Northwestern Press

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The Lehigh Valley team earned the bronze medal in the Junior Division at this year's Keystone State Games. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO The Lehigh Valley team earned the bronze medal in the Junior Division at this year's Keystone State Games. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

LVL teams win Karwoski Cup at Keystone Games

Thursday, August 14, 2014 by PETER CAR in Sports

The Lehigh Valley Junior Division and Scholastic Division teams came home with bronze and silver medals, respectively, from last week's Keystone State Games in Harrisburg.

The Lehigh Valley also brought home the highly coveted Karwoski Cup Trophy, which is presented to the best Pennsylvania region that compiles the most amount of wins and points throughout the competition.

The Junior team, which was comprised of players in ninth and tenth grades,beat Capital 5-3 in the bronze medal contest.

Capital, a team comprised of players from the Harrisburg/Hershey area, also lost to the Lehigh Valley squad 8-3 in pool play.

Pitching performances from Mike Jenkins (Parkland), Cody Masters (Emmaus) and Tyler Horvath (Pocono Mt.) were the reason Capitol were unable to get back into the game, as the Harrisburg area team had runners on second and third in the bottom of the sixth, but were held off to settle for fourth place.

The Capitals proved to be a dagger for the senior Lehigh Valley squad as well, as the LV team went 4-2 during the tournament, with both losses coming to their Harrisburg foes.

The Caps defeated LV 1-0 in game 4 and 4-3 in the championship.

This year represented the ninth consecutive year that an LVL Baseball Team has medaled at the Keystone State Games – and the second year in a row that both the Junior and Scholastic Teams have been recognized with medal-winning performances. The LVL Junior Team earned the Silver Medal in 2013, and the Bronze this past week – 2014 yielded the opposite results with the LVL Scholastic squad capturing Bronze in 2013 and Silver in 2104.

"Our two Lehigh Valley teams played extremely well last weekend," said Lehigh Valley baseball coordinator Ted Plessl. "Both the Junior and the Scholastic teams had to battle back from late-inning deficits to get into the medal round games. Each team won and lost a few one-run games that were exciting games to watch.

"It was fun to watch how players from different counties and different high schools came together and played as a team.The Keystone State Games Baseball Tournament is one the best state tournaments and the Lehigh Valley continues to impress each year."

The LV junior team, which was coached by Joe Candelino, Plessl and Cody Weiss, beat Delaware Valley (6-5) and Blue Mountain (12-1) on July 31, the opening day of the tournament. It beat Capital Juniors (8-3) then lost to West (5-3) on Aug. 2. Two more games on Aug. 2 resulted in an extra-inning loss to Nittany (7-6) and a win over Pocono (7-6) to earn a spot in the third-place game, where the LV team beat Capital, 5-3.

Players on the team are from nine different Lehigh Valley high schools. They are Cody Masters (P/OF), Evan Maroshak (OF) and Austin Robertson (IF) of Emmaus High School; Joey Bolick (IF), Michael Jenkins (C/IF/P), Matt Mellinger (IF/P) and Nate Markowicz (C/OF) of Parkland; Jacob Morgan (OF) of Liberty; Royce Frasier (IF/P) from Notre Dame; AJ Denny (OF/P), Nate Kitcehll (P/IF) and Emmett McCoulbt (C/IF) from Stroudsburg; Alex Brunrio (OF/P) and Matt Dorack (OF/P) of Whitehall; Edward Fernandez (IF) from the Roberto Clemente School; Joel Wittel (OF/P), Curtis Purchatka (P/OF) and Tyler Horvath (P/IF) of Pocono Mountain East; Zachary Stanley (IF) and Tyler Schreiner (IF) from Northwestern.