Catty hopes to make a run
When he looks at the big picture, Catasauqua's Jim Kober likes his team's chances in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack season this summer.
At the start of this week, Catty had an overall 8-3 mark and found itself within striking distance of first-place Lehigh-West Bethlehem and second-place Parkland. It has been a season in which the Roughies have rebounded well after a few glitches along the way.
After a recent 4-3 loss to Northern Valley in a tight game, Catty responded with a 14-4 rout of Salisbury and a 17-5 victory over West Allentown. In their first 11 games, Catty has averaged 10 runs per contest. Their other defeats were a 5-2 loss to Lehigh Township and a 9-8 loss to Nazareth.
"We went to Northern Valley and we had a tough game," said Kober. "But these kids are very resilient and they bounced back strong. We have had a few losses, but we have never been in a losing streak.
"This is a short season and we know we can't afford to get into a losing streak. We feel we have a good pitching staff and we have hit the ball well all season."
Jordan Madaya, who has been the anchor of the pitching staff, recorded 11 strikeouts in a 94-pitch performance in the team's 14-4 win over Salisbury. Jacob Kober went 4-for-4 with a homer, triple, and knocked in two runs.
"Jordan has thrown the ball well for us all season," said Kober. "Jacob (Kober) has had a steady season with his bat and in the field. But we really have had a good team effort that has carried us all season."
Along with Kober and Madaya, the Roughies have been paced by Mike Shutta, Alex Torres, Nate Pontician, and Joe Rothrock, all of whom have been regular contributors to the team's overall success. Dakota Schiffer, a transfer from Dieruff, has also made some strides and he figures to make an impact on the baseball program in the near future.
"Alex (Torres) and Mike (Shutta) have been really hitting the ball for us," added Kober. "Nate (Pontician) has been doing the job on the mound and in the field. (Rothrock) has done a solid job at first for us, and (Schiffer) has had a good season as well.
"But we can look at this team and honestly say that it has been a team effort all season for us."
Kober is confident his team can withstand the three to four-game weeks ahead as the regular season begins to wind down.
"We know we have some big games ahead and the schedule get tighter for us," he noted. "We have been healthy and we have dome depth. We just need to keep playing sound, fundamental baseball for the rest of the season and we'll be fine."