Zephs rally for win
With the baseball season just under way, the Zephyrs have all ready demonstrated the ability to come through in the clutch.
That was the case in their league opener against Northampton Area High School as they found themselves trailing by two runs heading into the top of the sixth. That's when the Zephs put their crunch time heroics to use, coming up with a bases-loaded double by Tyler Sweeney to give them a 5-4 lead. A balk closed out the scoring in the frame, allowing the Zephs to post a 6-4 victory over their division rivals.
Sweeney's game-winning hit came with two outs, a situation that proved to be a recurring theme throughout the game, according to head coach Shaun O'Boyle.
"It was a great comeback for us," said O'Boyle. "We had a lot of two-out hits."
O'Boyle said that four out of their six runs came with two outs, further underscoring their ability to succeed under pressure. They took advantage of their opportunities and didn't let the moment overtake them even when they were trailing late in the game.
The Zephs got on the board first, scoring once in second, then again in the third for a 2-0 lead. Driving in those runs were Elliot Mortimer and Jake Wloczewski, with Wloczewski helping his own cause on the mound with that RBI.
However, the Kids rallied for four runs in the bottom of the third, due in large part to bases on balls. O'Boyle said Wloczewski issued four walks in that frame, theorizing he may have been affected by a new league rule which mandates that a pitcher must face the batter during their windup.
With Wloczewski struggling with his control, O'Boyle handed the ball to Jacob Meyers who put out the fire. Meyers stayed in the game, building on Wloczewski's frugality when it came to allowing the Kids base hits, as Northampton managed only three knocks the whole game.
"Jake came in and did a good job," said O'Boyle. "He shut them down for three innings."
Finally, Sweeney made sure the Kids didn't mount a comeback of their own, closing the door Northampton in the bottom of the seventh.
O'Boyle said that resiliency was good to see from his team who now have three wins under their belt. They have the right attitude who practice hard and play hard.
In addition to Sweeney's double, Ryan Bonshak also laced a two-bagger in the win.
That win was followed by a 15-0 blanking of Pocono Mountain West High School. O'Boyle said that the Panthers were essentially playing their first game, indicating that weather conditions, particularly snow, prevented them from getting onto the field.
While PMW was struggling to find their swing, the Zephs had no problem bringing out the lumber, banging out 13 hits in the rule-shortened game. Getting into the hit parade were a number of Zephs, including Matt Bonshak (2 hits, 2 RBIs), Mortimer (2 hits, 2 RBIs), Sweeney (2 hits, RBI), Meyers (2 hits), Ryan Bonshak (RBI), Zach Delp (RBI), Khristian Polanco (RBI) and Domonic Sinatore (RBI).
Starting pitcher Mortimer was equally adept on the mound as he was in the batter's box, fanning 10 of the 13 batters he faced.
O'Boyle said even though they only played four innings, he was able to empty his bench.
The fast start isn't a mystery to O'Boyle who's watched how they go about their business on a daily basis.
"They're playing well," said O'Boyle. "They're a real fun team to coach. They practice hard and they're fun to watch."