Northampton Press

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Legion team on to next round Legion team on to next round

Legion team on to next round

Thursday, July 12, 2018 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

All season long, Northampton was looking for the right combination of pitching and hitting.

For the most part, they have had it.

Their pitching, however, has been the most consistent component of the two. Yet in the first two games of the Northampton County (NORCO) Legion Playoffs, third-seeded Northampton had the perfect combination.

They had their way with East Stroudsburg in sweeping the best-of-three series. Northampton won the first, 13-4 Monday night, and followed with a 4-1 victory Tuesday night.

Northampton advanced to the next round Wednesday against either second-seeded Wanderers or seventh-seeded Banko’s. It was undetermined at press time.

“We started slow in the first game,” said head coach Mike Bodnar. “We were behind in the third inning and then we rallied.”

In the opening game, Tyler Illif threw 98 pitches (63 strikes) over seven innings and recorded four strikeouts and zero walks.

He was supported by Patrick Bodnar, who had three RBIs; Nick Bodnar, who had two hits and an RBI; Cam Eaton, who had a double and two RBIs; and Andrew Kovalchik, who had a double and an RBI.

“Tyler (Illif) threw a good game,” added Bodnar. “He has done that for us all season. It was good to see our bats get going behind a good start.”

In game two, Jared Hunsberger threw a complete game, six–hitter over 95 pitches (63 strikes), netting seven strikeouts and one walk.

He was supported Brandon Michael, who had two hits; Brittain Shander, who had a triple and two RBIs; and Kyle Morin, who had two hits and an RBI.

Earlier this season, Hunsberger threw a pair of no-hitters. However, he will miss the rest of the NORCO playoffs as he left for vacation. The best-of-three championship will be on consecutive days and begins Sunday, July 15.

“We’ll miss Jared (Hunsberger), but we’ll move on,” said Bodnar. “We just have to stay consistent at this point.”