Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Press photo by Nancy ScholzZach Bilder struck out 10 on his way to helping the Roughs beat the Tigers and advance to the District 11 playoffs. Press photo by Nancy ScholzZach Bilder struck out 10 on his way to helping the Roughs beat the Tigers and advance to the District 11 playoffs.

Roughies are back in the playoffs

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 by jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

After nearly two challenging years, the Roughies are back in the district playoffs.

The Roughies clinched a postseason berth when they captured a hard-fought, 2-1 victory over Northwestern in a home night game at Parkland on May 10. It gave them their first playoff game in two seasons.

In the game, Zach Bilder had another strong effort, as he hurled a 10-strikeout, two-hit gem. Bilder led off the bottom of the sixth and came home with the winning run when Cam Ritter drove him with the winning hit. Rod Berger scored Corey Raysley with a hit for the Roughies’ first run.

With that win, Catty punched its ticket to the postseason to travel to Tamaqua for the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 3A playoffs Wednesday, May 24. The Roughies will scrimmage Saucon Valley Thursday.

“It was one of our goals all season, and it was good for everyone to get in,” said head coach Steve Bradley. “We missed it (districts) by three games last year and we also gave some games away.

“We basically had the same team this year except for a few guys. At the end of last year, we played six games in five days. We didn’t want to give away games this year and that did hurt us at times. But we kept battling all the way until the end.”

The Roughies ended this year with a 5-0 loss to Lehighton that left them with an overall 9-11 mark and a 9-9 slate in Colonial League play. A win over Lehighton would have put the Roughies into the league playoffs.

Bradley saw it as a tough task, as it marked their fourth game in four days.

“We had an emotional game against Northwestern that gave us the district playoff,” he said. “We didn’t get back to school that night until 10 (o’clock) and it was Spirit Day at school the next day.

“Our kids were using a lot of energy during the day, and I figured we wouldn’t have anything left that day. We were just flat.

“We could have eliminated Palmerton with a win and got a league spot. But we’ll get ready for this.”

With 10 days off, Bradley will have the luxury of throwing any of his three starting pitchers who have carried the load this season.

Zach Bilder looms as the favorite, but fellow starters Rod Berger or Colin Hawk could get the call and will be available in relief.