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NV gets in position for LVL postseason

With three regular season games remaining, Northern Valley sits in the middle of a logjam that has four teams within a half game of each other in the Lehigh Valley Legion standings.

Tuesday night, the Chargers dropped a 7-4 decision to league-leading South Parkland.

In the loss, Northern Valley (5-5) collected nine hits including two each from both Shaun O’Donnell and Connor Simms. Coming into the top of the third down 6-0, Bobby Croneberger used some good baserunning to generate a run. After delivering a double with one out in the inning, Croneberger moved to third on a ground ball to short and then scored on an infield hit to third by O’Donnell who would come around to score for Northern Valley as they cut the deficit to 6-2.

Northern Valley threatened an inning later when Simms led off with a triple to right and Josh Farber walked and then stole second. South Parkland (9-1) pitcher Jaiden Wanamaker then rebounded by getting the next three hitters to strike out leaving two runners in scoring position.

South Parkland added a run in the fifth and in the seventh, Northern Valley looked to mount a comeback. Kurt Meehan came on to pitch the seventh and hit leadoff hitter Nolan Fitzgerald with a pitch.

Fitzgerald swiped second and moved to third on a groundout by Jared Felch. Croneberger hit a ground ball to second, but the ball was booted, allowing Fitzgerald to score and giving the Chargers a runner on first with one out. Meehan got a strikeout ahead of O’Donnell’s second hit of the game to put two runners on base and a walk to Josh Lichman brought the tying run to the plate, but Northern Valley could only deliver one run out of the situation as they fell 7-4.

The loss came on the heels of a 2-1 extra inning win over Whitehall (3-4). Tied 1-1 in the eighth, Nick Bogert came to the plate with the bases loaded and walked on four pitches to bring home Trey Sterling, who had singled to lead off the inning. The Chargers scored their first run in the bottom of the third when Sterling doubled and Aidan Freeman singled to put two runners on base.

Lichman grounded out to first, but Sterling was able to score on the play to tie the game at 1-1.

Sterling and Freeman both collected two hits in the win with Sterling scoring both runs.

Bogert needed just 84 pitches to get through all eight innings, allowing just four hits and striking out four batters. On the season, Bogert has walked just four batters and struck out 11 in 17 innings, posting a 3.17 ERA for Northern Valley. O’Donnell leads the team in strikeouts with 13 in 11 innings and has a 1.91 ERA.

Among players with at least 20 plate appearances this season, Freeman is leading the team in hitting with a .353 average and is followed closely by O’Donnell (.333) and Sterling (.321). As a team, the Chargers are batting .250 and have a team ERA of 4.09 this season.

Northern Valley plays at Emmaus (0-10) and North Parkland (7-3) this week before the regular season finale against Whitehall on Tuesday.

South Parkland leads the league with a two-game advantage over second-place North Parkland.

The Chargers and Lower Macungie (5-5) are tied for fourth place with Southern Lehigh (4-5) half game behind. Whitehall (3-4) and winless Emmaus occupy the final two places in the standings.

PRESS PHOTO BY LEROY BOGERT Nick Bogert pitched all eight innings of a recent 2-1 win over Whitehall. He threw just 84 pitches, allowing four hits while striking out four batters.
PRESS PHOTO BY LEROY BOGERT Nolan Fitzgerald dives to make a catch during a recent game against North Parkland.