Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Press photo by Linda RothrockJoe Lisicky slides safely into second base during the Zephs game against Emmaus. Press photo by Linda RothrockJoe Lisicky slides safely into second base during the Zephs game against Emmaus.

Baseball team sits at 2-3 early in season

Thursday, April 4, 2019 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

It’s been a bit of a bumpy start for the Whitehall baseball team, losing two close games to division foes, and then getting blitzed by the Blazers who spoiled their home opener on Saturday.

The Zephyrs’ week began with a game was against Nazareth to kick off their league schedule. Their bats came alive early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first. The Blue Eagles clawed back, cutting the deficit to one with two runs in the third.

Whitehall responded with two more runs in the next frame, but Nazareth kept chipping away, scoring runs in the final three innings, with Owen Panovec providing the game-winning single to give the Eagles the win.

The next time they took the field was against Daniel Boone High School for their home opener. The Blazers put up 10 runs in the third to effectively put the game out of reach, handing the Zephs an 18-3 loss.

Whitehall’s next opponent was Emmaus, a team that hadn’t allowed a run in their first two league games. Monday’s game saw a first inning home run by Hornet Wyatt Hensler, but Whitehall tied the game in the second, scoring on a wild pitch. Shane Fillman followed with a deep drive to center that emptied the bases as the Zephs scored three more times to take a 4-1 lead.

But the Green Hornets rallied to score six runs in the fourth. The Zephyrs kept fighting back, eventually tying the game in the bottom of the sixth with three runs. The Hornets broke the tie with a run in the top of the seventh, and then shut down Whitehall’s bid for a comeback in their half of the inning for the 9-8 win.

Head coach Shaun O’Boyle said that they had opportunities to win both those league games, but weren’t able to pull out the victories.

“They’re both ones we could have won,” said O’Boyle.

While Whitehall only had three hits against Emmaus, O’Boyle said that they did a good job with situational hitting.

He liked their approach at the plate and felt they had good at bats, with Andrew Snyder also getting a timely hit that led to an RBI. They were working deep counts and battling all afternoon.

“I think we swung the bats well,” he said.

They were also aided by a Hornet pitching staff that issued 11 walks.

Pitching has also been an issue for the Zephyrs over that span. They’ve issued 25 walks in those three games, and that’s something that O’Boyle knows needs to be addressed.

“We have to get our pitching right,” said O’Boyle. “We can’t continue to be walking nine or ten batters. We have to fix that.”

In the game against the Blazers, he felt that they lost some of their composure after that big inning. As a young team, a couple of bad plays put them on their heels and they couldn’t get back on track. They committed four errors in that game.

Still, he said that they need to make the routine plays.

They responded with an energetic performance against the Hornets, something O’Boyle was confident they would do after Saturday’s loss.

“They came out and played hard,” O’Boyle said.

The Zephyrs are now 2-3 on the season. This week will see them play Northampton on Wednesday.