Northampton Press

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Press photo by Mike Luberti Noah Durnin tripled in the Kids win over Dieruff on Tuesday afternoon. Press photo by Mike Luberti Noah Durnin tripled in the Kids win over Dieruff on Tuesday afternoon.

Baseball gets victory over Dieruff

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by JEFF MOELLER Special to the Press in Sports

Before the season, Northampton head coach Mick Sugra liked the chances of his pitching staff. He knew his hitters eventually would round into shape.

With the obtuse offseason due to severe weather issues, Sugra also figured that schedule might differ. And, the overall picture still isn't a clear one.

But they may have kick-started their games with a convincing 10-2 victory over Dieruff Tuesday.

"We needed a win," said Sugra. "We have been looking for our pitchers to begin hitting their strides. They have been getting behind in their counts and that can generally lead to trouble.

"Offensively, we have been watching too many pitches. But we believe that can change."

With his team's win over Dieruff, Sugra is hoping it moves in a different direction. Joey Wittreich gained the victory and recorded six strikeouts. Will Stackhouse came on in the sixth to help close the game.

Offensively, the K-Kids were led by Matt Durich and Noah Durnin, who both knocked in a pair of runs.

"We have to hit the ball better," noted Sugra. "We have shown we are certainly capable of doing it, but we have to be consistent. It is a matter of being consistent both on the mound and at the plate."

Sugra pointed to the team's 14-11 loss to Whitehall, after they won their opener, 5-3, against Pocono Mount East.

Against Whitehall, the K-Kids jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Whitehall responded with a four-run first. From there, it was a tussle between the two teams before Whitehall ended it with a five-run seventh.

"In that game, it was a matter of walks and errors that hurt us," said Sugra. "We are usually a pretty sound team, but we didn't play like it. We have to stay focused in games because it hurts us."

The loss to Whitehall began a downward spiral that resulted in a four-game losing streak - in the next three defeats they were outscored 21-8 before they defeated Dieruff. With a condensed schedule due to weather and the possibilities of more postponements ahead, Sugra realizes the importance of each game.

There is also the compacted schedule that began with Bethlehem Catholic Wednesday, and continued with Nazareth Friday and Freedom Tuesday. After the holiday break, the K-Kids will begin a torrid stretch of six games in 10 days.

"Every game is vital at this point," said Sugra, whose club still has eyes on returning to the district playoffs this spring. "But this has been frustrating at times. These guys know what they have to do, and they just have to go out and do it."