NAA Black wins title
The Northampton Black Knee-Hi team won the CWL National Division Championship this past weekend over a very tough Hokey squad in a double-elimination playoff series which spanned three weeks.
Black struggled early in the season with a 2-3 record until the team found chemistry winning 10-straight, only to loose to Hokey for the second time in the regular season, finishing 10-4 and going into the playoffs as the three seed.
Black continued their winning ways taking the first two games of the playoffs against NAA Orange and NAA Grey before being knocked off by Hokey in a tough, 5-3 loss. From this point on, Black was the visiting team for three more games, and the underdog in all of them. In a rematch with NAA Grey, Black stormed out of the gates scoring seven runs in the first four innings and not allowing Grey team a run until the sixth, winning 7-1 to advance into the championship games again Hokey.
On Saturday, June 28, in Coplay, Black faced Hokey yet again looking for their first win.
In game one, Hokey had home field advantage and took an early lead scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Singles by Murray, Smith, and Hudak, a double by Peacock and a triple by Roberts did the damage until Northampton finally got the bleeding to stop. Down 4-0, Black regrouped and held Hokey scoreless for the rest of the game.
In the top of the fourth, Tom Gallagher singled, and moved around the bases with hits from Alex Shumanis, Austin Bellesfield and Nick Cassel. In the top of the fifth, Black opened it up against Hokey's pitching, scoring four runs. Singles by Ryan Foster and Jake Shumanis, a hit batsman by Devon DeHaven and a walk by Josh Rumble kept the bases loaded with Alex Shumanis up to bat. With a 2-0 count, Shumanis drilled a bases-clearing triple to center giving NAA its first lead, 5-4. In the top of the sixth Black started hitting again. Singles by Bellesfield, Foster, Rumble and J. Shumanis, helped NAA score three more runs to end the game 8-4.
With the first inning nervousness behind them, the pitching of Josh Rumble and Alex Shumanis, along with the field general at catcher Conner Golomb, NAA allowed only five hits and 11 strikeouts in six innings, with Golomb throwing out 3 would be base stealers.
NAA came out in game two scoring runs in the top of the first, third, fourth and fifth innings against Hokey. Doubles by Conner Golomb, Thomas Gallagher and Alex Shumanis, kept Black up and poised to win. Help on the mound came from Nick Cassel, three innings of scoreless baseball, and the mastery of Josh Rumple and Alex Shumanis put the game away. The boys combined to strike out 9 and allow only seven hits.
Head coach Scott Golomb thanked: Andy Yarbough, assistant coach, Cindy Lou Temple, team mom, secretary and bookkeeper, and Scott and Michelle Kunkle as well as all the parents.