Catasauqua Press

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Northampton Legion squad continues to play well

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 by jeff moeller Special to the Press in Sports

As they enter the final phase of the season, Northampton’s American Legion entry’s recent packed schedule hasn’t slowed their overall progress.

Instead, they have continued on their steady pace that has kept them near the top of the league standings. Heading into this week’s play, Northampton had an overall 11-4 record despite playing 11 games over a 14-day period.

They have three games left before the postseason begins.

“We have been in a good rhythm and I like where we are right now,” said head coach Mike Bodnar. “We have been pretty consistent and we haven’t been up and down. We haven’t gotten out of our rhythm.

“We have been able to stay focused and we want to finish the regular season on a good note. We have three key games left and we want to finish strong.”

Northampton has benefitted from an influx of high school players, who have extended the production of their regular season.

Carson Gantz, who has played second, third, and recently shortstop, has had a consistent bat as he’s hit better than .400. Outfielder Brandon Michael also has kept his average around the .400 mark with a high one-base percentage.

Infielder Devon Britton and infielder/catcher Zechariah Lambert also both have kept their average above the .300 mark all season.

“Carson has been hitting the ball well for us all season,” said Bodnar. “Brandon Michael has been a surprise and he has been hitting over .400 and Zechariah Lambert has been over .300 with a lot of RBIs. Devon Britton has been getting on base on a regular basis.

“We have been getting timely hits all season and that has been a big help.”

Northampton also has been the benefactor of a solid pitching staff led by Konkrete Kids standouts Kyle Sermon, Jared Hunsberger, Tyler Bennett, and Catasauqua’s Rodney Berger. Bennett recently had a one-hit, 18-strikeout performance.

“It’s a wonderful advantage to have right now with our pitching,” added Bodnar. “All of these guys have kept their ERAs and their WHIPs down and have been consistent all season. We’ve been able to get the most out of them and have a good rotation.”

Northampton is in the running for the top spot in the league standings, currently held by Hellertown. Still, they believe they can make an impact in the postseason regardless of their regular-season finish.

“Hellertown is a very good team and they pitch well,” said Bodnar. “They beat us pretty soundly (5-1).

“But we just have to keep playing well. We are happy with our progress and we are looking forward to the postseason.”