An old saying in sports states, “You are only as good as your competition.”
For Parkland’s baseball squad, their tough opponents have spurred them into league and district champions as well as qualified them for the PIAA playoffs.
“What really helps us [get to the playoffs] is our schedule,” head coach Tony Galucy said. “Our non-conference schedule is as tough as it gets (Pleasant Valley, Hazleton, Governor Mifflin, Wilson West Lawn, North Penn). We also have good teams in our division that we have to play twice a year. I think playing a tough schedule prepares us for the pressure of the postseason.”
The Trojans’ schedule prepared them well for the playoffs as they currently hold a 20-5 record after breezing through the regular season and claiming the Lehigh Valley Conference and District 11 championships to punch their ticket for the state playoffs.
Although, they are still alive and a viable contender in states, Parkland did suffer a few-game losing streak, where they struggled to hit.
Galucy hopes history repeats itself though.
“I think the teams that go through the regular season without any problems have trouble in the playoffs because they have not faced adversity. That happened to us in 2008 when we were 21-0. In 2009, we went to the state finals after being 13-6 in the regular season. This year we stressed that once we get into the playoffs, what we did in the regular season does not matter. We will be remember by what we do in the playoffs. The kids took to this and have played much better.”
Hoping to help mimic that magical 2009 season is senior pitcher Gabe Mosser. He had a 9-1 record with a .62 ERA in 56.2 innings pitched. Mosser tossed a complete game shutout in the LVC title game as the Trojans defeated Emmaus 9-0.
Junior Connor Higgins compliments Mosser on the mound as Higgins has a .73 ERA, a 4-1 record and one save.
The Trojans faced off against Spring Ford on June 2 in the first round of states, after deadline for this issue. Although the squad is struggling to hit, they are batting .290 as a club, Galucy is optimistic about the state playoffs.
“Anything can happen in states. Last year, North Penn limped into the playoffs and won the whole thing. They beat us 1-0 in round one. I think our kids realized after seeing that they could win in states. Pitching and defense will still be the key. If we can keep the other team from scoring, then we only have to do the little things offensively to put some runs on the board.”