June 12, 2019

With Ramsay Thriving in the Leadoff Spot, Post 218 Baseball Showing Competitive Spirit

 By Bill Alden

Thomas Ramsay was looking to set the tone as the Princeton Post 218 American Legion baseball team played at West Windsor-Plainsboro last Saturday.

Leading off the game, Ramsay singled, stole second, and got knocked in on a grounder by Teddy Durbin as Post 218 jumped out to a 1-0 lead.

“I thought we were off to a hot start, I  got on and it seemed like we were moving around,” said Ramsay.

WW-P, though, responded with a run in the bottom of the first and the game turned into a pitching duel. The contest was knotted at 1-1 after seven and went into extra innings.

Ramsay reached base in both the eighth and ninth on walks but couldn’t get farther than third base, and WW-P ended up pushing across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to prevail 2-1.

“We played solid defense the whole time,” said second baseman Ramsay, a former Hun School standout who is his third season with Post 218.

“We have been playing well together, it is good to be back with the Princeton guys, just like last year. We have a good team.”

Getting the chance to compete again with former Hun teammate Adam Wijaya, who played this past spring for Hamilton College, has been a highlight for Ramsay.

“It is definitely fun playing with Adam and seeing that he came back bigger and stronger,” said Ramsay. “He is a really good hitter.”

Hitting at the top of the order for Post 218, Ramsay is having fun in that role.

“I love batting leadoff,” said Ramsay. “I love running bases. Every time I get on, I am looking to take the next base and score.”

Taking part in fall ball for Gettysburg College as a freshman before getting sidelined by injury, Ramsay is hoping that playing Legion ball this summer will help him get on the field for the Bullets as a sophomore.

“It is see a lot of pitches, get a lot of at bats, and get a lot of reps,” said Ramsay.

Post 218 manager Tommy Parker sees Ramsay as a key performer for his club.

“In all three games, he has been one of the catalysts, I have to say,” said Parker.

“He and Adam spiritually, offensively, and everything else have been a spark. Thomas has come out and he showed tremendous leadership, he is a whole different ball player from last year.”

Parker got some tremendous mound work in the loss to WW-P as starter Brendan Bucceri yielded just one run in 6 2/3 innings and Aiden Regan performed well in relief.

“The pitching was excellent,” said Parker. “Brendan hung in there; this was his first outing in a few weeks and he looked very good. Aiden was on a little bit of a pitch count. He has come out of the bullpen twice and both times, he was very effective. He has good command.”

Reflecting on the first three games of the summer, Parker has seen good things from his squad.

“I like the way we are competing,” said Parker, whose team started the season with a come-from-behind 10-9 win over Lawrence Post 414 on June 4 and then fell 6-4 to Hamilton Post 31 two days later.

“They are all teachable moments; we have not been out of any game. We have that ability to come back. We did a great job against Post 31 the other day.”

In order to win more games, Post 218 has to do a better job of executing in the field and at the bat.

“We can’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we have got to come out and take advantage of our opportunities,” said Parker, whose team was swept in a doubleheader at Bordentown Post 26 last Sunday to drop to 1-4 and will look to get back on the winning track as it hosts North Hamilton on June 13 and South Brunswick Post 401 on June 14, plays at Hightstown Post 148 on June 15, and hosts Trenton Post 93/182 on June 17.

“It has been that kind of thing all week so far. We have had our opportunities. In the first game, we took advantage of those opportunities. In this game, we left seven or eight folks on base and you can’t do that.”

With a roster featuring a number of veterans, Parker believes that experience will make the difference.
“I think they mesh well; the senior leadership have all played together before,” said Parker.

“Chemistry is built by working together and the knowledge of the game you came with, You don’t use the excuse, I played with somebody else at shortstop. All you have to do is learn how this person moves in the middle of the infield. They get along fine. They have to learn to dance. You get to know each other, you pay attention to what is going on, you play smart, you stay on top of your game, and it will work. These guys are hungry.”

Ramsay, for his part, is confident that Post 218 will raise the level of its game as the summer unfolds.

“We are not perfect right now, it is the first week of the season,” said Ramsay. “We have a lot of potential, we have a lot of good young guys.”