SALISBURY TWP. Adam Wehr led the Northern Valley legion baseball team's power surge on Wednesday night at Salisbury High School.
The 6-foot-2 right hander drove three balls over the fence as Northern Valley connected for five total home runs in its 16-7 victory over Salisbury in an opening game of the Lehigh Valley Legion baseball playoffs.
Center fielder Billy Dayton and first baseman Nate Kester also recorded long balls for sixth-seeded Northern Valley, which avenged two regular-season losses to Salisbury.
"Some days it's your day and some days it's not, and I think today was just our day," Northern Valley coach Jim Kester said. "There really was no secret. It's hard to pinpoint anything but we certainly hit the ball."
Northern Valley will play top-seeded North Parkland at 5:45 p.m. today in a winner's bracket game at Parkland Middle School. North Parkland rolled over eighth-seeded Lower Macungie 11-1 on Wednesday.
Wehr, who now has 12 homers on the season, hit a solo home run in the third inning and followed it up with two-run blasts in both the fifth and seventh innings. For the game, the left fielder reached base all five of his plate appearances, racking up five RBIs and four runs.
Northern Valley tallied at least one run in every inning, with a pair of four-spots coming in the fifth and seventh innings.
Wehr believes the arrival of the playoffs and two prior losses to third-seed Salisbury served as motivation for the decisive victory.
"I think it's just our intensity. One, because of the playoffs and two, because we lost to them and we're the lower seed and just wanted to beat the higher seed," Wehr said. "Everything just went right today. We had good pitching by Joey (Seremula) and the offense was just explosive."
Seremula allowed just one earned run and five hits in six innings pitched. The left-hander also struck out nine and gave up one walk in the strong outing.
Seremula feels that Dayton's lead-off homer to dead centerfield in the top of the first inning was key to his success.
"When we started with a lead-off bomb, I knew something's going to be right and on the mound, I just fed off the momentum," Seremula said.
Another lights-out performance by Seremula was far from a surprise to his coach.
"Honestly, all year long, he's been solid as a rock," Kester said. "He's going to be a tough guy to replace next year, real tough guy to replace."
Jason Butterweck went 3-for-3 with an RBI, a run and a stolen base for Northern Valley. Dayton, Jake Kern and Gio Fricchione all added two hits for the visitors.
Salisbury's Colby Kulig continued the long-ball parade, hitting a solo homer in the first inning and powering a three-run blast in the seventh inning.
But it was not nearly enough to overcome the offensive display by Northern Valley, which posted 16 runs and 16 hits against six Salisbury pitchers.
"They just hit the ball," Salisbury coach Dave Ernst said. "They are probably the best hitting club in the league."
Salisbury will be forced to fight out of the loser's bracket, beginning with a 5:45 p.m. home game today against Lower Macungie.
"We can definitely bounce back," Ernst said. "We have won a bunch of games in a row before. We just have to come ready to play every day. This was our one mulligan."
No. Valley 121 143 4 - 16 16 4
Salisbury 102 000 4 - 7 9 2
Seremula, Wehr (7) and Boyd; Harper, Wisser (4), Ebner (5), Kuhns (6), Smith (7), Vangeli (7) and Kulig, Tocci (6), Utsch (6). W - Seremula. L - Harper. HR: NV - Wehr 3 (3rd, none on; 5th, one on; 7th, one on), Dayton (1st, none on), Kester (4th, none on). S - Kulig 2 (1st, none on; 7th, 2 on).