Baseball finding success
Northampton head coach Mick Sugra attributes his team's recent rash of success to three elements - timely hitting, consistent pitching, and solid defense.
The K-Kids will begin play this week with an overall 8-6 record, but they have won seven of their last nine games. During that span, they have won four consecutive games in which they have outscored their opponents, 36-8.
"We have had a good combination of those three things lately," said Sugra. "We have had some other pitchers who have stepped up their games as well. It has been a nice run for us at a good time."
Sugra noted the consistent performance of senior Joey Wittreich, who has been the workhorse of the staff with a 5-2 record. Fellow seniors Matt Durich and Evan Grube have both raised their averages more than 100 points in the past two weeks, and Grube began the week with eight hits in as many at-bats.
Junior Noah Durnin and sophomore Nick DiMieri recently have had stellar outings on the mound. Durnin helped his team to a recent 5-2 win over Catasauqua in which he struck out five in five innings, and DiMieri hurled a one-hitter in a 13-0 win over Allen.
"Noah (Durnin) had two quality starts his last two times out there, and DiMieri had a great game against Allen," said Sugra. "Those two guys have helped take some of the pressure off Wittreich. We have been looking to have some other solid starters."
With basically a young team, the Kids' recent surge basically has been able to slip under the radar.
"There are some games when we have five sophomores starting," said Sugra. "Most people didn't expect too much from us this season. But we have been opening some eyes lately. We are capable of playing with anyone out there.
"We had some games earlier against Parkland, Emmaus, and Whitehall that got away from us. Right now, we're playing as a different club that is more confident and solid than we were at the beginning of the season."
Sugra is confident his team can keep their momentum. They get an early test against Easton to begin a four-game week.
"Easton is a very good team and that will be a challenge," said Sugra. "We do have a busy week that ends with Nazareth Saturday at Coca-Cola Park. But if we keep getting pitching, hitting, and defense, we'll continue to be in a good situation for us."