Bombers erase early deficit in win
Palmerton’s solid baseball team played it very clever for nearly six innings Monday afternoon in a showdown with Northwestern.
The Tigers blasted out to an early lead, but before things were finally settled, it was the visitors who rolled out the trump card.
Palmerton roared to a 14-5 victory by clubbing 13 hits, led by Jake Taschler and Zack Silfies with three hits apiece.
Palmerton rouged up starting pitcher Mason Vogwill. The way the right-handed hurler started, it looked like it was going to be a tough day at the plate for Palmerton.
But veteran Blue Bomber skipper Brian Taschler wasn’t worried.
“We’re battlers up and down the lineup,” he said. “This team finds a way to get it done. It doesn’t matter if we’re down 10 runs, we’re coming to the plate to hit the ball. That’s our attitude. It’s all about attitude and how you approach your at bats.”
What was just as impressive was the pitching effort of one Brody Behler. Early in the game Behler was like a neon sign. He was lit up twice for back to back home runs. The first solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the first by Ty Wiik and Derek Holmes followed with another as a heavy winds circled the field.
When the Tigers added two more runs in the third, getting hits off the bats of Jake Haas and Rafe Perich to take a 4-0 lead, it was time to show the ace cards. Palmerton made its accent with a two-run outburst in the fifth using three walks and a two-RBI single from Silfies before rallying for eight runs in the sixth.
Jake Taschler, son of the manager, fueled the rally with the first of his three hits on the afternoon. On his second at bat in the same inning, he doubled.
“I’m just so glad we won,” said the first baseman. “I didn’t have a good at bat the first time, I really wasn’t seeing it well. Then I finally got my eye.”
Five hits were collected in that uprising with Roe doubling in two runs, Ben Serfass plated two runners with a single, Rick Baumgardt and Reis also hit safely in the rally.
“Vogwill started to tire some and they started hitting it better,” said Northwestern manager Duran Porrino. “They’re (hitters) made the adjustments and they made us throw strikes. It is a testament to them. They weren’t over anxious.”
Holmes’ home run was at first thought to be a ground-rule double. But Palmerton’s fielder Silfies told base umpire Frankie DeAngelo it went over the fence. “That’s a great tribute to that young man,” said plate ump Ricky Bennett.
Behler finished with 101 pitches and 58 were strikes. He allowed five earned runs. Vogwill had command until the fifth and sixth innings as his pitch count rose. He threw 88 pitches in the first five innings, before leaving in the sixth after 100-plus pitches.
There were a total of seven extra-base hits in the game, five from the winnings side. Haas, Wiik and Holmes had two hits apiece for Northwestern. Palmerton missed out on a chance to score in the fourth when Silfies and Burnett singled with no outs and Taschler drew a two-out walk but came up empty.
The Tigers followed the loss with a 2-1 setback to Bangor Tuesday. They fall to 11-5 overall and 10-5 in Colonial League play. Northwestern was 8-1 before dropping four of it’s last six games. With three league games remaining, the Tigers are one game back of Palmerton (10-3 in CL) and Southern Lehigh (10-3 in CL) in the Colonial League West Division.
Northwestern has clinched a district playoff berth and would likely clinch a league playoff berth with a win or two over the final three games. With Pen Argyl (Wednesday), Salisbury (Friday) and Catasauqua (Wednesday, May 9) rounding out the schedule, the Tigers could surely go 3-0 and improve their league playoff seeding.