Girouard Provides Aggressive Play As Post 218 Baseball Falls to Trenton
LOCKED IN: Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball player John Girouard waits for a pitch in recent action. Last Wednesday, Girouard, a rising Princeton High senior, went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs in a losing cause as Princeton fell 10-9 to Trenton Post 93/182. Princeton, which moved to 2-13 with a 10-1 loss to Hightstown Post 148 last Friday, plays at Ewing Post 314 on July 5, hosts Hopewell Post 339 on July 6, South Brunswick on July 7, plays at Hamilton Post 31 on July 9 and at Hopewell on July 10, and then hosts Allentown on July 11.
John Girouard and his teammates on the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team didn’t hang their heads when they fell behind visiting Trenton Post 93/182 in the top of the first inning last Wednesday evening.
Despite having won only two of its first 12 games this summer, Post 218 wasn’t fazed by the slow start.
“It has been a long season for us but one thing I would say about this team is that we keep fighting no matter what,” said Girouard.
Girouard helped Post 218 fight back against Trenton, drawing a walk and scoring a run in the bottom of the first and then grounding a two-run single into right field an inning later to give Post 218 a 4-3 lead. He added two more singles and a run scored as Princeton built a 9-7 lead.
“The way the game was going, I thought I had to be aggressive as possible and really push it to them,” said Girouard.
“That is how we want to play, it is OK we have nothing to lose out here.”
Post 218, though, squandered that lead as Trenton pushed across three runs in the top of the sixth and final inning to pull out a 10-9 win.
“At the end of the day, a lot of us were playing out of position,” said Girouard. “I was playing third base for the first time out of position. It was our first game for a while so maybe we were a little cold. It was a one run game and that is what cost us.”
Playing in his second year with Post 218, Girouard has emerged as a team leader.
“I have started both years,” said Girouard, a rising senior at Princeton High who was a key reserve this spring for the Little Tigers. “I love the coaches, I love the team. It is a great atmosphere.”
For Girouard, playing for Post 218 gives him the chance to build on the progress he made in his junior season with PHS.
“It is almost an extension of the high school season in a way, the teams we play are pretty much the exact teams we play during the season,” said Girouard.
“It is good baseball out here. As a player it just helps improvement. The only way to get better is game experience. You can do all you want in a cage and getting reps in the outfield but the best thing to get better is just playing the game.”
While Princeton didn’t get the win against Trenton, Girouard savored the experience.
“It was fun, it was a beautiful night,” said Girouard. “The result wasn’t what we wanted but it was a great day of baseball.”
Post 218 manager Tommy Parker had fun watching Girouard compete against Trenton.
“John was in the action all night,” said Parker. “He was playing out of position, he is usually in left field. Just the fact that he was able to adjust and do that defensively and then be on base four times isn’t bad.”
Although Parker is proud that Post 218 forced the action in making its comeback, he acknowledged that the team needs to play sharper.
“They do battle, where we get beat a lot of time, we beat ourselves,” noted Parker.
“They have got to stop making mental mistakes, that is really what it is. It is tough to always have to fight back and battle back. It is good instinct but you have got to stop putting yourself in that position too.”
In addition to Girouard, several other players on Post 218 are enjoying good seasons.
“Aidan Duffy is hitting the ball, Chris Sumners had a streak going on,” said Parker.
“He is playing first base primarily but was the first left-handed catcher I have seen in years. He has stepped up as a team leader. Zach Yoelson is another one who has stepped up.”
With Princeton dropping to 2-13 with a 10-1 loss to Hightstown Post 148 last Friday, Parker is looking for his players to step up over the homestretch of the season.
“It is a matter of getting it all to mesh at the same time,” said Parker, whose team plays at Ewing Post 314 on July 5, hosts Hopewell Post 339 on July 6 and South Brunswick on July 7, plays at Hamilton Post 31 on July 9 and at Hopewell on July 10, and then hosts Allentown on July 11 in its regular season finale.
“I am always optimistic; there is always tomorrow. We have a lot of games left.”
Girouard, for his part, is confident that Princeton will keep giving its all to the final out of the season.
“We are not going to give up, this team is a fighter,” asserted Girouard. “No matter what happens, we will fight to the end, to the last strike. We are just going to keep on going.”