Bethlehem Press

Friday, January 24, 2020
Ben Piripavel and the Hurricanes are aiming for the top seed in the EPC playoffs. Ben Piripavel and the Hurricanes are aiming for the top seed in the EPC playoffs.

’Canes aiming for top seed in EPC

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

The East Penn Conference baseball tournament gets underway this weekend and Liberty is in the pole position to take home the top seed when actions gets underway Saturday at noon.

Who the Hurricanes (17-2) will be playing is still up in the air, as the regular season closes out this week with contests past Press deadlines.

One thing that’s for sure, is that Liberty will enter the tournament as favorites, as they’ve been undefeated (15-0) in league play thus far coming into this week’s final two games against Freedom (7-13) and Easton (14-5), winning Monday’s affair with the Patriots 16-9.

After losing to Stroudsburg 6-1 last week in a nonleague affair, head coach Andy Pitsilos hopes the defeat can act as a motivator heading down the stretch.

“The Stroudsburg game was nonleague and it showed in our performance,” said Pitsilos. “They are a good team and we were not up to the challenge that day. I think it refocused us for the rest of the season. We are ready for playoffs but there are many good teams and you never know in baseball.”

Bethlehem Catholic (9-10, 8-8) could be that team squaring off against Liberty this weekend if they can sneak into the final EPC playoff spot. The Hawks, who have already clinched a District 11 4A berth, are battling Whitehall (9-10, 8-8) for the final league playoff spot.

Becahi lost to Easton on Monday, while Whitehall fell to Northampton (17-3). The Zephyrs most likely get the eighth seed in the tournament, based on having identical records overall, in the league and in the division with Becahi, as their head-to-head victory this season over the Hawks serves as the clinching tiebreaker.

Freedom (7-13, 6-10) made a late season push, winning five-straight contests before falling to Easton last week 4-3 to close the door on their district playoff chances. Wins against Easton and Liberty (season finale) would have pushed them through.

“We started off slow but we started to play good baseball at the end,” said Freedom head coach Nick D’Amico. “We bring a lot back for next season, so hopefully we can continue where we left off.”