One inning dooms Hornets vs. PHS
When two coaches who have seen their share of weird things happen in baseball agree that one particular inning was extraordinary, you know there had to be a lot going on. That was how both Emmaus coach Mike Mihalik and Parkland coach Kurt Weber viewed the fifth inning of Friday’s game that ended with a 17-1 loss for Emmaus.
In the inning, 13 straight batters reached base for the Trojans and they scored 14 runs on 13 hits, 10 of which were singles. Three walks and an error also helped the Parkland rally against three different Emmaus pitchers.
Adam LeMaster started the inning and gave way to Brendan Lynch, who was unable to record an out and exited in favor of Jaime Hamilton, who recorded all three outs in the inning for Emmaus.
The inning was a shock to everyone in both dugouts, especially for an Emmaus team that had outscored its opponents 39-11 to open the season 4-0 coming into the game against Parkland. It was equally surprising for Parkland, who came into the game 2-0 having scored just five runs in those two games.
Lost in the game was another home run from Wyatt Henseler, his third of the season that was a shot to straight-away center field that cleared the fence easily. It’s likely that the home run traveled 400 feet to the deepest part of the Church Lane field.
“Another good shot by Wyatt, but we didn’t have enough of them. We needed 17 more of them,” joked Mihalik, who equated the game to one that took place a day earlier in which his team beat a good Northampton team 10-0.
“Look at Northampton, we did to them what Parkland just did to us, so it’s high school baseball,” said Mihalik. “You have to just flush it. We’re 4-1. We had a horrible, horrible day. You flush it and come back tomorrow.
“We still have an opportunity to have a good week. I just told them that with Northampton, Parkland and Blue Mountain, we’re facing three consecutive teams that could be in a district semifinal or final. They’re that tough. If we finish the week at 5-1, we’ll have that feeling back and go into next week feeling good.”
Emmaus did respond and picked up a 2-1 win over Blue Mountain the following day to finish the week 5-1 and go 2-1 against three very tough teams. In the win, Dylan Lehman threw a complete game two-hitter and the Hornets saw Evan Marushak and LeMaster each drive in a run.
While Mihalik wasn’t concerned about the loss to Parkland, he was disappointed that there were a few plays that weren’t made and that his pitchers made some bad pitches throughout the game. Another mild concern is that the Hornets haven’t been able to take advantage of early opportunities. Against Parkland, Emmaus had runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings but was unable to push them across the plate with a key hit.
“Yesterday [against Northampton] started the same way,” said Mihalik. “We got some runners on in the first inning against Northampton and didn’t get them in, but the second time through, we got them in. Today, I had that similar feeling that if we kept this a close game we would start barreling up some balls and they’d start flying. I wish we would take advantage of those scoring opportunities early when we get them because this game might have been different if we go up a couple of runs early.”
The Hornets have conference games against Whitehall (3-2), Dieruff (0-2) and Freedom (5-1) over the next week and a game against Central Bucks West Saturday at Community Park.