Northampton Press

Friday, November 16, 2018

Kids Connie Mack team enters final stretch

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

In their final stretch of the season, Northampton seemingly can control its fate toward the postseason of the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) League.

Last week, Northampton further solidified its future when they posted two impressive wins and gained a forfeit to propel itself into a tie for second place in the league with an overall 13-4 record.

They rallied for a 13-8 win over Southern Lehigh and then posted a 10-3 rout of Catasauqua before they ended the week with a 7-0 forfeit over Wilson.

The top four teams in the LVCM will get a playoff bye and an automatic bid to the state tournament in mid-July.

“I think we can control our own destiny and win out,” said head coach Steve Kerbacher. “We should be able to make the top four (teams). The first four teams are pretty bunched up.”

Before their victory over Southern Lehigh, Northampton dropped an 8-7, 8-inning decision to South Parkland, which is sitting atop the league standings with an overall 12-2 mark.

Against Southern Lehigh, Jake Christman threw the first five innings, and Mike Kuzio closed it out. Joe Kerbacher scored two runs and had a three-run double.

In their win over Catty, Northampton erupted for nine runs over the first three innings. Jacob Struss threw the first five innings and Kuzio pitched the final two. Anthony George had a three-run triple and Ethan Szerencsits has two RBIs.

“I thought Jake (Christman) threw a good game,” said Kerbacher about the Southern Lehigh game. “We really didn’t support him as much as we could have.

“Mike (Kuzio) came on and did a nice job over the final innings. He (Kuzio) has been doing that the whole season for us.”

Kerbacher continues to be pleased with his pitching this summer, as he has taken a different approach. Christman, Kuzio, the younger Kerbacher, and Struss have paced the staff.

“Last year, we had a couple of studs at the top of our staff that carried us,” he said. “We had more of a veteran team.

“This year, we are really going with pitching by committee. We are spread out more. We are pitching six or seven guys and it has worked out well.”

Over the past month, Kerbacher has watched his team mature. Northampton has only five rostered players who have played on the high school level. They ended the season against Northern Valley Monday night.

“We took a couple of games to jell,” he said. “Now, we are playing well together. Everything is really coming together as a whole for us.”

Editor’s note:

Northampton won 2-1 with a walkoff win Monday night vs. Northern Valley. They finished 14-4 and in second place.

Jake Christman had the walkoff, sac fly in the ninth which scored Ayden Hughes.

Joe Kerbacher threw seven innings and Mike Kuzio tossed the final two frames and picked up the win.