Northampton Press

Friday, October 19, 2018
Press photo by Linda RothrockMatt Hutchins has been one of the team’s hottest hitters so far. Press photo by Linda RothrockMatt Hutchins has been one of the team’s hottest hitters so far.

Baseball team gets off to a hot start

Thursday, April 6, 2017 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

Northampton’s baseball team got the start that it needed. And the Konkrete Kids did it in grand fashion.

Heading into this weeks’ play, the Kids began with a 2-0 record due to two lopsided wins. They opened with a convincing 9-3 win over perennial playoff power North Pocono and followed with a 12-1 rout of East Stroudsburg North.

More importantly, it gave the Kids a sturdy cushion to start their always ultracompetitive East Penn Conference play.

This time around, the numbers didn’t lie. The Kids began the week hitting .420 as a team and combined for a stingy 1.75 earned run average (ERA).

“We’re got off to a good start,” said Kids’ head coach Mick Sugra. “We figured we would hit the ball well, but we were concerned about our pitching. Our pitchers had a good outing against North Pocono, who was a state semifinalist in Class 5A last year.

“We also had a good showing against East Stroudsburg North. I can’t complain about scoring 21 runs in two games and only allowing four.”

Sugra cited the play of Zeck Lambert, who hit a team-leading .750 in the first two games, as well as Brittain Shander (.500), Matt Hutchins (.500), Issac Tucker (.400), and Kyle Morin (.400).

“All of those have really hit the ball well for us,” added Sugra. “We have hit the ball well as a team. This is something that really didn’t surprise us as we knew we would have a good offense. Now it is just a matter of keeping it up.”

On the mound, Kyle Serman, who looks to be the team’s No. 1 starter, and Mike Ettl both have impressive outings. The new pitch count rule will figure in their overall plans.

“We want our starters to go as long as they can, but we will certainly be watching their pitches,” Sugra said. “It will come into play, but we believe we have enough arms to be able to respond to it.”

The Kids have a busy week ahead that began at Emmaus Monday (a win), and then home games against Allentown Central Catholic Thursday, and Pleasant Valley Friday.

“This will be our first real test,” Sugra said. “Three games a week isn’t bad right now, and we hope we get cooperation from the weather. That’s a big reason why we have a lot of pitchers. If we have four games, that’s a lot to deal with especially with the new pitch count rule.

“It was good for us to get off to a good start, and now we have to keep it going.”