North Parkland makes late-season run
North Parkland (12-4) put together an impressive run late in the season and heads into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league.
Since dropping their rivalry matchup against South Parkland (15-0), the Buffaloes have gone 4-0, outscoring opponents 42-6 in those four games.
The numbers are skewed by a 21-1 pasting of Coplay (5-9-1) in a game shortened to four innings by the 15-run rule. Another game against Coplay was played just five days earlier and saw the Buffaloes pick up a 7-0 win.
In the 21-1 win, Sean Brosious had two singles and a triple in the game, driving in six runs along the way, while scoring three runs. Phil Schoch and Jared Kucharczuk also had three hits each, with Schoch driving in three and scoring two and Kucharczuk driving in two while scoring three runs.
In all, North Parkland collected 18 hits and struck out just twice in the game. Collin Duff allowed just one earned run over four innings of work, with five strikeouts in the game.
North Parkland also beat Carbon 9-2, taking advantage of six Monarchs errors in the game. Kucharczuk continued to swing the hot bat, with a three-for-three day and three RBI. Schoch and Joseph Algard split the pitching, with Schoch throwing six innings and Algard throwing the seventh. Both pitchers were hurt by an error that allowed Carbon (9-7) to score two unearned runs in the game.
Kucharczuk’s late-season heroics gave him the team RBI crown with 13, holding off Schoch, who finished second with 12 RBIs on the year. Schoch led the team in runs scored with 13, just ahead of Sergio Rodriguez, who finished with 10. Austin Imler put together a consistent regular season at the plate and finished as the team’s leading hitter at .417, which was also good enough for third overall in LVL baseball. Kucharczuk finished with a .378 average on the season, second on the team.
On the mound, North Parkland finished the year with two pitchers among the top five in the league in ERA. Schoch was fourth with a 0.97 ERA and Duff was fifth with a 1.52 ERA on the year. Schoch also finished fifth in strikeouts with 37.
The Buffaloes success over the final week of the season locked up the number-two seed in the league playoffs, just behind South Parkland (15-0).
North Parkland will look to do to the Trojans what they had done to them last season when they beat South Parkland twice during the regular season, but fell to the Trojans in the playoffs.
South Parkland won the two regular season games this season, leaving quite a postseason target on its back if the two teams eventually meet.
North Parkland hosted Salisbury (5-10-1) in Wednesday’s first round of playoffs and will wait to see who their opponent will be in the second round of games. It’s likely that the Buffaloes would play either Carbon or Coplay in the second round of the double-elimination tournament.
North Parkland would have home field advantage in that matchup.