First-place Barons win fifth straight

By on April 3, 2019
Manheim Central senior pitcher Hunter Hess delivers a strike in the Bar-ons’ 12-2 win over Cocalico last Friday. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Manheim Central senior pitcher Hunter Hess delivers a strike in the Bar-ons’ 12-2 win over Cocalico last Friday. Photo by Missi Mortimer

 

Drew Mummau had been getting his share of base hits in the early going.

But the Manheim Central senior still wasn’t completely satisfied going into Tuesday’s game.

“I really wasn’t driving the ball like I know I could,” the Liberty University recruit said.

Well, in the third inning against Donegal pitcher Noah Karichner, Mummau finally broke through.

His two-run homer to left-center highlighted a four-run inning and the Barons went on to pound the Indians 10-0 in a Section Three game in Mt. Joy.

“Finally, today I got it,” smiled Mummau, who finished 1-for-3 with a walk. “I actually mentioned something to my assistant coach, I said, ‘Man, I haven’t made solid contact yet. I need to get something in the air.’ And sure enough, I did.”

Sophomore lefty Colton Book went the distance, surrendering just two hits while striking out nine and walking three, to earn his second win of the season.

Playing their fifth game in seven days, Manheim Central improved to 5-0 league (5-0 overall), atop the Section Three standings.

“Our offense has been phenomenal this year,” Mummau said. “I feel like our biggest tests were today and the Cocalico game, and to go out and put 12 and 10 runs up against those teams is huge for our confidence, especially in league play.”

It was no doubt huge for Book’s confidence to get a 4-0 lead in the top of the third.

Indians’ (2-2 league, 2-2 overall) leadoff batter Drew Bechtold slugged a first-inning triple Book, and then Matt Wallace worked a one-out walk, putting runners at the corners, but Book got out of trouble unscathed.

In the bottom of the second, Brandon Buckius coaxed a two-out free pass, but then became Book’s second pickoff victim.

And from there, the Baron lefty retired nine straight, striking out the side in the third.

“He did a really good job,” MC skipper Jason Thompson said. “He threw strikes. We talk to our pitchers about throwing strikes because we have a really good defense behind them, and he pitched out of some tough situations too.”

Central’s offense broke through against Karichner in the top of the third. Gage McCabe led off with a single, and with one out, Curtis Kroesen (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI) doubled. After Hunter Hess reached on an error, Mummau got a 1-0 fastball and didn’t miss it, ripping a two-run blast to make it 4-0.

“I just put a good swing on it, and right off the bat, I knew it was gone,” Mummau said of his second career varsity round-tripper. “I didn’t even feel it off my bat. It just took off.”

The Barons added two more runs in the fifth, as Kroesen reached on an error, Hess singled and both runners scored to push the lead to 6-0.

Pitching with the lead, Book — in the estimation of Thompson — threw about 80 percent fastballs.

“When we get up on teams like this, I talk to my pitchers about attacking, attacking, attacking,” Thompson said, “and our guys have done that so far.”

With Book in a groove, the Indians were already facing an uphill and then Manheim Central added four more insurance runs in the seventh. Garrett Bruckhart singled, Cole Lastinger walked, Book helped his cause with an RBI single, Cody Gibble delivered a two-run base hit to right and Kroesen hit a sacrifice fly to make it 10-0.

Donegal put two runners on base in the bottom of the inning when Solomon Myers reached on a fielding error and Buckius walked with two outs. But Book whiffed Xavier Cannon for his ninth and final K to put the win in the books.

“I’m very confident in them and they’re confident in themselves,” Thompson said. ‘We certainly have things to work on and get better at, but they’re a confident bunch, which is good.”

***

On Monday, the Barons took a 3-0 lead through four innings and held on to beat Norlebco 5-2 in a Section Three game in Manheim.

Although Central managed only four hits, it capitalized on five Viking errors. Nolan Weaver pitched six innings for the win, striking out two and walking two.

***

Manheim Central was also in action last Friday, when it pounded out 12 hits in a 12-2 six-inning win over Cocalico in a Section Three game in Manheim.

Drew Mummau was 2-for-3 with four RBI, Garret Bruckhart went 2-for-4 with three RBI, and Curt Kroesen, Colton Book and Cam Eberly added two hits apiece to lead the attack.

Hunter Hess started and pitched five innings for the win. He scattered eight hits, struck out five and walked none before Mummau pitched a scoreless frame in relief to nail it down.

Leading 5-2 after five, the Barons invoked the mercy rule with a seven-run sixth-inning rally.

***

Last Thursday, Curt Kroesen went 3-for-4 with four RBI, Hunter Hess was 2-for-3 and drove in three runs and Drew Mummau finished with two hits to lead the Barons’ offense in a 15-0 four-inning rout of ELCO.

Colton Book yielded just two hits in four innings, while striking out six, for the win.

***’

In their season opener last Wednesday, March 27, Manheim Central snapped a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the third and beat Garden Spot 3-1 in Manheim.

Cole Lastinger was 2-for-3 and Curt Kroesen scored two runs in support of winning pitcher Wyatt Becker, who yielded only four hits and one earned run in six innings.

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