SP earns No. 4 seed for LVL playoffs
Some things are still up for grabs regarding the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs that begin on Thursday. Two pigtail single-elimination games on Thursday will solidify the final two slots of the eight-team double-elimination tournament beginning the following evening.
But one thing that is for certain is South Parkland’s opponent to open the tournament. The No. 4 seeded Trojans will host No. 5 Carbon Monarchs on Thursday at Parkland High School at 6 pm.
South Parkland ended its season and solidified the No. 4 seed with a 20-5 rout of Southern Lehigh on Sunday night at Limeport Stadium. Southern Lehigh earned the No. 9 seed and will play No. 8 Copay in a pigtail game. No. 7 Emmaus and No. 10 West Allentown will play in the other matchup.
“Our bats were really hot and that translated to all parts of our game,” South Parkland’s Koby Staivecki said. “Adam Mellinger started the game pitching for us. All we asked of him was to pitch two innings, and he did just that by shutting them down in both innings.”
Mellinger pitched the first two innings and looked sharp, allowing just two hits to the Spartans. He struck out the side in the bottom of the second.
By that time, the Trojans had already distanced themselves with more than what Mellinger would need. The Trojans erupted for seven runs in the top of the second inning and sent 11 batters to the plate.
Mark Leiby singled to left field to score Ethan Russell, who led off the inning by reaching base on an error. Staivecki scored on a wild pitch, and Jeremy Piatkiewicz reached based on another Southern Lehigh error to score Leiby, making the score 3-0.
“It’s great when you are able to get out to huge leads like that because you can just keep building on it, and it is easier to play with the lead rather than to be coming from behind,” Staivecki said.
Two more errors in the inning led to three more runs. And Mellinger’s groundout scored another Trojan in the frame.
After two singles and a hit by pitch to open the top of the third, Piatkiewicz ripped a single down the left field line to score Staivecki and Leiby, putting South Parkland ahead 9-0. Errors would account for the other two Trojan runs in the inning.
“Right now we are really heating up and all parts of our game are coming together well,” Staivecki said. “This is all happening at the right time of the season as we get into playoffs. The past two games were definitely two of the best games we played all season, and that is key heading into the playoffs.”
South Parkland ended the regular season by winning four of its final six games. The offense erupted in that stretch, scoring double digit runs in three of those wins and averaging 14 runs per game.
Now the Trojans hope they are the last team standing with the goal of regionals at the forefront.
“Our goal for the playoffs is to win the championships, which we are more than capable of doing, and then move onto regionals,” Staivecki said.