Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
 Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

LHS, FHS prep for districts

Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Peter Car in Sports

Now that the EPC playoffs are out of the way for Liberty and Freedom, the focus will shift to the District postseason when things get underway next Monday for the opening round of the tournament.

Liberty (16-5) will likely end up as the fourth seed in the 6A playoffs and will open with fifth seeded Stroudsburg (14-6).

The Hurricanes are coming off a tough 10-0 loss to Emmaus in the EPC playoffs. It was the worst loss of the season for Liberty, as they fell behind early and could never recover in a five-inning, mercy-rule defeat.

Dylan Lehman struck out 10 batters for Emmaus in the win, as head coach Andy Pitsilos knew it wasn’t one of the team’s best days.

“The game was uncharacteristic for how we’ve played all year,” Pitsilos said. “We walked 11 batters and hit four more. We only had one hit and two errors. We need to rebound by just going back to what led us to a 16-4 regular season.”

Freedom lost to Parkland in Monday’s EPC tournament after the contest was delayed for two days because of rain.

Parkland pitcher Adam Smith threw a complete game two-hitter to push the Trojans to the EPC finals with a 2-0 win on Monday.

The Pates (12-9) will likely see Nazareth (8-12) in next Monday’s district opener, as Freedom appears to be in the running for the seventh seed, while Nazareth sneaked in the 10th and final spot of the tournament.

The winner would move on to play the second seed in the quarterfinal round.

The final pairings for the tournament won’t be determined until the completion of the EPC tournament, which comes on Wednesday night after Press deadlines.

Liberty did defeat Stroudsburg 14-1 earlier this season and Freedom lost to Nazareth 5-2 in their lone encounter.

After winning the district title last season, Pitsilos is hoping his team can find their mojo back to defend their crown.

“We need to hit spots pitching, have disciplined at bats and play good defense,” he said. “We want to see as much live pitching in the next week before districts, so we will have a couple of intersquad games and a possible scrimmage with another team. It’s tough to not see live pitching for 10 days. So that’s the plan.”

Bethlehem Catholic missed out on the postseason with a 7-12 finish to the year. The Hawks went 5-10 in the EPC. Becahi lost eight of their last 10 games of the season.