Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Press photo by Linda RothrockShane Fillman leaps to catch a high throw at second base as a PHS runner slides in safe. Press photo by Linda RothrockShane Fillman leaps to catch a high throw at second base as a PHS runner slides in safe.

Zephyrs break losing streak at Coca-Cola Park

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

The Coca-Cola Park Curse is officially broken.

The Zephyrs defeated Parkland 4-3 on Friday afternoon, part of the annual Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Play-Day at the IronPigs facility in Allentown.

While it may not rival The Curse of the Bambino, which was popularized during the Red Sox’s long 86-year title drought, it had been six years since WHS claimed a victory at the Phillies’ Triple A minor league park.

The “curse” was lifted thanks to a total team effort, said head coach Shaun O’Boyle, who was the skipper the last time they at the venue won in 2013.

He said that up and own their lineup, every single player contributed to the win. From the reserves to the starters, they all shared a piece of that win over the Trojans at CCP.

“Every single person contributed to that win in one way or another,” he said.

He also felt that it was also their best overall performance so far this season.

“I told them, I think this was the best team win we had all year,” said O’Boyle.

It marked their fifth win in six games, raising their record to 9-8 after Friday’s victory. However, they lost to Allentown Central Catholic on Saturday, evening their record at 9-9.

Still, they’ve been playing their best baseball as the postseason approaches.

Andrew Snyder got the win for the Zephyrs, tossing five strong innings to lift the above the .500 mark. Connor Paashaus got the save, working two innings of relief to preserve the victory.

Ayden Dunbar got the game-winning RBI, knocking in Joe Lisicky for the go-ahead run, which they needed since the Trojans added another run in the top of the seventh.

O’Boyle said that Dunbar delivered with two outs, coming through in the clutch. He said that it was another instance of a sophomore coming through in a big situation.

The Zephyrs scored in the bottom of the first as Owen Fischl’s blooper to left scooted under the glove of the diving outfielder. Shane Fillman, who had two hits in the win, crossed the plate to give them the 1-0 advantage. Their second run came on a wild pitch as the ball got away, allowing Kevin Landis, who was running for Adin Hoderewski, to score, and Ben Hudak to reach first.

However, Parkland tied the game, getting their first run on Adam Smith’s liner up the middle. The equalizer came after a sharply hit ball reached Joe Lisicky in left. His throw was in time and on line, but the short hop was just too hard for Hoderewski to corral, and the game was knotted 2-2.

But Andrew Snyder shut the door the rest of his outing, notching seven strikeouts. His off-speed pitches were working against their lineup as he was getting a lot of swings and misses.

“He definitely had his offspeed pitches working,” said O’Boyle.

O’Boyle said Snyder was also able to spot the ball out of the strike zone, getting the Parkland hitters to chase. It proved effective as he allowed just four hits.

“We just kept going with that,” said O’Boyle.

In the third, Snyder had to work out of a jam after two singles put runners on base for the dangerous George Jenkins. But Snyder punched him out looking to end the threat.

He kept Parkland off-balance throughout the game, helping the Zephs break that curse.

I guess you could say that they’re no longer bottled up at Coca-Cola Park.