Buffs fall to NV in semifinal
The North Parkland Legion team saw its season come to an end Sunday in a 9-4 loss to Northern Valley. The Buffaloes finished the season at 14-6.
Northern Valley came into the game as one of the hottest teams in the league after a cold streak early in July saw the Chargers fall in the LVL seedings before garnering the fifth seed. North Parkland was consistent throughout the season and finished as the number-two seed coming into the postseason.
The game against the Chargers was a constant back-and-forth contest. After falling behind 1-0, North Parkland put up three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-1 lead. The first seven batters reached base in the inning.
Andrew Brosius had the big hit in the inning when he grounded a single to left with the bases loaded, bringing home two runs to give the Buffaloes their first lead of the day. Dylan Snyder was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing home the third run of the inning.
“Our guys have never quit this season,” said Buffalo head coach Terry Stoudt. “I wasn’t surprised how we kept bouncing back and kept playing hard. Those other guys just were able to put up a big inning and it was too much to come back from.”
In the top of the fourth, North Parkland looked to shut down the Chargers, but Northern Valley tied the game with two runs in the inning. The game remained tied until Northern Valley put up a fourth run in the top of the sixth.
The Buffaloes came up in the bottom of the seventh trailing 4-3. Reliever Derek Holmes got the first out of the inning, but then walked Jared Kucharczuk.
With a 1-2 count on Austin Imler, Kucharczuk stole second to get into scoring position. Holmes got Imler to line out to short, but Snyder stepped to the plate and singled to tie the game 4-4.
Northern Valley again responded, putting up five runs in the top of the eighth to make it 9-4. Holmes returned to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and was able to put North Parkland down in order to lock up the win.
In the postseason, North Parkland won its first two games with wins over Salisbury and Carbon to set up a match-up with rival South Parkland, who beat the Buffaloes 14-1.
The loss put North Parkland into the elimination bracket against Northern Valley, who ended their season.
Phil Schoch led the Buffaloes in hitting in the playoffs, batting .333 in the four games. Sergio Rodriguez played in three of the games and also hit .333.
Brosius hit .429 in two postseason games. On the mound, Collin Duff threw eight shutout innings, striking out nine batters.
“We had a good year and our guys have nothing to be ashamed of because they were a good team and they’re a good group of guys,” said Stoudt. “There are some good teams in this league and we ran into a couple of them, that’s all.”