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LHS no-hits Easton, honors coach

It’s been a mixed bag of results for Liberty on the diamond so far this season, but you get the sense the Hurricanes are just getting warmed up as we head to warmer weather.

Liberty (5-3) continued their dominance in the EPC with a 2-0 win over Easton Monday afternoon.

It was a fitting victory for the program, who honored late assistant coach Mark Benetsky with a pregame ceremony after he passed away in February at the age of 75.

Easton honored Benetsky’s military background for serving in the Vietnam War by wearing camouflage uniforms and Liberty wore custom uniforms with Benetsky’s name on the back. Benetsky’s daughter, Megan, threw out the first pitch on a day where senior pitcher Noah Gyuach-Quirk and junior Michael Mariano Jr. combined for a no-hitter.

“The ceremony was special for coach Benetsky,” said Pitsilos. “He was beloved by the baseball program and the Liberty community. So, to honor him with a celebration of life was special.”

Improving to 5-1 in the conference would also have made Benetsky proud, as the Hurricanes only loss in league play this season was last week’s 1-0 defeat to rival Freedom.

“The start of the season is up and down,” said Pitsilos. “We’re 5-1 in the league which is good, but we’ve lost to two very good teams in Wilson Westlawn and Hazelton outside the league. We play teams like that to gain experience and hopefully win. Unfortunately this year we lost, but the nonleague games essentially mean nothing for the league and district standings.”

With last week being a wash out for most teams with the rain, the Hurricanes dive into a full slate of games this week, continuing with Freedom and Nazareth on Thursday and Friday.

“I think the rain helped us,” said Pitsilos. “I hate two games a week and due to the early start. I’d rather be backed up with three or four games a week.

The showdown with the Pates will give Liberty a chance at redemption following their loss last week, as the game will be played at 6 p.m. under the lights at DeSales.

“The Freedom loss was a situation where we can’t hit fly balls,” Pitsilos said. “We let other teams off the hook hitting too many fly balls and not putting pressure on defenses.”

Bethlehem Catholic (4-1) won their fourth straight game on Monday by shutting out Freedom 1-0. It’s the first of five games this week for the Hawks, as they still have showdowns with Emmaus, Dieruff, Easton, East Stroudsburg South and Central Catholic. After knocking off Liberty last week, Freedom (3-4) has now dropped their last two games, falling to Whitehall 4-3 over the weekend and losing Monday’s tilt with the Hawks.

The Pates still have three more games this week against East Stroudsburg North, Liberty and Dieruff.