ALLENTOWN - Lehighton ran into a buzz saw that was South Parkland Thursday.
South Parkland beat up on Lehighton in its Lehigh Valley Legion playoff game last night, ten-running the locals in a 14-2 ballgame. Parkland racked up 15 hits in the game - 13 of which came in the first two innings - and was aided by five Lehighton errors en route to the victory.
"We just came out real flat today," said Lehighton manager Derick Reis. "We made five errors and that is totally unacceptable. Plus, it seemed like every ball (South Parkland) hit found a hole somewhere."
Lehighton managed to score the first run of the game early. Ryan Blasko doubled to center with one out in the first and later scored on a wild pitch. However, Lehighton left the bases loaded to end the inning.
From there it was all South Parkland. A missed call by the umpires that would have turned out to be the third out of the inning allowed Parkland to continue its at-bats in the bottom of the first. Blasko picked up a dribbler and tug the runner on his way to first base, but the umpires did not see the play and called the runner safe. Parkland went on to score four runs on five straight hits and took an early 4-1 lead.
Although the umpires missed the call, it turned out to not really have an affect on the outcome. Parkland sent 13 batters to the plate in the second and scored eight runs on seven hits to blow the game open. Lehighton added to its misery, as it committed three errors in the inning (two on one play) and allowed the inning to snowball on itself.
"Mistakes happen," said Reis. "They are part of the game. Physical mistakes are always going to happen.
"I just told them to shake it off and get back out there and make the next play. You don't want to carry your at-bats to the field and you don't want to carry your plays in the field to your at-bats. They had to stay in there and keep battling."
Blasko came back up in the third and singled to start off the inning. Four batters later, Pat Janecki singled to drive in Blasko and made the score 12-2.
Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring Lehighton would do on the day. Parkland plated two more insurance runs in the fourth to give itself a cushion heading into the top of the fifth.
Jacen Nalesnik doubled with one out in the fifth and was followed by a Brandon Gurka walk. Janecki then grounded into a fielder's choice (third to second), but was ruled out at first to end the game after the umpire decided that Gurka went out of his way to disrupt the double play at second.
It is Lehighton's first loss of the double-elimination tournament. It will play fifth-seeded Coplay in the losers' bracket at home on Friday. Lehighton defeated Coplay 7-1 two days ago in the first round of the tournament.
"We're not out of it yet," said Reis. "(Friday) is another game. Hopefully we will come out with a little more intensity than we did today.
"I definitely think turning around and playing tomorrow works both ways. Hopefully for us it will be a good thing. Our guys are pretty resilient and I think they will put this behind them pretty quickly, shake it off and come out ready to go tomorrow."
Lehighton 101 00 - 2 5 5
So. Parkland 480 2x - 14 15 0
R. Blasko, Janecki (2) and Pecha, Nalesnik (4); Shaw, Brandstetter (5) and Abeln. W - Shaw. L - Blasko.