Hornets have playoffs in sight
Having to play three games in four days this week to finish out the regular season, Emmaus needed its pitchers to make the most of their allotted innings. Last Monday night a senior took the initiative.
Matt Lanzone went six innings, giving up just five hits and two runs in leading his team to a 7-2 win against Nazareth at Emmaus Community Park.
“I just wanted to pitch well and deep into the game and just give our team a chance to win,” said Lanzone. “We knew we needed one of these last few games this week to get into the conference tournament, so I wanted to get it done tonight. It’s good to be able to go out there with some good stuff working and get the win.”
The Green Hornets (12-5 overall, 10-4 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference) scored their seven runs on eight hits, but were aided by walks early on. Blue Eagles (10-9, 8-6) starter Cam Farmer and reliever Cade Stoneback gave Emmaus nine free passes, including two batters that were hit by a pitch.
In the bottom of the first inning, the walks haunted Nazareth.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the top half of the frame, Emmaus’ Jake Hahn reached via the walk and advanced to second on a balk by Farmer. Senior Eric Cichocki brought home Hahn with an RBI single the next batter, and then scored after two walks and a hit batter.
“It was huge to get back that run we gave up in the top of the first,” Cichocki said. “Their starter was missing the zone in the beginning, so we had to be smart and not give in to anything. We got some energy going in that inning that carried over for the rest of the game.”
Emmaus tacked on two more with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. Taden Gery singled, followed by a Todd Moxey walk. Then sophomore Kellan Tulio ripped a single, bringing both runners home after a double steal put them at second and third.
From there Lanzone was on cruise control.
After giving up the one run in the first, he retired the next 14 batters.
“I remembered this lineup and wanted to pitch well tonight because they beat us last time we played,” Lanzone said. “I needed to keep them off balance. Getting the fast ball in there helped set up my curveball that seemed to be working well.”
The Blue Eagles got two straight two-out hits in the top of the sixth. They scored their final run with runners on first and third. The runner at first got caught in a run down and a run scored before he was tagged out.
Emmaus’ Zach Schrader had an RBI single in the fifth, and Moxey and Wyatt Henseler each connected on RBI hits in the sixth.
Logan Foley came in and worked a hitless seventh to close out the game.
“It was a huge win for us, momentum-wise, standings-wise and seedings-wise,” said Cichocki. “We had a lead against them last time and lost, so it was nice to close this one out.”
Emmaus played Whitehall Tuesday (after Press deadline) and has its season finale Thursday at Central Catholic before the start of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs this weekend.