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Big inning lifts SL past Thorpe

Playing from seven runs down early in a baseball game can be like trying to roller skate uphill.

That’s the situation Jim Thorpe found itself in during Wednesday’s Connie Mack League game against Southern Lehigh.

Thorpe wasn’t able to overcome the early deficit and dropped a 7-2 decision.

After a scoreless first inning at Recreational Park, the visiting team erupted for six runs in the second.

Blake Greerawald singled and was balked to second. After Zack Katzbeck reached on a bunt base hit, Greerawald scored on a fielder’s choice. Wyatt Gehhner then singled to center driving in a second run. An error, a walk, a wild pitch and two hit batsmen plated two more runs, before Austin Bonde capped the big inning with a two-run single.

Southern Lehigh increased its lead to 7-0 in the third on an RBI single by Ben Burgas.

Jim Thorpe (1-3), whose bats were silent for most of the game, pushed a run across in the home half of the third when Chip Baldassano walked, stole second, and scored on an error.

The home team failed to mount a comeback even though it struck out just three times in the game. They managed a single run in the sixth without the benefit of a base hit, taking advantage of two Southern Lehigh errors.

“We just didn’t focus,” said Jim Thorpe coach Tim Hubbard. “We have to get better at pitching, defense, and hitting. We never mounted a rally when we had plenty of innings to make a comeback.”

Hubbard was especially disappointed in JT’s approach at the plate.

“We weren’t ready to hit when we stepped into the box,” he said. “We need to work the counts and put better swings on the ball.”

Jim Thorpe managed just two hits in the game: a line single to left in the fourth by Richie Strack, and a pop fly by Jack Edwards that fell between two SL fielders in the same inning.

A bright note for JT was the relief pitching of Ian Henkels, who threw four shutout innings to close out the game.

“We have some kinks to work out,” said Hubbard. “It’s a long season, and we have a great bunch of kids, so I look forward to us getting better each game.”

TOP HITTER ... Southern Lehigh (4-0) got two hits from Katzbeck.


... Southern Lehigh batters were hit by a pitch three times, including leadoff hitter Michael O’Neill, who was hit twice.


... Henkels was outstanding in his four innings of relief for Thorpe, allowing just one hit and striking out six.

UP NEXT ... Jim Thorpe next plays at Easton on Friday at 6 p.m.

So. Lehigh 061 000 0 - 7 8 4

Jim Thorpe 001 001 0 - 2 2 2

Massey, Bonde (5) and Calaba; Yurchak, Henkels (4) and Schwartz. W - Massey. L – Yurchak.