East Penn Press

Sunday, July 22, 2018

LM earns No. 2 seed in LVL playoffs

Friday, July 6, 2018 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

Sunday’s regular season finale against Northern Valley had no implications on the legion baseball standings for Lower Macungie.

Despite falling 5-2 to the Chargers, Lower Mac (12-6) finished the regular season as the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs that begin this week. Salisbury finished as the top seed with a 14-2 record.

“[Northern Valley] needed that I believe,” Lower Mac manager Jeff Smith said. “They are kind of in a dogfight, I think, with two or three other teams seeding-wise. We’ll see what shakes out.

“It’s a waiting game on that. All I can tell my guys is we’re going to have a home game on Friday night. It doesn’t really matter who we play because we’ll have to play them all eventually. For sure, whoever ends in the eight-team tournament, anybody can beat the other team. It’s really wide open this year.”

The bottom four teams in the 10-team Lehigh Valley Legion Baseball League will face off in two play-in games to set the eight-team double elimination tournament. Then a double-elimination tournament will begin Friday with the remaining eight teams.

When Lower Mac does return to the field, it will rely on its pitching to carry it into postseason play. Adam LeMaster, Joseph Marrero, James Hamilton and Bryan Horton have led the way for much of the regular season and will play key roles in Lower Mac’s quest for a regional berth.

“Our strong point quite simply has been our pitching; there’s no questions about that,” Smith said. “We struggled at the plate hitting…although they are coming around. There are a few kids that are putting the bat on the ball. Pitching has absolutely kept us in it.”

Depth in pitching could help the Mustangs navigate through the daily grind of the tournament. Only the tournament champ will move on and represent the LVLBL in the regional playoffs.

“This year we only send one representative, so that’s going to be whoever wins the tournament,” Smith said. “Other years we got two teams. Everybody is capable of beating each other, but who knows. But that is the goal, to win the tournament and make it to regionals. Are we capable of it? Yes. Will we do it? Well, we will see.

“Honestly, regardless of what happens, it’s a good group of kids and it’s been a great season. If you would have told me, ‘I’ll give you 12-6 and the No. 2 seed’ at the beginning of the year, I’d take it.”