Liberty Defeats Nazareth to Advance to EPC Baseball Finals

A quality non-conference schedule won’t necessarily help a team’s win-loss record, but it certainly helps prepare them for the postseason.

The Liberty High School baseball team used four non-league games this spring to face the likes of Hazleton and Wilson Roan, two of whom defeated the Hurricanes.

But when it comes to the playoffs, they’re going up against permanent state powers, and their high-intensity pitching helps.

The Hurricanes have scored 12 points in each of their two games so far in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference tournament, and the non-league loss has been a big gain.

A second 12-run streak saw Nazareth go out 12-2 in the fifth inning in the EPC semifinals at DeSales University’s Wayland Park on Monday.

The No. 2-seeded Hurricanes (16-4) easily secured a flight home to Center Valley on Thursday night and will play the league title game against Emmaus or Parkland at 7 p.m. If Liberty wins, it will be the show’s first league title since the Lehigh Valley Conference.

Lost to 16-5, Nazareth will rest until play begins in the District 11 6A tournament next week.

Iden Zavala had 3 hits in 3 at bats, scored 3 runs, and scored 2 on his first double. Jacob Rivera and Cayden Brosino each added two hits, and Franklin Picciardo doubled for two and had three RBIs overall.

All attacks were positive for junior Noah Gaoku Kirk. He’s a hard-throwing right-hander that looks a lot like 2022, when the Hurricanes were almost hitless as they headed into the PIAA title game.

Gyaockyk had four hits, three walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. He didn’t flinch after walking Aidan Butts in the top of the first and allowing a two-run homer to EPC MVP Jake Daly.

“I felt more confident as the game progressed on every pitch,” Lehigh University’s Commitment said. “This season has had a lot of ups and downs, but that’s baseball. It’s still fun.”

One of the reasons for Gyaok Kirk’s late start was that the men’s basketball season was longer than usual, and baseball started earlier this season, reducing the amount of practice time scheduled. .

“It was a really quick transition,” he said. “I think I only had five practices between basketball and baseball, but I feel stronger as the season progresses. .”

The Liberty offense is similarly revitalized, looking similar to last season when they went 26-3, with two of their three losses to the state final in Nazareth, including a 1-0 loss in the EPC semi-finals. managed by

The Blue Eagles beat the Hurricanes again to open the season on March 21, and the Liberty got their revenge on April 25 with a big 18-1 win.

But the real payoff came on Monday. Liberty shrugged off Daly’s thrashing, sent 11 to plate, scored six times in the bottom half of the inning, and added three in the second to take all the strain out of the first game. Twinville in the semi-finals at DeSales.

The Hurricanes easily secured a return trip to Center Valley on Thursday night when they play the league title game against Emmaus or Parkland at 7 p.m. If Liberty wins, it will be the show’s first league title since winning the Lehigh Valley Conference in 2003.

“We hit the ball in the playoffs,” said Hurricanes manager Andy Pitziros. “The kids were disciplined, they didn’t swing on bad pitches, they broke the ball when they scored. So it was a good game for us and I’m sure we’ll have another good opponent on Thursday. We have to come out and start over.”

Liberty benefited from nine walks in addition to 12 hits, including three doubles.

The Hurricanes are on a seven-game winning streak since losing 4-0 to Hazleton on April 24.

“We had a lot of good pitches this year,” Pitziros said. “We’ve seen the No. 1s of different teams, which ultimately makes them more experienced. Just one pitch at a time, one plate at bat, one inning at a time, and then That’s what we drive into players’ heads.”

Lost to 16-5, Nazareth will rest until play begins in the District 11 6A tournament next week. The Blue Eagles were hit hard by the loss of standout pitcher Jack Bacolo before the start of the tournament. Another ace, Dally, pitched in Thursday’s quarter-final victory over Northampton.

“It’s tough to lose Jack Bacolo, but we’re playing with a next man up philosophy,” said Nazareth manager Brian Wolff. “In the first inning, Jake hit a home run, leading 2-0.

“I told my kids before this game that we need to play the cleanest game of the season. There’s a reason the Liberty were state runners-up last season, and they’re all back, so they walk. They don’t make outs easily, they don’t use your errors to make mistakes and keep runners on base. “

colonial league semifinals

Saukon Valley vs. Bangor for the Colonial League title at DeSales Thursday at 3:30 p.m. after the Panthers beat defending champions Southern Lehi 8-3 and Bangor beat Northwestern Lehi 7-6. becomes a battle.

Jake Klotz and Cole Hubert combined for six at-bats to win the No. 3-seeded Saukon Valley (19-2). Jake Albert had three hits and Rocky Biscito had two hits, one RBI and one knock-in. The Panthers, who are looking for their first league title since 2015, hit two runs from Ray Maty. Southern Lehigh lost 17-4 with two hits by Avery Coser. Liberty Defeats Nazareth to Advance to EPC Baseball Finals

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