Parkland Press

Friday, July 20, 2018

NP faces Northern Valley in legion opener

Friday, July 6, 2018 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Terry Stoudt doesn’t like to lose any games, so losing Saturday’s 7-6 decision to Emmaus wasn’t on his list of things to do over the weekend. In the grand scheme of things, it turned out that it didn’t change the postseason plans for the North Parkland Buffaloes. The Buffs will go into the Lehigh Valley Legion Baseball League playoffs as the number-three seed, exactly where they would have been even with a win over Emmaus.

Finishing 11-7 and tied for third with rival South Parkland, North Parkland won the tiebreaker over the Trojans having beaten them in both regular season meetings. A 12-6 finish would have put North Parkland into a second-place tie with Lower Macungie, but the Lightning would have won that tie-breaker based on team runs against during the season.

What it all means is that No. 3 seed North Parkland will host No. 6 Northern Valley in the first round of the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs on Friday. The Buffaloes beat Northern Valley in their two regular season meetings by scores of 12-2 and 8-7. The playoffs are a double-elimination tournament.

Against Emmaus, North Parkland led 6-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning before the Hornet bats woke up and put a six-spot on the board. Two relievers were able to keep North Parkland off the board in the bottom of the inning to preserve the 7-6 win.

The Buffaloes got off to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and followed that up with two-run innings in the fourth and fifth to give themselves a five-run cushion. Starter Jared Kucharczuk gave his team six innings allowing five hits and four walks. He pitched into the seventh and gave up the first two runs of the inning.

Ryan Correll came on to close it out, but Emmaus had other plans and scored four more runs against Correll in 1/3 of an inning. Drew Sorrentino came on for the final 2/3 of an inning and got the final out without giving up any runs of his own.

North Parkland then bounced back for an impressive 10-3 win over Carbon to finish the season 11-7.