For Palisades’ baseball team, it has been about maintaining status quo. Now, they are ready to reach the next level.
The Pirates (9-2) have been sailing through the Colonial League waters this spring only to hit some undertows against Bangor and Northwestern in consecutive losses during mid-April.
Otherwise, Palisades appears to be on schedule to be in the thick of things in the Colonial League and District 11 playoffs. The Pirates (4-1 league mark) are in a first-place tussle with Wilson (4-1) and Saucon Valley (5-1) in the league’s Eastern Division.
“So far, I think we are where we should be,” said Palisades head coach Gary Koenig. “Moving forward, though, if we want to make the postseason, we have to play our best baseball over the next few weeks.”
Lately, the Pirates have done just that. Heading into its game with Pennridge Wednesday, Palisades had won three games, its latest being a 9-6 slugfest at Northern Lehigh Monday afternoon.
In that game, the Pirates broke open a 1-1 game with a six-run third-inning, highlighted by Noah Marshall’s two-run double. Jaden Newton picked up the win, allowing four runs and six hits with three strikeouts over four innings. Kyle McGrath and Will Guthier preserved the victory with their work out of the bullpen.
Senior Jake Welsh is leading the team with a .613 average and a team-high 20 hits, 21 runs and 15 RBIs.
Welsh isn’t surprised with his team’s steady progress.
“I think we have been playing very well as a team,” said Welsh. “We have been getting key contributions from players throughout our lineup.
“Our pitching has had many underclassmen such as Jaden Newton, Kyle McGrath and Will Guthier step up and throw strikes, and allow our defense to make plays. Hopefully, we will be able to continue to perform well in all aspects of the game to make a strong playoff run.”
Koenig knows Welsh will be a constant force down the stretch.
“Jake is having a great season,” said Koenig. “His hard work has made him an exceptional player.”
The Pirates will have their chance to secure a league title when they face Saucon Valley twice and Wilson once during a five-game stretch over the final week of the season beginning May 1. They also need to conclude a suspended, 14-14 home game against Wilson that was in the top of the ninth on April 8.
Both teams have yet to announce a date to complete the game.
“We know what is ahead of us,” said Koenig. “Our kids are very focused and we just have to keep playing as well as we can.”