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Baseball team gets by PV Bears

After a week of waiting for Mother Nature to calm down, the Northampton baseball team got back to action last Friday taking on Pleasant Valley.

The K-Kids used a 5-run opening inning and a strong start from Erick Castro to turn away the Bears 8-4 on a frigid afternoon at Mike Lisetski Field.

After Castro set PV down in order in the top of the first, Northampton struck early and often as Logan Higgins led off with a double over the centerfielder’s head. Mason Haupt reached on a bunt single and Gavin Pychinka cleared the bases with a 3-run opposite field homer.

Sam Erschen and Isaiah Alicea followed with a pair of walks and both scored thanks to some heads up baserunning. They advanced to second and third on a productive groundout by Austin Sommers. Then on a Castro grounder back to the mound, Alicea got into a rundown allowing Erschen to dash home.

The Bears then tried to get Alicea going to third but tossed the ball into left field giving the Kids a comfortable cushion. Northampton added a run in the third inning on a couple of walks, a sacrifice bunt, and a sac fly by Castro.

Meanwhile, the K-Kids’ hurler was locked in, throwing 4 2/3 perfect innings before a solid single on a 2-strike pitch denied his attempt at history. PV followed up with a double to spoil the shutout bid as well.

“I try to stay in the game as much as possible. I sing a song in my head when I’m pitching so I can clear out everything and just focus. Mostly it’s gospel music. I go to church. The music helps to get me in a rhythm, and it also relaxes me,” Castro explained.

His line ended up as 5 innings, 2 hits allowed, 1 run, 5 strikeouts and no walks.

The Kids got the run back and added an insurance tally in the bottom of the fifth on three straight singles by Pychinka, Erschen, and Alicea.

Tommy Hensel finished off the final two innings allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, and striking out 4.

The K-Kids are out to a 5-2 start, but with all of the weather postponements, they play the remaining 13 games of the regular season in a span of 25 days.

Head coach Mick Sugra spoke about the compressed schedule, “This combination, Erick and Tommy pitched the opening game against Emmaus and this is the next time they threw. It’s screwy. We told everyone, ‘When your numbers called you have to be ready.’ This is not the prototypical season where you’re playing three games in a week.”