valley coach Todd Goble said. “We don't talk about stats. We talk about the team ahead of us. That is our focus, and the team has done it extremely well.”
The win over the Bridgers pushed the Quakers record to 18-0. The team's 14-0 mark in Section 1-AA qualified the team for the playoffs and earned the Quakers their first section title and playoff berth since 2006.
Quaker Valley finished the final week of the regular season with three games — Section 1-AA wins over Avonworth, 11-1, and Seton-La Salle, 10-3, along with the nonsection win over Ambridge. The team welcomed the busy week as it prepared for the playoffs.
“It keeps us game ready, which is always good,” senior outfielder Nelson Westwood said. “You never want to not play for an extended period of time where you're not seeing constant pitches.
“We try to replicate it in practice but nothing matches a pitcher in a real game.”
Finishing the regular season unscathed is a big accomplishment for a team that had not been to the WPIAL playoffs since 2006, but it has not been brought up in the dugout.
“We haven't said too much about it,” senior shortstop T.J. Kuny said. “There has been some recognition here and there. We have been trying to be humble and do what we do best.”
And what the team does best is play an all-around game.
The Quakers are bolstered by a strong presence at the plate — the team is averaging nearly nine runs per game. They have scored five or more runs in every game this season, with the lone exception being a 4-0 season-opening win over Cornell.
“We have done really well at putting the ball in play,” Goble said. “You see guys run every ball out in every situation. They are busting their tail to get to first and put pressure on the defense.”
Defensively, the team has recorded five shutouts and is giving up just over two runs per game. The solid defense can be credited to an experienced group in the field and also to a deep pitching rotation. The Quakers have seven arms at their disposal and all have seen action this season.
“I thought we had the defense and batting to put us into contention,” Westwood said. “But it was the pitching that stepped up and showed that we can compete with the best Double-A teams.”
The 2013 season was Goble's first on the QV bench and it has set expectations high. While some will credit the change in the dugout, the first-year coach credits his group of seniors, which includes Clayton Bouchard, Ryan Dickson, Matt Durant, Shane Emory, Jake Pilewicz, Kuny and Westwood.
“I don't think anyone could of been in a better situation than I was with these seven seniors,” Goble said. “These guys are quality people. They are great young men and great leaders. This is their team and they have done an outstanding job of leading it.”
And for those seven seniors, the 2013 season finally rewards them for their past seasons of work for the program. From going 6-11 their freshmen year to missing the playoffs after falling in the final game of 2012, they are enjoying every play of their final season.
“It feels awesome,” Kuny said. “It is the last year we could do make the playoffs and we did it.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh police make 71 arrests during St. Patrick’s celebrations
- Pitt gets No. 9 seed in South, will play Colorado
- Free-agent wide receiver Cotchery will visit Panthers
- Penguins’ Letang cleared for full practice 6-plus weeks after stroke
- Pirates GM says Volquez will be in Opening Day rotation
- Westboro Baptist Church founder ailing
- Penn State gets verbal commitment from receiver for Class of 2015
- Copter plucks stranded dog from California cliff
- New maps show smallest planet Mercury is even smaller
- Recall ends honeymoon, opens opportunities for new GM CEO Mary Barra
- Body found in car on Camp Horne Road off-ramp from I-279 north of Pittsburgh