Baseball team gets revenge on Nazareth
Parkland, Nazareth and Whitehall are all jockeying for position at the top of the Skyline Division in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. Whitehall and Nazareth have yet to play and Parkland and Whitehall have also not played yet this season, leaving a lot of scenarios open for the final couple weeks of the regular season.
For Parkland (8-4, 8-2), making sure that they didn’t drop the second of their two games to Nazareth was at the top of their to-do list for last week. After the Trojans dropped a 6-3 game to the Blue Eagles (8-5, 8-3) earlier in the season, they wanted a bit of revenge, which they knew they would have a chance to get in the second meeting of the season between the two teams, which came at Coca-Cola Park.
Matt Horvath gave Nazareth a quick 3-0 lead with a long home run over the left field fence, but it didn’t seem to bother the Trojans at all. Parkland simply put up four runs in the top of the second to take a 4-3 lead. Nazareth tied the game in the bottom of the third, but again, Parkland answered right back with a run in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Bruno. It would be Bruno striking again in the sixth with another sacrifice fly that would stretch the lead to 6-4.
While a two-run lead was a bit more comfortable, having had Nazareth score three runs in the top of the seventh to win the first meeting between the two teams was still lingering in the minds of players on both sides of the field.
Braeden Duff wasn’t going to let the same thing happen this time around and quickly struck out the first two hitters in the seventh. From there though, Nazareth started to go to work and would wind up with the bases-loaded and two outs. Duff was up to the challenge and struck out Jake Trenberth to end the game, holding on to Parkland’s 6-4 edge for the win.
“This was definitely a revenge game,” said coach Kurt Weber. “We didn’t show our best the first time that we played them, so it was important to get this one today, and we certainly feel good about it.”
Weber said that his team came into the game confident, and wasn’t thrown too much by Nazareth’s early scoring. Weber said it was important for his team to strike right back with its four-run second inning to stop any momentum that the Blue Eagles might have had going.
“That was big for us,” he said. “I think from that point, our kids felt that they had this and that they weren’t going to let this one slip away. Sometimes, no matter how confident you are, it takes something like that just to really make you believe. Coming right back at them later in the game when they tied it up was big, too.”
Duff has sort of stepped into a closer’s role with the team and Weber continues to have confidence in him even though it wasn’t the easiest of outings.
“He made it interesting,” said Weber. “He’s sort of taken over that role and we feel he can do the job for us, so you have to let him keep going out there.”
Parkland is at Northampton on Thursday and then has a non-conference game at Governor Mifflin Saturday.