Young Buffaloes fall to Northern Valley
The roller coaster season for the North Parkland Buffaloes has continued, with the team rebounding from a 9-8 extra inning loss to Northern Valley on Sunday to down Southern Lehigh 7-0 Monday night.
In Sunday night’s loss, North Parkland battled from an 8-3 deficit to tie the game, forcing extra innings, but the Chargers were able to score in the bottom of the ninth to get the win when Isaac Fatzinger lifted a fly ball to center field to score John Taylor from third with the winning run. Taylor led off the inning with a base-hit, stole second and then moved to third on a wild pitch by Evan McAndrew.
Down 8-3 in the top of the fifth, the Buffaloes started their comeback. With some help from a brisk wind that played havoc with fly balls, Justin Afflerbach led off the inning with a long home run to right field and one batter later, McAndrew crushed a ball to right that didn’t need much help from the wind to easily fly past the right fielder to make it 8-6.
With a runner on second and two outs, Alex Konya delivered an RBI single to cut the Chargers lead to one. An inning later, the Buffaloes tied the game on an RBI groundout by McAndrew.
“We’ve got a young team and we made some mistakes today and our pitchers were a little wild, but they played hard,” said Buffalo head coach Terry Stoudt. “We just don’t have a lot of experience, so we’re going to struggle at times, but I think we’ll be all right.”
After giving up the tying runs, Chargers reliever Niko Fager, who came on in relief in the fourth inning, got stronger as the game went on for Northern Valley. After allowing the sixth inning run, he retired 11 of the next 13 batters through the end of the game.
“Their kid [Fager] started to get into a groove later in the game and he had a good curve ball and we just couldn’t do much after we tied the game,” said Stoudt.
North Parkland gained momentum in both the seventh and eighth innings when the Chargers put a runner in scoring position in both innings, but couldn’t push them across.
In the ninth, Taylor and Fatzinger worked their magic to bring home the winning run in the 9-8 contest.
Christian Burgos and Alex Konya each had three hits in the loss to Northern Valley, while McAndrew had two hits and drove in four runs in the game.
In the win over Southern Lehigh, Collin Duff got the win for North Parkland, while Jeff Strisovsky went 4-for-4 at the plate to pace the Buffaloes offense.
The Buffaloes’ offense is generating an average of six runs per game through their first eight games of the season and are at 4-4. Stoudt is hoping that the young pitchers can look to rely on the team’s offense to get them through the season.
“We have the offense,” said Stoudt. “We keep scoring seven, eight runs a game, so we can win some games. We just have a lot of young guys who are going to struggle here and there, especially against some of the more experienced teams.
“That doesn’t mean that we can’t win those games though, because even the young guys can play, so we just have to hang in there.”