N'western picks up a pair
Northwestern had already played a full game Monday before Catasauqua showed up to take on the Tigers in the second half of Monday's double header.
After dispatching of Saucon Valley early in the day, Northwestern kept its momentum going early in the second game. The Tigers scored four runs in the first inning against Catty en route to a 5-3 win.
"I give them credit," said Catty head coach Steve Bradley. "They played a game before ours and they still came out and hustled and made all the plays. They were into the game in all seven innings. We were flat."
The Tigers played error-free defense and ace Sawyer Smith scattered 10 hits to help his team pull to .500 (5-5) in Colonial League play and a half-game in front of the Roughies.
"We made some plays that earlier in the season we wouldn't have made," said Northwestern head coach Len Smith. "We played two games today without and error. When you do that you're going to give yourself a chance."
Northwestern jumped on Roughie pitcher Joe Taves in the first inning. Payton Bachman singled to lead off the game then came home on Ty Cunningham's single. A Matt Maher single put two runners on base before Tim Shaeffer belted a line drive to center field that brought in two runs and gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
"I was just focused," Schaeffer said. "I knew I had to hit it hard with two outs. I had to put it in play. I drove it right back up the middle."
Shaeffer later scored on TJ White's single for a 4-0 lead after one inning. Shaeffer had two hits in the game.
"He's coming on," said Smith. "We played Bangor on Friday and [Schaeffer] had two hits off (Westyn) Baylor and that's one of the better pitchers in the league."
Catty got two runs on three hits in the second inning before Smith retired the Roughies in order in the third. The senior right hander allowed runners to get into scoring position in the fourth and fifth, but didn't allow a run thanks in part to a double-play that ended a Catty threat in the fifth.
Catty threatened again in the sixth inning, starting with two hits and a run before the Tigers could record and out. A ground out, a fly out and a runner caught stealing got Northwestern out of the inning without losing the lead.
The Tigers got that run back in the bottom of the inning. Talon Williams led off with a double and scored on Andrew Rivera's infield single for a 5-3 lead.
Smith allowed the Roughies their 10th hit of the game in the top of the seventh, but he didn't allow the runner to get past first before finishing off the game. Smith has been the Tigers workhorse this season and came through once again in a big game.
"He's done an outstanding job," Smith said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do."
The Tigers, which have just three starters back from last season, are starting to hit their stride as they head into the second half of the season.
"We've come a long way," Smith said. "They work hard. They've given us all we've asked. They have bought into what we're doing and hopefully it translates into more wins as we come down the stretch."
Catasauqua 020 001 0 - 3 10 1
Northwestern 400 001x - 5 10 0
Taves and Tatasciore; Smith and White. WP - Smith; LP - Taves.