Lititz opens final week with loss to Township Playoff berth at stake in last two games
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
It all boils down to this week for the Lititz Oddfellows.
With a New Era Tournament berth at stake from the Lancaster County Midget League, the Oddfellows will play three games in a span of four days.
Unfortunately for Lititz, however, things didn’t get started on such a great note, as Manheim Township took a 5-0 lead in the first inning on Monday and never trailed, going on to beat the Oddfellows 14-4 in a School League at Warrior Field in Lititz.
That left the Oddfellows (5-6-2) just one point behind the Manheim VFW (6-6-1) for the eighth and final playoff berth. But the two back-yard rivals were slated to play last night (Wednesday), and then while Lititz finishes up on Thursday against Strasburg/Willow Street, Manheim plays St. Leo.
So Wednesday’s winner could earn the driver’s seat for the final spot in the New Era Tournament.
"If we win both, we’re in no matter what anybody else does," Lititz skipper Frank Camera said.
The Oddfellows got some help on Monday night with Lancaster shutting down Manheim 2-0. But Lititz wasn’t able to capitalize, as Manheim Township benefitted sloppy play in the field by the Oddfellows.
"We’ve just got to make plays," Camera said. "We just failed to make some basic, simple plays that really hurt us. They were small little things that all added up."
It started in the first inning when Township reached starting pitcher Brady Weiler for five runs. Alex Murfin (3-for-3 with a triple), Carter Krick (3-for-4) and Moshos (3-for-3) led Township’s offensive attack.
"The top of their lineup just the ball well," Camera said. "They’re a good hitting team. The past four or five games, they’ve really been hitting well."
Lititz, though, kept its hopes alive with a four-run rally in the bottom of the first while knocking out starting pitcher Summerskgyl. Robert Gerofsky slugged a one-out homer to right-center to get them on the scoreboard, then Chris Wentzel doubled and Weiler helped his cause with an RBI single to right field. After Cody Kimmel walked, Weiler circled the base on an errant pickoff throw by MT’s catcher and then Kimmel scored the fourth run of the inning on Travis Reapsome’s RBI single to left field.
That’s as close as the Oddfellows would get, however. Township pulled away with three more in the second, four in the fourth inning and two in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Manheim Township reliever Mike Bracer held the Oddfellows’ offense hitless after the first inning. Weiler pitched three innings and suffered the loss for Lititz, and Zach Hurst pitched the final two innings in relief.
"Basically, we’re going with the approach that we’re pitching by committee the rest of the way," Camera said.
The Oddfellows hit the ball by committee last Friday in a 16-7 pummeling of Comet Blue. Gerofsky led the way with a 3-for-5 night, including a double and triple.
"(Rob) has just been hitting the ball a ton," Camera said. "He had a huge night."
After scoring single runs in the first three innings, Lititz broke it open with a 10-run fifth inning and never looked back. Garrett High finished 3-for-4, Kyle Maguire was 2-for-3 with a double, Kimmel had a 2-for-4 night with three RBI’s and Weiler chipped in with a triple and a walk to help lead the offense.
Overall, the Oddfellows had a ton of base runners with 12 hits and 12 walks off of Comet Blue’s pitchers.
"We really hit the ball well on Friday," Camera said.
Caleb Metzler started and pitched four innings for the win. Weiler threw the final three frames in relief, and the Oddfellows added three insurance runs in the sixth. More ODDFELLOWS, page B-2