Emmaus goes 1-2 in playoffs
After a 5-11 season, Emmaus came into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs as the eighth-seeded team, having to face undefeated South Parkland in the first round of the double-elimination tournament. The Hornets played a tough game against the Trojans, with South Parkland coming away with a 2-1 win, sending Emmaus to the loser’s bracket.
The Trojans went on to win the league title Monday evening, defeating Northern Valley in the title game.
In the tournament opener, Emmaus’ Steven Doddy and Austin McEllroy held the Trojans to just one earned run in the game, with Doddy throwing 5 1/3 innings and McEllroy finishing up the sixth, getting both outs on strikeouts.
South Parkland had a runner on first with two outs in the fourth when Adam Smith hit a ball to third that was misplayed for a three-base error, bringing home the first run of the game.
In the sixth, it was a South Parkland error that led to an Emmaus run. Ross Braxmeier reached on an error to open the inning and moved up to second on a ground out by McEllroy. Stephen Bloodnick then singled to bring home Braxmeier and tie the game 1-1.
South Parkland got the lead right back in the bottom of the inning when a one-out single with runners on first and third made it 2-1. McEllroy entered and walked Smith to load the bases, but then struck out the next two batters to keep the Parkland lead at just one run. Alex Oliver put down the Hornets in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.
Emmaus players didn’t hang their heads and came right back in their next game to beat fourth-seeded Lower Macungie 4-3, ending the Mustangs’ season. Emmaus took an early lead with a run in the second and two more in the third for a 3-0 advantage.
In the third, John Cherhit doubled with two outs and scored when Robert Church lined a single to left. An inning later, Emmaus put runners on first and second with two outs for Bloodnick, who hit a hard groundball through the right side of the infield to make it 2-0. David Cobb then hit a hard single through the left side of the infield that scored Doddy and Emmaus went up 3-0. The lead stretched to 4-0 in the fifth when Braxmeier led off by being hit by a pitch and McEllroy followed with a double to right. One out later, a passed ball allowed Braxmeier to score, but the Hornets couldn’t do any further damage.
Lower Mac scored two in the bottom of the inning, but Braxmeier kept the Mustangs off the board in the sixth and McEllroy entered to pitch a scoreless seventh.
Unfortunately, the playoff run ended against the Carbon Monarchs, who downed Emmaus 15-4. Emmaus managed just three hits in the game, with Bloodnick driving in two runs and Madigan scoring two runs for the Hornets, whose season ended at 6-13.
On the year, McEllroy led the team in hitting with a .405 average, with Matthew Madigan hitting .341. Braxmeier easily led the team in runs scored with 22 and McEllroy’s 10 RBI were tops on the team. McEllroy led the league with a 1.29 OPS and finished third in batting average. On the mound, McEllroy posted an impressive 2.77 ERA, while Braxmeier led the team with 31 innings pitched and posted a 2.94 ERA.