Northampton Press

Monday, November 18, 2019
Press photo by Linda RothrockMike Kuzio reaches first base safely during the Kids recent game against Emmaus, a game in which the Kids came out on top. Press photo by Linda RothrockMike Kuzio reaches first base safely during the Kids recent game against Emmaus, a game in which the Kids came out on top.

Kids rebound to beat Emmaus

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 by Jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

For Northampton, their 13-game winning streak was a major accomplishment this season.

Beating Emmaus Monday was even bigger.

The Konkrete Kids took another giant step toward gaining more respectability when they edged Emmaus, 4-3, Monday afternoon. Two days prior, the Kids (14-3) had their winning streak snapped in a 5-4 loss to Parkland. They began the season with consecutive losses to Parkland and Emmaus.

“We knew we had to split with Parkland and Emmaus,” said head coach Mick Sugra. “Beating Emmaus was huge. We wanted to further establish ourselves and this helps. We earlier beat Easton and that was big.

“This win was a feather to put in our cap.”

Junior Evan Zwolenik went the distance, allowing four hits and recording 10 strikeouts. With the win, Zwolenik kept his record unblemished with a 4-0 mark and 1.44 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 43 innings.

“It was a great game and I felt I threw well,” said Zwolenik. “I had a lot of confidence going into the game after pitching against Easton. It was a great bounce back win for us after losing to Parkland.

“Emmaus is very good team and I gave it my all. My curveball was moving and I could locate. I’m ready for the next game and I’m going to try and keep it up.”

Sugra was pleased about another strong outing from his lefthander. Cole Rufe (3-1, 1.70, 42 strikeouts in 28.2 innings) and Phil Vooz (2-0, 1.13 17 strikeouts in 12 innings) round out the staff, and Terry Graver (2-1, 3.50) and Cam Cooper (1-1, 1 save, 1.31) have anchored the bullpen.

“Evan threw well and he has been consistent all season,” said Sugra. “He, Cole Rufe, and Phil Vooz have done a great job starting and Cam Cooper and Terry Graver have done the job in relief. We have been very happy with our pitching this year.”

Offensively, the Kids have had a balanced attack throughout the season. Senior Cam Eaton recently had an outburst against Easton and Parkland as he belted a combined three homers and two triples. Eaton leads the team with four homers and 22 RBIs and is hitting .333. Joe Kerbacher is hitting .409 with eight RBIs, and Graver has a .339 average with a team-high 19 hits and also 13 RBIs.

“Cam (Eaton) really has been hitting the ball for us,” said Sugra. “(Andrew) Kovalchik also has stepped it up. We have had a lot of guys step it up and it seems like we have someone different with a big game every time for us.”

The Kids are in the running for the East Penn Conference title (4-3 division, 10-3 conference), and they are ranked third behind Parkland and Emmaus in the District 11 Class 6 A rankings. They have three games remaining against Allentown Central Catholic, Nazareth, and Whitehall.

“It was a nice win over Emmaus,” added Sugra. “But the big prizes – the league and district titles – are still out there for us.”