Nolehi in final
LIMEPORT - Erv Prutzman stood there almost speechless.
The play of his Northern Lehigh baseball team had him lost for words after last night's Colonial League semifinal game.
A mixture of solid pitching and timely hits clinched Prutzman's first title game appearance as a head coach.
Prutzman was proud to see his Bulldogs put an end to a seven-year championship game hiatus with a 5-1 victory over Pen Argyl.
"This is like a dream come true," said Prutzman, who was an assistant coach when the Bulldogs played Northwestern for the title in 2003. "I don't know what else to say. This is just unbelievable."
The North Division champions will face South champions will face South Division champ Saucon Valley, who was a 2-1 victor over Bangor, for this year's title. The game is slated for tonight at 7 p.m. at Limeport.
Senior pitcher Joe Seremula was one of the main reasons the Bulldogs were successful in the semifinal.
After posting four-hit and five-hit complete games against the Knights in the regular season, Seremula was even better in the playoff game. He allowed just three hits and overcame three errors while going all seven.
He matched his regular season high of nine strikeouts and has struck out 25 Pen Argyl batters this year.
Seremula gave credit to his offense for the biggest of his team's three wins over the Knights this season.
"My team hit the ball hard today," Seremula said. "We have been in a slump the last three games with hitting the ball. We have had about five hits per game, but luckily our pitching has kept us in every game.
"We knew they would be out to get us since they didn't want to lose again."
Senior Tyler Bolton's first-inning sacrifice fly plated Trevor Yashur for a 1-0 lead.
In the third, the Green Knights took advantage of two Bulldog fielding miscues to tie the game at 1-1. Jake Zanette, who reached on the first error, scored when Dylan Evans made it to second on another blunder.
The Bulldogs got the lead back for good in the bottom of the inning.
Yashur collected his second hit of the game with a single. He scored on a Seremula RBI double off Pen Argyl pitcher Jay Young, who also threw a complete game.
While Seremula only surrendered a fourth inning single and two walks the rest of the way, his Bulldog teammates helped him with some insurance runs later. Matt Gill, Jake Kern, pinch-hitter Kirk Bender (RBI) and Eric Snyder (two-run) all laced singles.
Seremula capped the game by striking out the side in the seventh.
"There's a philosophy," said Prutzman, in giving Seremula the ball Wednesday night. "But, to get to game two, you have to win game one. We're not dropping off tomorrow. We're going to be there and Snyder's going to do it."
Pen Argyl 001 000 0 - 1 3 1
No.Lehigh 101 003 x - 5 7 3
J. Young and T. Young; Seremula and Hoch. W - Seremula. L - J. Young.