Parkland Press

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZSouth Parkland’s Alex Oliver was named tournament MVP for the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs. He was one of several Trojans’ to earn awards after his team’s undefeated season and league title. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZSouth Parkland’s Alex Oliver was named tournament MVP for the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs. He was one of several Trojans’ to earn awards after his team’s undefeated season and league title.

Trojans earn awards

Friday, July 19, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Coming into the season, South Parkland Legion head coach Tom Kahn did some math regarding his team. He told his coaches when the season started that if they could win 20 games, he and his staff would reach the 100-win mark for their time with the team. With a 16-game season and playoffs, there was no room for error.

Just as the question mark for the Parkland High School team was whether or not it could get enough offense, the Legion team wondered the same thing. In its first five games though, they hit the 10-run mark three times, winning those games by a total of 30-4. In the other two games though, they scored just three runs and won those games by a 3-1 margin.

Throughout the season, the team relied mainly on a strong pitching staff, but found enough offense to wind up with 16 regular season wins and no losses.

The plan was to keep the undefeated run intact in the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs, where the Trojans would need to win four games to be league champions and reach that magic 20-win milestone. They did just that, topping off the streak with a 2-0 win over Northern Valley to take the league title for both the regular season and for the league tournament. They also got the coaching staff to the 100-win mark.

“We had a parent meeting and I told them that we were going to try to win every game, but I couldn’t imagine that we would win all 20,” admitted Kahn. “I’m thrilled with this team and all the work that they put in and I can’t say enough about my staff.”

With pitching playing such a primary role, it’s not surprising that the LVL’s Pitcher of the Year would come from South Parkland. On Monday, it was announced that A.J. Palumbo was awarded the Pitcher of the Year award after an impressive season. Palumbo went 3-0 with a 0.40 in four starts and two relief appearances for South Parkland. In 22 1/3 innings, Palumbo struck out 24 batters on the year and walked just four. As a team, the Trojans had a staff ERA of 0.88.

Meanwhile, the tournament MVP also went to a South Parkland player. Alex Oliver hit .455 (5-for-11) in the postseason with a run scored and four runs driven in. He also pitched two innings without allowing an earned run. On the season, Oliver led the team with 17 RBIs and hit .274 for South Parkland.

“It feels really good to get this,” said Oliver of the award. “It feels like my work paid off, doing all of the work in my backyard off the tee and all of the other work. Plus, to get to contribute to all of this has been great.”