Lower Mac beats NP to start win streak
When Lower Macungie started last week with a 14-0 win over a good North Parkland team, players and coaches alike believed it could be a turning point to their season. That win has been converted into a current four-game winning streak that has the Mustangs back to the .500 mark at 6-6 on the season.
In their last four games, the Mustangs have scored 42 runs thanks to a pair of 14-run games. The pitching is doing its part as well, allowing just 14 runs over the same span, which started with the win over North Parkland.
A day after the win over the Buffaloes, Lower Macungie downed Coplay 9-8 in a game that saw Lower Mac fall behind early, surge back to take an 8-4 lead and then watched as Coplay tied the game.
The difference turned out to be the bottom of the fifth inning. Coplay tied the game in the top of the inning, but Lower Macungie wasn’t done. Brian Horoshko led off the fifth with a walk and went to second on a base-hit by Ryan Kasye, one of his three hits on the day. Both runners moved up when Vincent Viola dropped a sacrifice bunt, putting both runners in scoring position. Jaden Diaz hit a sacrifice fly to score Horoshko and move Kasye to third, giving Lower Macungie a 9-8 edge.
Diaz finished the day with two doubles and six RBIs. Kasye wound up stranded at third, but the pitching took over from there to lock down the win.
James Hamilton finished the game, throwing 2 2/3 innings in relief of Brendan Lynch to get the win.
Against rival Emmaus, Brandon Robinson led the way with three hits and four RBI. Robinson also scored two runs in the Lower Macungie 14-4 win. Viola and Braden Waller each contributed two hits, with Waller driving in two runs. Starter Ian Hertzog made it through four innings and was victimized by an error that led to three unearned runs in the game. Overall, Hertzog allowed one earned run over four innings and gave way to Viola, who threw two shutout innings and got the win in the game.
With the three straight wins putting the Mustangs within reach of a .500 record, Waller took the mound against Carbon and was his usual strong self. Best known for throwing a no-hitter against Easton in the district playoffs, Waller struck out 10 batters over seven innings in a 5-2 Lower Macungie win.
Lower Mac held a 3-2 edge for most of the game until they put up two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, the Mustangs saw five straight batters reach base with three singles and two walks. With runners on first and second, Hamilton singled to drive in Viola and after a walk to Robinson loaded the bases, Waller reached on an infield single to bring home Diaz, making it a 5-2 game.
Viola, Hamilton and Waller each had two hits in the game.
As a team, Lower Macungie is hitting .383 during their last four games. Robinson has five RBI and six runs scored while batting .800 (8-for-10) during the streak, with Viola hitting .545 (6-for-11) with a team-high seven runs scored. Over the last four games, Hamilton leads the team with seven RBIs, while both Waller and Diaz have six.
Waller, Lynch, Hertzog, Hamilton and Viola have combined for a 2.69 ERA with 32 strikeouts in 26 innings during the four wins.
The regular season ends this week, with Lower Macungie’s finale coming against South Parkland (10-0) on Friday. The Mustangs also play Northern Valley (6-5) and Allentown (2-10) this week. The Mustangs are currently tied for third with Carbon in the Lehigh Valley Legion standings. Carbon and Lower Macungie split the two games that they played this season. Northern Valley stands just behind Lower Macungie in the standings, with South Parkland ruling the league and North Parkland sitting in second place.