Log In

Reset Password

SP Midgets get hot in playoffs to win title

The 12-man roster of the South Parkland Midget baseball team went through a mediocre regular season, but when the pressure was on they performed like champions.

As a result, coach Chris Parsell’s team went 4-0 in the playoff as the No. 4 seed after a 7-7 regular season and won the Lehigh Valley Midget League Championship.

“For the season we spread out the innings pitched to make sure we had plenty of pitching ready for the playoffs,” Parsell said. “We also rotated players around a little more throughout the regular season to try and develop as many boys as possible. We looked at the regular season as more of a development season. Once the playoffs started, we tightened things up and played to try to win the games. We went 4-0.”

The key game was beating No. 1 seed Hockendauqua 1-0 in the second round. In this one pitcher Luke Habash was the stud, kicking and firing a masterpiece. Reliever Joey Kelly registered the final three outs. The team won the championship with an 8-5 decision over Lehigh Township. Jake Santiago and Joey Kelly combined for the win and Habash slapped three hits, while Liam Gerhart, Issac Lentz and Santiago all had two hits.

The Trojans are supreme over a seven-team league throughout the Lehigh Valley where bases are 70 feet and the pitching rubber is 48 feet from home plate. South Parkland’s success is no accident. The players progress through the SPYA from tee-ball, coach pitch, minors, Biddy, Midget and then Junior Connie Mack or knee high, and then Connie Mack and Legion ball.

“For Midget we had four teams this fall,” Parsell said. “A travel team, an American League PYL team, and two PYL NL teams. The nice things about the Midget level was all the coaches got along and bounced ideas and thoughts off each other all year.”

Parsell enjoys teaching baseball to an eager group of students.

“I’ve coached a group of these boys for a few years now and it is rewarding seeing how much they improve each season,” Parsell said. “About half the boys never played travel baseball before so there was a lot of work we had to do to prepare for the season.”

The coach notes the league competition level is good.

“It is made up of the best baseball players in the Lehigh Valley,” Parsell said. “We saw the best pitchers in the Lehigh Valley and it was eye-opening at first for some of the boys. By the end of the season they were all much more comfortable and it showed.”

While every player contributed to winning the title, a few players stood out. Habash was superb, hitting .519 and scoring 32 runs, while firing 47 strikeouts. Santiago whiffed 50 batters in displaying solid pitching and was outstanding the playoffs, striking out 10 in two starts.

The team was comprised of Jackson Hollander, Luke Habash, Henry Morse, Jake Santiago, Elijah Vergara, Liam Gerhart, Isaac Lentz, Joey Kelly, Zeke Gordner, Nolan Parsell and Andrew Markowitz.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Members of the league champion South Parkland Midget baseball team are (front row, left to right) Jackson Hollander, Luke Habash, Henry Morse, Jake Santiago and Elijah Vergara; (middle row) Liam Gerhart, Isaac Lentz, Joey Kelly, Zeke Gordner, Nolan Parsell and Andrew Markowitz; (back row) Coach Gerhart, Coach Parsell, Coach Santiago and Coach Markowitz.