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NV Connie Mack seeks playoff run

When Northern Valley stepped onto the field for its matchup against Northampton, the Chargers knew that the next seven innings carried heavy implications for the upcoming Lehigh Valley Connie Mack postseason.

The Chargers entered the contest with momentum on their side; with three consecutive wins under their belts, the players felt confident they could continue their streak and climb a bit higher in the standings.

Despite their positive outlook, the Chargers would ultimately fall to Northampton 5-3 in a well-fought defensive showing by both teams.

The majority of runs for either side came in the first inning. With a 2-2 count, Derek Holmes opened the Chargers’ scoring with a line-drive double into the outfield, bringing home teammates Nate Goodolf and Will Dellicker.

Holmes crossed the plate later that inning, assisted by a sacrifice grounder from Luke Eitner. Northern Valley headed into the bottom of the first with a three-run lead over its opposition.

In the Chargers’ first turn on defense, Northampton responded with three runs, tying the contest 3-3.

Neither team scored again until the bottom of the fourth, when Northampton brought in two runners on a sacrifice fly, giving the Chargers’ opponents a 5-3 advantage. Although Northern Valley put several runners in scoring position, the Chargers never again managed to reach home plate. Northampton eventually closed out the game in the top of the seventh, having held the Chargers scoreless through the last six innings.

Following the game, Northern Valley head coach Erich Klein attributed the loss primarily to errors in baserunning and pitching, among other mistakes.

“We were sloppy on the basepaths,” said Northern Valley head coach Erich Klein. “And the walks put us in some bad situations. Northampton played good defense, and we didn’t. [They] made some key plays when they had to, when we had a chance to knock one in.”

The Chargers had no shortage of scoring chances, out-hitting Northampton 10-4 by the end of the night. Among Northern Valley’s chief offensive contributors were Vinny Castrine, Nate Goodolf, Jake Dellicker and Ethan Steinmetz, all with a single apiece; Aidan Remaley, had a double; Will Dellicker hit two singles; and Derek Holmes had a pair of doubles.

Northern Valley’s pitchers for the night included Noah Russo, Jake Dellicker and Jack Turner.

The defeat moves Northern Valley’s record to 8-6, briefly halting the Chragers resurgence in the Connie Mack rankings.

“We were just on the short end of the stick today,” said Klein. “The team confidence is up. Everyone’s working hard to get better, and we still control our own destiny. We have five games left, and I think if we go three-and-two we’re definitely in the playoffs. Then we’ll try and make states.”

Northern Valley finished off the season at 13-6 and seventh in the LVCM standings.

The Chargers opened the playoff tournament with a win over No. 10 Northeast Bethlehem to secure a spot in the state playoff tournament next week at Limeport.

Before moving on to the state playoffs, the Chargers will compete in the league tournament quarterfinals Wednesday at No. 2 seed Nazareth. Results of that game were not available at press time.

PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCKNate Goodolf rounds second base during Northern Valley's win over Northeast Bethlehem Monday.