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Thorpe advances to final four

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    Jim Thorpe’s Mike Cadugan-Daugherty rounds third base during Friday’s game against Southern Lehigh. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published July 19. 2019 10:46PM


Not even what amounted to a 48-hour rain delay could derail a well oiled Jim Thorpe machine.

Friday night, Jim Thorpe picked up where it left off Wednesday finishing off a 6-0 victory of Southern Lehigh in the quarterfinals of the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack Baseball League playoffs.

“We have a lot of confidence in our game now,” said Jim Thorpe coach Pat Joyce. “They don’t give trophies for second place. We are here to win the whole thing.

“This team is coming together at the right time. It’s not just one kid either. We think we can beat anybody now.”

Leading 3-0 when the rain, thunder and lightning suspended play on Wednesday, Thorpe added another three runs in the top of the sixth inning Friday night.

Spencer Hunsicker led off with a single to center and raced to second base when the outfielder bobbled the ball. Hunsicker was promptly balked to third and scored on a line single to center by Nate Sompel. With one out, Jared Joyce tripled over the center fielder’s head to score Sompel. A sacrifice fly by Ian Hubbard plated Joyce with JT’s third run of the inning.

“It was a hot day and we warmed up on our own pace,” said coach Joyce. “We were able to flip the switch and pick right up where we left off.

“DJ {Richebacher} gave us five solid innings on Wednesday. He gave up some hits, but they weren’t bunched together. He was able to bear down when he had to get key outs.”

Nate Sompel pitched the final two innings for Jim Thorpe last night, allowing no hits and just two walks.

On Wednesday, Thorpe scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Jared Marykwas and Garrett Lienhard had RBI hits. Brandon Fasolino contributed two hits and Ian Hubbard scored after he belted a booming triple.

Richebacher walked only one batter during his five shutout frames. He and Sompel pitched to contact and solid defensive play shut down any chance for big innings by Southern Lehigh.

“Our whole pitching staff is doing a great job. We have a 2.13 ERA for the season. They have been able to make small adjustments to throw strikes game after game,” said Joyce.

RALLY KILLERS ... Besides making the routine plays in the field, Joyce commended the individual efforts of his defense. Running down a foul pop fly, diving stops of ground balls, and making over the shoulder catches in the outfield has helped result in errorless baseball

THE SEMIS ... Jim Thorpe will host Northeast Bethlehem this morning at 10 a.m. at Jim Thorpe High School. The winner of that game will play Sunday for the league championship. Friday’s victory also clinched a berth in the Connie Mack State Tournament for Thorpe.

Jim Thorpe 001 113 0 — 6 13 0

So. Lehigh 000 000 0 — 0 6 1

Richebacher, Sompel (6) and Hubbard. Becker, Seger (6) and Zepp. W - Richebacher, L - Becker.








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