Eden Legion Post 880’s Brad Palmerton, playing here for Eden High School, helped Post 880 to a 1-1 record against Newell-Faulkner. Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes.
Eden Legion Post 880 hosted a double header against Newell-Faulkner Legion Post 880 on June 21, splitting both contests to improve to 8-3 midway through the season.
“Up to this point, we’ve had a couple of games where we really didn’t have our bats moving, but we came back in the seventh inning of those games and won it,” said Brad Palmerton, who just finished his senior season with an ECIC IV title at Eden High School.
“We had games where we just beat up on teams. We got up big and kept pounding them. Then we had some games where we just couldn’t get anything going at all.”
The early game of the twin-bill against Newell-Faulkner was just as Palmerton explained. It was an 11-4 victory for Eden.
“We just came out hitting. Everyone was just ready to play, even with the umpires and the way they called it,” said David Baskerville, Palmerton’s teammate at Eden who just finished his junior season. “We just came out ready. Even when we made the errors, we just put the ball in play and kept running around the bases.”
The second game of the afternoon resulted in a 2-1 loss, seeing both runs come in the second inning.
“After that we just played solid defense, threw strikes and shut them down,” said Kyle Sickau, a Hamburg Bulldog who pitched the entire second game. “We thought we’d have the bats moving a little better, but it happens.”
Newell-Faulkner loaded the bases in the second inning scored when the next batter worked a walk. Eden found itself in a 2-0 hole when a passed ball advanced another runner home.
Sickau tripled to leadoff the third inning and Baskerville tripled in the fourth, but neither were able to advance for a score.
Eden did not get on the board until the fifth inning, threatening to take the lead when Tosh Johnson (Hamburg), Drew Palmerton (Eden) and Brian Bermingham (Hamburg) loaded the bases.
Brad Palmerton’s RBI-single sent Johnson home to cut into Newell-Faulkner’s lead, but that one run would be all that Eden could muster.
Eden got two on with no outs in the sixth inning to make it exciting, but Newell-Faulkner caught two pop ups and struck out the third batter to erase any chances of a comeback.
Eden has high expectations this season after winning the Southern division over the past few years while boasting a roster with much talent from in and around the area.
“We have high expectations because we have kids from Springville, kids from Gowanda, kids from Hamburg and Eden. So we expected to be in the mix,” said Bob Burnside, who coaches the club with Rod Palmerton, Keith Baskerville and Gordy Karstedt.
Most of the roster comes from Eden High School. Frank Barnack, Sawyer Overhoff and Jake Schlegel rounds out the Raider crew.
Justin LaRosa is the fourth Hamburg Bulldog on the roster while Ryan Boutelle won a Section VI championship at Gowanda.
“He’s a versatile player and he was a versatile player for Gowanda during its run,” Burnside said about Boutelle.
Nick Iskra is the lone player from Silver Creek while four other players come from Springville: Pat Emmick, Drew Scharra, Ty Conklin and Jon Weronski.