Bethlehem Press

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Start of busy baseball month begins

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

It may be a slow start to the baseball season for all teams across the Lehigh Valley, but things will heat up this week when the schedule looks to kick into high gear before the Easter weekend hits.

With most teams having played three games heading into this week, the dismal March has pushed the schedule back for most teams, giving teams loaded schedules the rest of the month of April.

Freedom (3-0) will see the uptick this week with three games in three days, starting on Tuesday with Easton, Wilson and Whitehall and capping the week off on Saturday against Allen.

Despite the Pates being unblemished so far with wins over Abington Heights, East Stroudsburg South and Hazleton, biting into the bulk of their East Penn Conference schedule moving forward will tell a larger tale of what the Pates really are.

“It’s made it really tough because we haven’t seen much live pitching and we haven’t been on the field,” said head coach Nick D’Amico about the season’s slow start. “When you have a lot of new players on the roster it makes it tough for them to get the much needed work they need and also doesn’t give you much time to fix the problem.

“We will be playing a lot of baseball in a short amount of time and we will need pitchers that haven’t thrown a lot to step up.”

Liberty (2-1) faces a similar journey heading into this week, as the Hurricanes have four contests spread out this week, starting with Monday’s 12-4 win over Central Catholic, followed by a Tuesday tilt with Dieruff.

Liberty then plays Parkland on Thursday before a Saturday affair with Hazleton.

Bethlehem Catholic (1-2) only has two games this week with Allen (Tuesday) and East Stroudsburg North (Thursday).

How teams deal with the compacted schedule will be different everywhere, but the lack of open dates means fewer practices, more games and less room for error.

“It’s hard to tell what kind of team we are,” D’Amico said. “We’ve only been on our field four times and one of those was a game. We will need to develop a lot quicker because we are in the heart of our season.”