PHS Standout Pitcher Durbin Shows His Stuff As Post 218 Baseball Battles Trenton to Standoff
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Teddy Durbin delivers a pitch last week for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team as it hosted Trenton Post 93/182. Rising Princeton High senior Durbin produced a superb mound effort in the June 5 contest, giving up a run and striking out 10 in six innings of work as the teams tied 2-2 after eight innings in a game to be completed on June 23. Post 218, which dropped to 0-4 after being swept 5-0 and 8-1 by Broad Street Post 313 last Saturday, will look to get on the winning track as it hosts South Brunswick Post 401 on June 13, plays at Hamilton Post 31 on June 14, and then hosts Hopewell Post 339 on June 15, Lawrence Post 414 on June 16, and North Hamilton on June 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Coming off a superb spring as the ace for the Princeton High baseball pitching staff, Teddy Durbin picked up where he left off as he took the mound for the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball last week against Trenton Post 93/182.
The lanky lefty displayed some dominant form, giving up a run and striking out 10 in six innings of work in the June 5 contest.
“Tommy [Bocian] played really well behind the plate and was calling a good game,” said Durbin, a rising senior at PHS. “I just felt comfortable; my two seam and curve ball felt good today.”
Showing his all-around game, Durbin contributed an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning to give Post 218 a 2-1 lead. “I was just looking for a fastball I could drive and put in a gap or a hole and it worked out,” said Durbin.
Things didn’t work out well for Post 218, however, as the foes tied 2-2 after eight innings in a game to be completed on June 23.
“We wanted to come in and just come away with a win,” said Durbin, noting that Post 218 started the season started by losing 4-1 and 6-5 in a doubleheader to Bordentown Post 26 on June 3. “We need to pick it up a little bit on the defensive end.”
Coming into this summer, Post 218 appears to have more talent than in recent years, boasting a number of PHS standouts along with some players from two-time state Prep A champ Hun and Prep B semifinalist Princeton Day School.
“We have a lot of guys from the PHS team that are playing this year,” noted Durbin. “That is great for team chemistry.”
As a reward for his fine season this spring for the Little Tigers, Durbin was named to another team, the Mercer County squad in the 2018 Carpenter Cup Classic.
“That is a huge accomplishment. It is pretty fortunate for me to be a part of the team, it means a lot,” said Durbin, who will be joined on the Carpenter Cup squad by fellow Post 218 and PHS teammate Paul Cooke along with PDS stars and Post 218 players Matt Nyce and Luke Franzoni.
Post 218 manager Tommy Parker believes Durbin can accomplish a lot this summer.
“Teddy pitched a hell of a game today. He did all that he was supposed to do,” said Parker. “It was a great outing.”
Parker lamented his team’s failure to do everything it could do to get some wins in the first week of the season.
“We have had three tough games where we had our fate and opportunity in our hands and it just takes one flat moment,” said Parker, whose team dropped to 0-4 after being swept 5-0 and 8-1 by Broad Street Post 313 last Saturday. “These guys are good and they are going to take advantage of it; all we had to do was put them away.”
Noting that the swirl of high school graduation activities in the first few weeks of June has kept Post 218 from fielding a full squad, Parker is confident that it will start taking advantage of its opportunities.
“We will be all right. They have to focus in those moments,” said Parker, who is hoping that Post 218 will get on the winning track as it hosts South Brunswick Post 401 on June 13, plays at Hamilton Post 31 on June 14, and then hosts Hopewell Post 339 on June 15, Lawrence Post 414 on June 16, and North Hamilton on June 17.
“We have got pitching and hitting; we also have a good young core. These guys are pretty special and they are going to be good. When we get everybody groomed and up to pace, we will be good to go. They got to hang in there, they have to believe. It is on them. They have too much talent to not do well in this league.”
Durbin, for his part, believes that Post 218 has the potential to do some big things this summer. “We have a good group of guys,” said Durbin. “We have been in three close games so far this year. If we can learn to finish, we can be a pretty special team.”