Nine area players compete in legion all-star game
Justin Marykwas of the Carbon Monarchs delivers a pitch during a game earlier this season. Marykwas was one of nine local players to participate in the annual Lehigh Valley vs. Schuylkill-Berks legion all-star game in Reading on Tuesday. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO
Ian Hubbard of the Carbon Monarchs connects with a pitch during the regular season. Hubbard played in Tuesday’s legion all-star game in Reading. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO
READING – FirstEnergy Stadium had a lot to offer for a group of all-stars from the Lehigh Valley Legion and the Schuylkill-Berks Legion teams.
This venue, after all, is where the Class Double-A Fightin’ Phillies call home.
Just ask Max Nolter what it was like to step on this pristine baseball diamond.
“This place is so neat; this is a place I came to watch (minor league) baseball as a kid,” said Nolter.
Nolter had a hand in helping the Schuylkill-Berks Legion All-Stars claim a tight-fisted 4-1 victory over the Lehigh Valley Legion stars on a perfect night for baseball Tuesday. Nolter contributed a single, and the former Marian baseball standout — who is now playing college baseball in Utica — was one of nine players with area high school ties. He was, however, the only one who finished on the winning side.
Panther Valley’s Brad Buzzard — who is ticketed to play baseball next season at Chestnut Hill Academy — felt right at home on the diamond.
“This was so much fun; really cool, neat to play on a field like this,” said Buzzard, who plays his legion ball for the Carbon Monarchs.
Two teammates at Northwestern, Colten Hagadus and Derek Holmes, play for Northern Valley and made the roster. Holmes accounted for one of his team’s hits.
Three Jim Thorpe High School teammates saw action, as pitcher Justin Marykwas tossed an inning, and Ian Hubbard and Zach Searfoss each had two plate appearances.
Palmerton’s Ryan King (Carbon Monarchs) was joined on the team by Northern Lehigh’s Luke Eitner (Northern Valley). Eitner pitched an inning and also had a time at bat.
For three full innings there was nary a threat, before the eventual winners tagged Lehigh Valley with a two-run rally to take the lead.
The rally was fueled when Muhlenberg’s Alex Krick singled. A hit from Zach Sell (Fleetwood Post 625) and Nolter’s Texas League bloop single loaded the bases. Nick Sager (Fleetwood) brought in the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly and the lead doubled to 2-0 on a Kobie Reese RBI single.
Schuylkill-Berks tallied twice more in the seventh, using a hit from Fleetwood’s Tom Hegedus, a pair of wild pitches and a hit-batter to go in front 4-1.
The lone run from the Lehigh contingent came in the seventh thanks to Salisbury’s Kevin Cruz, who boomed the game’s only extra-base hit — a triple to the right center gap. Cruz scored on Searfoss’ groundout to second.
HIT PARADE ... Lehigh did outhit the winners. Besides Cruz’s three-bagger, Matt Ervoline, Jake Lisicky, Austin McEllroy, Quinn Warmkessel and Holmes each added singles. Six different Schuylkill-Berks stars singled; in addition to Nolter and Reese, Dominic Yerger, Matt Barton and A.J. Torres each poked out hits.
Lehigh Valley 000 000 100 - 1 7 0
Sch.-Berks 000 200 200 - 4 6 1