John Knebels

John Knebels

One run here, one run there.

Add them all up, and they make a huge difference. For proof, check out the Catholic League baseball standings.

With a little more than half the season completed, the top six teams are separated by one game in the standings. Upon closer inspection, there have already been 13 outcomes determined by a single tally.

“It seems like that’s the way the league is every year,” said Father Judge senior co-captain Matt O’Connor. “The plaque is always up for grabs; it just comes down to whoever wants it the most.”

Outside of one clunker, O’Connor’s Crusaders have used lights-out pitching to forge a reputation as a championship contender.

Eliminate a 13-3 loss to La Salle, and Father Judge has surrendered only five runs in six games. One of those runs led to a 1-0 loss to St. Joseph’s Prep in eight innings. Although the Crusaders were impressive in victories over Conwell-Egan (2-1), Bonner-Prendergast (5-2), Bishop McDevitt (11-0) and Roman Catholic (7-1), their signature triumph was arguably a 6-0, league-opening win over Archbishop Wood. First-place Wood has not lost since.

“It was their first game and they are considered one of the top teams and we beat them pretty good,” said O’Connor, a St. Matthew’s parishioner. “During that game, we put everything together. That’s why we came out on top.

“The good thing about this year is that all of our guys contribute. I don’t think a lot of people around the league expected much out of us since we lost a lot of seniors, but we’ve proved everyone wrong with some big wins.

“Our pitching and defense is what’s been keeping us in games. We need to get our bats going.”

Below are the standings. The first number is the team’s league record. In parentheses are their records in one-run decisions. Using one’s imagination, it’s easy to see how the current order of the teams would be significantly altered by one run here, one run there.

Catholic League Baseball Standings

(Through April 27)

Archbishop Wood, 5-1 (2-0)
Archbishop Carroll, 6-2 (3-0)
Archbishop Ryan, 5-2 (3-0)
Father Judge, 5-2 (1-1)
Neumann-Goretti, 4-2 (1-1)
La Salle, 4-2 (0-1)
St. Joseph’s Prep, 4-3 (3-0)
Roman Catholic, 4-3 (0-1)
Cardinal O’Hara, 4-4 (0-3)
Bonner-Prendergast, 2-6 (0-2)
Conwell-Egan, 1-6 (0-2)
Lansdale Catholic, 1-6 (0-2)
Bishop McDevitt, 0-6 (0-0)