SP moves on to state playoff tourney
If timing isn’t everything in life, it has to be pretty darn close.
Heading into in a Lehigh Valley Connie Mack semifinal playoff game last Friday night, the third-seeded South Parkland Trojans were riding a five-game winning streak with a realistic prospect of making it six against second-seed Moore Township. Trojan coach Donald Friday knew if his boys were on top of their games, victory could be theirs.
But the Trojans were nowhere near the top of their games and Moore dominated, handing South Parkland a 12-2 loss. The defeat ended South Parkland’s bid for a league championship.
“We played our worst game of the season at the worst possible time,” said Friday. “Playing a quality opponent like Moore, we needed to play a crisp game. Unfortunately, we did not.”
South Parkland can expunge the stinging loss when it begins the double-elimination state playoff tournament this Friday night. The sixth-seeded Trojans will battle the Bux-Mont League’s sixth seed.
“We will regroup this week as we head into the Connie Mack state playoffs,” Friday said.
All season the Trojans have been among the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack’s elite teams. Friday fully expects his Trojans to respond to the defeat.
“I still feel like we have not played our best baseball,” said Friday. “I challenge our team to do just that as we enter the state playoffs.”
The league semifinal game started promisingly. South Parkland struck first with two out in the top of the first inning, when Tommy Houser stole third base and scored on the catcher’s throwing error.
The 1-0 lead was short-lived. A two-run single by Moore’s Ian Onuschak gave the Hawks a lead they would never relinquish.
Moore all but put the game out of reach in the second inning, erupting for four runs to take a 6-1 lead.
The run support was more than enough for Moore starter Sam Erschen, who cast a spell on South Parkland hitters. On the night, Erschen fired no-hit ball over five innings, giving up just one earned run, walking five and striking out seven Trojan batters.
For the evening, South Parkland managed just six base runners - five on walks and one on an error.
Two nights earlier in quarterfinal action against Central Catholic, the Trojans played like they had for most of the season. Utilizing stingy pitching, good hitting and solid defense, South Parkland downed the Vikings at Cedar Creek Park, 9-4.
Leading 4-2 in the fifth inning, the Trojans blew the game open with five runs. Kurt Meehan started the rally with a one-out, RBI single to plate Tre Seibel. Jaiden Wanamaker followed with a two-run single and the barrage culminated with a two-out, two-run single by John Friday.
Meehan paced the Trojan attack with a pair of hits - including a double - and three runs scored. Houser finished 1-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored.
Wannamaker got the start and was the winner, allowing one earned run while fanning six over five innings. Meehan slammed shut the door with a pair of scoreless relief innings.