Local pitchers are delivering

By on April 24, 2013

Talking Sports By

Bruce Morgan There might not be a busier day during the year sports coverage-wise than the Saturday after the regular season ends in the spring.

And the way things are shaping up right now, it could be even more hectic than usual when May 11 rolls around in a couple weeks.

Not that I’m complaining.

Of course, we know that both Warwick and Manheim Central will be represented at the L-L League Track and Field Championships.

But if the season ended at this point, both schools’ baseball teams would be playing in the L-L playoff quarter-finals. Both the Lady Warriors and Lady Barons’ softball teams also have an excellent shot to be on the diamond that day. As of press time, the Warwick girls were second in the Section One standings, while Manheim Central was tied for the runner-up spot with L-S in Section Three.

The common denominator for all four teams?

Pitching.

With Travis Reapsome and Zach Hurst at the top of Warwick’s rotation, and Tyler Morris closing games out, the Warriors are in good hands. In fact, Reapsome is proving to be a flat-out horse. His only loss this season was against a pretty good pitcher in Donegal’s Mike Houseal in their non-league opener in weather conditions better-suited for a dog sled race than a baseball game.

But since then, he has gone 3-0 and allowed just three earned runs in four appearances. That includes three double-digit strikeout games, including 12 against both Penn Manor and Solanco — neither of whom are slouches. For the season, he has 41 K’s in 23 innings.

Hurst, meanwhile is currently 2-1, 1.91 ERA. You would think that with the way they are pitching right now, hopefully the Warriors probably aren’t going to have any prolonged losing streaks. Warwick had won six in a row before dropping an 8-1 loss to Ephrata, and they have responded with four straight W’s.

Manheim Central will be hoping for similar success after dropping an 8-2 loss to Section Four co-leader Lancaster Catholic on Monday, snapping their five-game streak. While Warwick came back to play Lebanon in its next game, the Barons will have a tougher foe waiting for them in Pequea Valley, who shares the top spot in Section Four with Catholic.

But there’s no reason for Manheim Central not to be confident. I’d have to think that Andrew Bucher (4-1, 2.04), Skyler Munoz (3-0, 0.78), Colin Fry (2-1, 2.00) and Trey Eberly (4 saves, 0.00 ERA) have given the Barons what they hoped to get from them this spring.

Switching sports to softball, Central’s Sara McKee has been dominant lately. Reading Phillies’ prospect Jesse Biddle struck out 16 over seven shutout innings on Monday, but if Sara had seen that, she might have said, ‘Yeah, what’s the big deal.’ You see, she struck out 18 in a 9-0, seven-inning shutout of Lancaster Mennonite last Friday. Combined with her performance in an 11-0 win over Lancaster Catholic on Monday, she now has 29 K’s — and no walks — in her past two games. Good stuff.

Last but not least is Warwick’s Tessa Eckman, who probably doesn’t get the attention that she deserves. The Lady Warriors’ junior pitcher is 7-2 on the season with a 1.19 ERA. With 49 K’s in 59 innings this spring, she might not get the strikeouts that McKee and some others do, but she always gives the Lady Warriors a chance to win the game and that’s all you can ask.

All I ask is for a full tank of gas on May 11. More COLUMN, page B-7