Fourth-inning rally leads the Barons
As the number five hitter in the Manheim Central batting order, Andrew Bucher is going to be expected to produce runs for the Barons this spring.
Tuesday afternoon in Myerstown, he did just that.
The senior pitcher helped his own cause by slugging a three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning, sparking a rally in which Central put 11 on the board. The offensive eruption erased a 2-0 ELCO lead and paved the way for a 14-4 five-inning win by the Barons in their Section 3 opener.
“The guys have been doing a great job getting on base in front of him and setting the table and he’s been doing a nice job of cleaning them up and scoring them,” Baron skipper Matt Huber said.
The victory improved Manheim Central’s record to 3-0 overall (1-0 L-L) heading into Wednesday’s clash against Donegal.
Bucher has two of those wins after throwing four strong innings against the Raiders. While striking out six, the veteran righty scattered six hits and three walks and allowed no earned runs.
ELCO put up two unearned runs in the bottom of the first and it remained a 2-0 game until the Barons broke out in the fourth. Bucher walked leading off the inning, advanced to third on a wild pickoff throw and scored on Damon Crouse’s RBI single.
Following Josh Flanagan’s walk, he and Crouse advanced on Dan Wiederrecht’s fly out to right. Tanner Fahnestock then delivered a key two-run double, Ben Bomberger was hit by a pitch, and JJ Sanchez, Colin Fry and Blake Reiff all singled. That set the table for Bucher, who hit his three-run shot.
“They’ve really been coming through,” Huber said of the Barons’ offense. “A couple hits sparked everyone, it just caught fire and it became contagious. They just built off each other. They’ve never given up, they have been enthusiastic and they have really found a way to hang in there and put pressure on the other team.”
The Raiders got two unearned runs back in the bottom of the inning, but Central answered with three in the fifth and invoked the 10-run rule.
Manheim Central has now scored 33 runs in three games, including a 10-2 win over Palmyra and a 9-6 conquest of Elizabethtown in non-league action.
Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 721-4451.