Trojans win LVL championship
Last year, South Parkland went to the championship round of the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs only to lose two straight one-run games and miss gaining a trip to regionals. This season, the Trojans came into the championship in the same situation, needing just one win to become league champs and they didn’t want to take any chances.
Dylan Peiffer threw a complete game and some timely offense led the Trojans to a 5-3 win over Carbon County, sending South Parkland to the Region 2 playoffs, which begin Saturday in West Lawn.
Peiffer, who started one of the games last season in extreme heat, felt much more comfortable in the more reasonable weather on Monday night. He scattered nine hits and walked just one batter over seven innings. He also struck out 10 hitters, the first time this season that Carbon had double-digit strikeouts in one game.
The Widener University pitcher and corner infielder doesn’t worry about getting strikeouts, preferring instead to simply throw strikes and let his teammates help him out defensively.
“I always try to fill up the zone, because I know I’ve got a good defense behind me,” said Pheiffer, who threw 72 of his 100 pitches for strikes Monday. “I got lucky a couple of times, I guess. My pitches were located pretty well, but the pitches that they hit hard were sliders that I left up.”
The Trojans’ Kyle Novobilsky showed his versatility out of the leadoff spot, setting the table for a first-inning run with a base hit and later delivering another base-hit to drive in two runs in Parkland’s three-run fourth inning made the score 5-0.
“I knew this kid [Carbon starter Anthony Micholik] was throwing mainly fastballs and he was leaving them up, so I knew not to chase that pitch,” said Novobilsky. “I knew he was going to give me a fastball that I could do something middle out and I just took it up the middle in the one at-bat and to the opposite field in the other. It was the same approach in both at-bats,” said a smiling Novobilsky, who was overwhelmed at winning a championship. “Words can’t describe it. I’m not playing baseball in college, so this is what I’ve got. It feels great to win a championship.”
Jake Patridge and EJ Brandt also had two hits in the game for the Trojans. Patridge drove in Tyler Ilgenfritz with an RBI double in the fourth. Brandt also drove in Ilgenfritz, with a two-out single in the second. Ilgenfritz had a single and a walk.
South Parkland manager Tom Kahn thought that Peiffer’s outing was impressive for a team that is full of strong pitching.
“He’s a tough kid,” said Kahn. “He’s a bulldog. He’s got really good stuff and he wants the ball. We had Ryan Giovenco, who was warmed up and he’s a stud too, so we’re going to need it all coming up. I just rolled it with him [Peiffer] and they had good hitters coming up and they’ve had a great run and I have a lot of respect for them.”
Last year’s loss in the championship round and the fact that Carbon came into the game on a roll, having eliminated both the number-one and number-two seeds from the playoffs, left the Trojans looking for a win in game one to lock up the championship. South Parkland came into the round undefeated, while Carbon had one loss in the double-elimination tournament.
“We didn’t want to go to tomorrow night at all, so we weren’t thinking about that,” said Kahn. “We wanted to get it done and we did.”
South Parkland will now play either Hellertown or Northampton, whichever team wins the Norco Legion Championship. The game will be Saturday at Owls Field in West Lawn.