Erv Prutzman admitted he was a bit nervous prior to his Colonial League game with arch-rival Palmerton.
It only took his Northern Lehigh baseball team an inning to calm his nerves completely.
Things even got better as the Bulldogs remained undefeated in league play with an 11-1 four-inning victory over the Bombers on Wednesday.
"I'll tell you what, I was nervous since yesterday (Tuesday)," Prutzman said. "You just throw the records out when Palmerton (0-5) plays Northern Lehigh (5-0 CL).
"No lead is safe against them. But, like I told these guys, we've got to get on them early and just take control and see what happens from there."
Prutzman's blood pressure may have rose a bit after the Bombers got on the scoreboard first in the opening inning.
Christian Marcin led off the game by reaching second base on the Bulldogs' lone error of the game. Aaron Cook followed with an RBI-single up the middle scoring Marcin.
After suffering shaky innings in the first and third, Bulldog senior Joey Seremula settled in the rest of the way by striking out 10 and surrendered two hits in four innings of work. In fact, in the third, Seremula allowed all three of his walks to load the bases. He recovered to strike out the side to end what could have been a productive inning for the Bombers.
"Joe has been coming through all year," Prutzman said. "No. 1, he gets ahead in the count. Then, he also mixes up his pitches very well."
While those few things are seen by Seremula solely from the mound, the Bombers' mentor Tom Smelas was able to depict his team's weakness that day by what they left happen out on the field.
"Right now, if we have a bad inning in the infield, we have to learn that offensively we can't take what happened defensively to the plate," Smelas said. "That's been happening sometimes. Today was no different.
"So, we were a little undisciplined at the plate today because we lost focus because of what happened out on the field defensively."
While Seremula took advantage of the disheartened Bombers in the batter's box, his Bulldog teammates supported him with all the run support he needed over the final three innings.
After being shutdown in the first, the Bulldogs retaliated with a seven-run second inning by taking advantage of four free passes. Trevor Yashur sparked the third with a three-run triple, Seremula followed with an RBI double and then Matt Gill and Andy Hoch capped the inning with RBI singles.
It got worse for the Bombers in the third as they committed three straight errors, which led to three more runs for the Bulldogs.
Yashur capitalized on some of those by delivering an RBI single, while Eric Snyder followed later with an RBI single.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs enforced the 10-run rule as Kirk Bender led things off with a triple and scored on Joe Dugan's fielder's choice RBI.
"It's always great having Yashur and Kern ahead of me because I know it's always going to give me a chance to either bat someone in or know there's going to be run support before or after my first inning on the mound," Seremula said. "Even below me in the order, Gill, Snyder and all the way through, everyone can put the bat on the ball and put it in play. I knew I was going to have plenty of run support this year."
Palmerton 100 0 - 1 1 3
No. Lehigh 073 1 - 11 10 1
Saylor, Svetik (2) and Hahn; Seremula and Hoch. W - Seremula. L - Saylor.