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Errors cost Kids in D-11 loss to Nazareth

The Northampton baseball team closed out its 2022 campaign last Wednesday by dropping a 5-4 decision at Nazareth in the District XI 6A quarterfinals.

The Kids jumped out to the 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning but were undone when the Blue Eagles came back to score 4 runs in the bottom half of the inning due in large part to 3 Northampton errors.

K-Kids’ head coach Mick Sugra summed up the performance.

“I told a parent before the game, ‘We get three runs, I think we win this game.’ But you can’t turn around and give 4 away,” Sugra said. “It’s been our M.O. all year, but that 4-run inning in the first was the difference. You kick the ball around, make errors. If you want to win at this level, you can’t do that kind of stuff at the end of the year.”

Logan Higgins set the table in the first by leading off the game with a walk and then stealing second. Hunter Corrow took a 2-2 pitch down the right field line for a double that plated Higgins. Vincent Santostefano’s sacrifice bunt moved courtesy runner Ian Onuschak to third and a Nate DaRoja sac fly to center drove in Onuschak with the Kids’ second run.

In the bottom of the first Corrow retired the first batter, but the next six Blue Eagles reached base with four straight singles sandwiched between a pair of Northampton infield errors.

The Kids got their first two runners on the in the top of the second, but a baserunning error allowed Nazareth to stifle the threat and escape unscathed.

Northampton got back into the game in the top of the fourth when Mike Melosky led off the inning with a single and eventually came around score on a wild pitch. Dylan Fosko drew a 2-out walk and after advancing to third on the wild pitch that plated Melosky, scored the tying run on a single by Sam Coleman.

The Blue Eagles scored the eventual winning run in the bottom half of the inning when a 2-out single drove in the runner, who had reached on an error, from third.

The Kids managed only a single baserunner over the final three innings.

Weird stat of the game: Santostefano picked off three baserunners in his first two innings of relief work.

Sugra reflected on the season, “We won 8 of our last 9 regular season games. 8 of the last 11 games overall. Qualified for EPCs. Qualified for districts. This is a special group. Always fighting. Even with uphill battles, they just kept persevering. We got here. We just didn’t do enough today.”

Corrow won the team’s black bat award for having the highest batting average (.413) in league games and was also named the team’s MVP for his performance both at the plate and on the mound (6-4, 2.06 ERA, 45 Ks in 47.2 innings) this year.

Press photo by Linda Rothrock Hunter Corrow took home this year's Black Bat award for the Kids.