Fry remains hot in Barons’ wins over Tide, Dutchmen Baseball
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
If the L-L League baseball standings were any indication, then most on-lookers probably would have seen Manheim Central’s game against Columbia last Friday as an easy win.
Unfortunately for the Section Three co-leading Barons, they probably thought the same things as they played the middle innings against a Crimson Tide squad positioned in the bottom half of Section Four.
How else to explain Columbia taking a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth?
"I think that woke us up, like, ‘Oh, OK, let’s play some baseball here,’" Manheim Central skipper Jason Thompson said.
Play some baseball, they did, as the Barons erupted for 10 runs over the final three frames and put away a 13-4 victory.
Then they carried that momentum into Monday’s battle against Annville-Cleona in another Section Three-Four crossover, as Andrew Bucher tossed a complete-game five-inning shutout and Colin Fry continued his sizzling tear at the plate, going 3-for-4 with four RBI’s to help lead Manheim Central to a 10-0 shutout in Manheim.
With the victory, the Barons remained in a first-place tie with Donegal atop Section Three, each with a 6-1 league record.
"We had no errors and Bucher pitched extremely well again," Thompson said. "I told our guys to be cautios (against Annville-Cleona) knowing that it’s a Double-A school and it’s a Section Four team. They were 4-1 (league), 6-3 (overall) coming in and I said, ‘This isn’t your bottom of the barrel Section Four team here.’ And I knew with them not playing Friday, we were going to get either a one or a two from their pitching staff."
That one or two turned out to be junior Braden Elliott, and the Barons (8-1 overall) were ready for the challenge, reaching the junior pitcher for 13 hits and 10 runs in 4!-E innings.
Leading 4-0 after four frames, Central broke it open with a six-run rally in the bottom of the fifth to invoke the 10-run rule. Junior Colin Fry, batting .516 for the season out of the number three hole, had another monster night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and four RBI’s.
"(Colin)’s been absolutely on fire at the plate all season so far," Thompson said. "He’s seeing the ball well. He is also hitting the ball for some power. He’s definitely hitting the ball left-center to right-center gaps. That’s the good thing about him — he can take it to any field if he needs to. Even when he’s hitting the ball for outs, they’re hard outs right now."
J.J. Sanchez, Dan Wiederrecht and Trey Eberly all added two hits apiece, while Sanchez chipped in with two RBI’s in support of Bucher, who scattered four hits and struck out three while improving to 4-0. Bucher also helped his own cause with two RBI’s.
The Barons will now try to continue their winning ways as they play Lebanon Catholic and LMH this week prior to meeting Section Four co-leader Lancaster Catholic in a showdown next Monday, April 22.
"I like our chances (going forward)," Thompson said, "especially the way our pitching and defense has been. And I don’t see it as something that’s going to let us down. I keep telling the guys, ‘We have to just keep going one at a time.’ I gave them a goal this week to be 10-1 by the end of Saturday and they seem to be pretty focused. They know when we have our huddle at the end of a game that our focus now turns to whatever opponent is next."
Last Friday, Colin Fry was 4-for-5 with four RBI’s, four runs scored and two doubles, as the Barons overcame their 4-3 deficit to drop the host Crimson Tide.
Starter Blake Reiff gave up two earned runs on five hits and two walks over six innings for the win. He struck out nine.
The Barons were also in action last Thursday when Ben Bomberger went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and four RBI’s to lead the Barons in a 9-1 non-league pummeling of Elizabethtown.
Last Wednesday, April 10, the Barons suffered their first league loss of the season, as junior pitcher Colin Fry took the tough-luck complete-game decision in a 2-1 setback to Garden Spot in New Holland.
The Spartans snapped a 1-1 tie with a run in the bottom of the sixth and held on. Fry allowed just one earned run on seven hits, with four K’s and one walk.
Blake Reiff went 3-for-3 and Josh Flanagan scored the Barons’ only run in the top of the fourth inning. More BARONS, page B-3