Northampton Press

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Connie Mack playing well

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

For the Northampton entry in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) League, it is a year about chemistry not experience.

The Konkrete Kids rode an experienced group last season to a second–place finish in the league and into the state playoffs. They finished with an overall 15-9 record.

This season, the Kids lost two workhorse pitchers from last year as well as a core of veterans. Yet, they have still shown some luster from last year, as the Kids headed into the weekend with an overall 9-3 record comprised from a less experienced squad. It boosted them near the top of the LVCM standings.

They recently posted an impressive 7-3 over Bangor, who sat above them in the standings.

“That was a big win for us,” said head coach Steve Kerbacher. “It probably was the best defensive game for us.

“We have been a little inconsistent both offensively and defensively so far. We have played well enough to win, but we could be doing better. It seemed like this game (against Bangor), we put it all together.”

The Kids are in a good position for a high playoff seed, as the league either will take the top eight or 12 teams for their postseason.

One of the keys for the Kids this season has been their pitching, which has been more of deeper staff instead of relying on a few mainstays. The Kids also apparently have found the right chemistry.

“We have six or seven pitchers,” said Kerbacher. “It’s good to have that kind of depth at that position.

“We’re not a deeply talented team, but we have managed to put it all together. We have a few guys who have played varsity and JV ball, and we have kids who just like to play summer ball. It took a few weeks for us to jell.”

Kerbacher will rely on his returning core of his son Joe Kerbacher, Mike Kuzio, Anthony George, Jake Christman, Jake Struff, and Aidan Hughes.

He also has been impressed with the contributions of newcomers Andrew Sawarynski, Nick Bodnar, T.J. Klucsarits, John Mannino, and Ethan Szerencsits.

“We have a number of kids who can play a couple of positions, and that also has helped us,” added Kerbacher. “We’re playing well and we putting it all together lately.”