After a tough 12-3 loss to Liberty earlier in the month, Parkland (11-2 overall, 10-0 EPC) bounced right back to win three straight before a loss to Hazleton in a nonconference game broke the string. The good news is that the Trojan baseball team again bounced back and beat Easton 4-3 in a game that was a long-time coming because of bad weather that had Parkland travel to Easton three times in an attempt to get the game in.
The Lady Trojan softball team just keeps rolling along, picking up its eighth straight win with a 10-0 mercy-rule win over the Lady Cavaliers of East Stroudsburg South. The win gave Parkland back-to-back shutouts, coming on the heels of a 15-0 win over Pocono Mountain West late last week.
Against East Stroudsburg South, the Parkland bats went to work early on a cold, blustery day much better suited for football than softball. And they didn’t let up.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs roster is a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar faces. Popular players like Dylan Cozens, Mitch Walding and Cole Irvin are back with the ‘Pigs. Young prospects JoJo Romero, Deivy Grullon and Jan Hernandez are at the Triple-A level for the first time in their careers.
Local hero Matt McBride returns for a second season after playing high school ball for Liberty High School and college ball as a Lehigh Mountain Hawk.
The success of the team seems to be set on pitching.
Parkland baseball picked up a couple of wins this week with shutouts against both Whitehall and East Stroudsburg South. The wins put Parkland at 8-1 overall and 7-0 in the EPC.
Nikhil Patel got the start against Whitehall (4-6, 3-5) and didn’t disappoint. Patel threw five innings and gave up just two hits and a walk to go with five strikeouts and no runs allowed. With Patel cruising on the mound, the Trojans went to work offensively with a four-run fourth and three runs in each of the next two innings to finish the game with a 10-0 mercy rule win in five innings.
In what could be a preview of both East Penn Conference and District 11 playoff action, Parkland and Liberty softball teams met Monday for the first time this season.
Liberty came into the game undefeated and had rolled through its first five games with a 64-17 margin of victory. The two teams battled until Parkland was able to put up four runs in the sixth inning, taking a 5-1 win over the Lady Hurricanes.
“What was that?” asked Parkland baseball head coach Kurt Weber rhetorically as he walked off the field following his team’s 17-11 win over Emmaus recently.
The game was a typical game in the rivalry between the two teams, especially at Emmaus’ Church Lane Field where the two teams have seen weird things happen.
This episode in the rivalry included a combined 23 hits, nine errors, 20 walks, 18 strikeouts and three hours and 15 minutes to play. Much of what happened can be attributed to the gusty, swirling winds that dropped the temperature inning by inning.
In high school softball, a little bit of offense can go a long way if you’ve got strong pitching and defense. That’s been the recipe in the early going for Parkland and coach Barry Search doesn’t see that strategy changing too much throughout the season. Parkland’s latest win was a 1-0 victory over Nazareth on Monday to move to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the East Penn Conference.
Slowly but surely, the bats are warming up for the Parkland baseball team. And that spells trouble for the rest of the East Penn Conference. In the past week, the Trojans have scored 31 runs in three games, including a 9-0 win over Nazareth (2-2 overall, 2-2 EPC) on Monday and a 15-0 pasting of Central Catholic (0-5, 0-3) last Thursday. In between came a 7-3 win against Wilson-West Lawn, and all of a sudden, Parkland is 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the EPC.
The Lady Trojans spent a few days in the warmth of Florida tuning up for the high school softball season. Their four games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports facility in Orlando proved fruitful as they went 3-1 on the trip with the only loss coming to Immaculate Heart Academy of New Jersey in their opening game.
The Parkland baseball roster took a hit with the graduation of three hitters who all batted above .330 last season. In addition to those losses, other key bats left for college, leaving the offense as a question mark coming into the season.
The good news is that Parkland seems to have a machine hidden somewhere deep in the high school that keeps cranking out pitchers, so the Trojans will still be a team to contend with both in the East Penn Conference and District 11 this season.