Wanderers top seed
The NORCO Legion playoffs get underway this week with five teams qualifying for the tournament this year.
The Wanderers and Northampton enter the tournament as the top two seeds with identical 15-2 records on the season, while Nazareth (12-5), Wind Gap (11-4-2) and Birches (10-6-1) round out the rest of the field.
Northampton and Wind Gap are paired together in a best of three series, but the Wanderers will have to wait for the winner of the Nazareth-Birches series until they can start either Wednesday or Thursday this week, pending how quickly that series is completed.
Head coach Dwight Pulieri knows this postseason won’t be easy despite the Wanderers rolling through the regular season to finish atop the standings.
“All five playoff teams have one thing in common and that’s quality pitching,” Pulieri said. “With the pitching every team has, it’s anyone’s game.”
Pulieri’s squad was relatively unscathed this season until they did lose two straight last week, dropping a 5-2 encounter with Northampton and a 6-0 defeat to Nazareth. It was their first meeting with Nazareth this season and the loss to Northampton was the first in three games this season, as they still won the season series 2-1.
Still, with all the talent the Wanderers have, quality pitching can quiet any team’s bats and Pulieri is aware that regular season records don’t mean much at this point of the summer.
“Playoff baseball is another level,” he said. “We feel all things considered we should be able to compete with anyone.”