Tigers top Catty in finale
A number of players from Northwestern Lehigh made the trip to Lehigh Carbon Community College this past Saturday to size up the competition and watch the two wild card games.
They saw Notre Dame down Palmerton to advance to play Wilson and watched as Southern Lehigh beat Saucon Valley 11-4, setting up a semifinal game between the Spartans and Tigers.
With rains wiping out games early in the week, the Tigers have had a longer layoff than expected. That can make a difference sometimes when having to play a team that has played recently.
The Tigers have been off the field since beating Catasauqua 7-1 last week in a game started last Wednesday at Parkland High School and completed a day later back at Northwestern because of rain.
The senior day game saw Rafe Perich hit his fourth home run of the season, tying him with Derek Holmes for the team lead. Connor Snyder delivered a bases-loaded single in the five-run sixth inning that cleared the bases.
To set up his pitching rotation for the Colonial League playoffs, coach Duran Porrino started Perich, who threw two shutout innings, striking out three.
Vinny Castrine followed with four innings, allowing one earned run and Holmes wrapped things up with a shutout seventh inning. Castrine was awarded the win to put him at 3-2 with a 2.46 ERA for the regular season.
Porrino has said he will use his depth in pitching for the postseason, but figures to lead primarily on Carter Welch. The sophomore was a perfect 7-0 for Northwestern and posted a 1.08 ERA.
Freshman Justin Holmes could see some time on the mound as he went 4-0 with a 1.40 ERA for the Tigers. Castrine led the team with 11 appearances this season, with Joseph Frey and Perich also pitching in multiple games.
Perich recorded two saves for Northwestern and has a 0.68 ERA, pitching primarily out of the bullpen as a sophomore.
While pitching has been the mainstay for Northwestern, their bats have put up plenty of runs, with the Tigers averaging just over nine runs per game during the regular season.
Holmes carried the team early in the season and is hitting .603, with Perich finishing the regular season at .530 with 31 RBI, which tied him with Nick Henry for the team lead.
Welch took advantage of batting leadoff to finish with 29 runs scored.
Northwestern and Southern Lehigh haven’t played since April 25 when the Tigers won 6-4 at home. In their first meeting this season, Northwestern beat the Spartans 6-5 back on March 25.