Manheim rebounds in LNP Tourney

By on July 13, 2016

 

 

After fielding a ground ball at the hot corner, Manheim third baseman Brady Harbach fires to first to record an out in Monday’s game against SWS. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

After fielding a ground ball at the hot corner, Manheim third baseman Brady Harbach fires to first to record an out in Monday’s game against SWS. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Manheim VFW stayed alive in the 76th LNP Midget-Midget double-elimination tournament on Tuesday evening at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field, besting Manheim Township 7-5.

The game was a close reflection of a May 19 game between the two squads, in which Manheim prevailed by a 7-6 score.

“They were one of the two teams that we only played once, so we didn’t know a lot about them,” said VFW coach Darrell Zug, whose squad suffered a 12-1 opening-round loss to SWS on Monday. “We hit the ball well &tstr; bunched a few together &tstr; and that was the difference tonight.”

Manheim strung three hits together in the second to take a 3-1 lead, led by back-to-back doubles by Collin Thompson and Logan McGallicher. They backed it up with four more hits in the third, stretching the lead to 6-3.

Starting pitcher Connor Rohrer, catcher Mason Weaver, first baseman Jared Murray and center fielder Jayden Zimmerman led the 12 hit attack with two hits each.

Rohrer reached the 85-pitch limit in the fifth inning while striking out five and only walking one.

“I wanted to hit the corners, outside mostly,” Rohrer said. “But the curveball was my favorite. It throws the batters off balance.”

“Conner pitched a good game,” Zug added. “But he always pitches a good game.”

*****

Manheim VFW skipper Darrell Zug knew SWS had a nice hitting ball club.

On Monday night, however, the Cardinals took it to another level.

Pounding out 11 hits, including eight of the extra-base variety, No. 2-seeded SWS knocked off 3rd-seeded Manheim 12-1 in five innings in the opening-round of the LNP Midget-Midget Tournament at Mount Joy’s Kunkle Field.

“Hats off to them,” said Zug, whose squad went 2-2 in four games against the Cardinals this season. “I haven’t seen them hit that well against us in previous games or even against other teams. So they did a good job.”

They also pitched pretty well. In fact, SWS pitchers Alex Knapp and Xander Getchis limited Manheim to just four hits.

The VFW threatened in the top of the second, as clean-up batter Jared Murray singled to center and advanced to third on a couple wild pitches. But Knapp, who whiffed six and walked none in two innings to pick up the decision, K’d three straight to wriggle out of trouble.

Asked if he was surprised that his squad didn’t hit more, Zug said, “We’ve basically hit the harder throwers more so than the light throwers, so it was a little surprising that we didn’t put more balls in play there. I don’t know if the kids were nervous or who knows what, but yeah, I thought we’d do a little more hitting.”

It remained a scoreless tie into the bottom of the second inning, as Manheim starter Thompson, getting in on the hands of SWS batters, held the Cardinals at bay early on.

“We’ve been doing that all year,” Zug said of throwing inside. “That’s kinda what we do. Make the batters be quick and then complement that with a curve ball outside, maybe.”

SWS, though, struck in the second on Gehrig Harsh’s RBI double and Beau Heyser’s RBI single, jumping on top 2-0.

Manheim then got one back in the top of the third inning. Dylan Yoder led off with a single, stole second and scored on Connor Rohrer’s Texas League RBI single to shallow right-center.

But in the bottom of that inning, SWS leadoff batter Alex Knapp started a six-run rally with a bunt single up the third base line.

“(Knapp)’s a good ball player,” Zug said. “Actually, when he bunts, I’d usually be happy because he’s a really good hitter. But he gets on base and he’s going to steal bases because he’s fast. He’s a good ball player.”

After Manheim catcher Mason Weaver made a nice grab in front of the fence, Braedon Karpathios had an RBI single to center, Getchis stroked an RBI double to left, Wyatt Giberson walked and Harsh (2-for-2, 3 runs, 3 RBI’s) flared a two-run double to left.

Heyser (3-for-3, 2 runs, 5 RBI’s) and Brayden Adams added RBI doubles off of reliever Blake Zimmerman to make it 8-0.

“Colin threw a good game,” Zug said. “He threw harder than I remembered him throwing in some games. He came out and was ready to play. Ordinarily, I’d have let him in longer, but once the game was decided, we kept him in case we have a game later.”

Getchis’ RBI ground out to shortstop in the fourth extended the advantage to 9-0, and then SWS invoked the 10-run rule with three in the fifth. Harsh walked, Andrew Whitehead doubled to right-center and Heyser slugged a walk-off, three-run homer.

“They just hit the baseball and we didn’t enough, so that’s what I told the kids,” Zug remarked. “There’s nothing more to do than to come out hitting (Tuesday).”

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