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Odd Fellows top Ephrata, improve to 3-0
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor
, Staff Writer
Pitching and defense have dominated early on for the Lititz Odd Fellows this summer.
They continued that theme last Wednesday, June 5 with Chase Gilbert and Matt Cover on the hill against the Ephrata Pride.
Gilbert tossed a one-hitter over six innings and Cover pitched a perfect inning in relief, as the Odd Fellows claimed a 5-1 victory in Lititz. With the victory, Lititz remained tied with Solanco Gray at 3-0 atop the Lancaster County Midget Baseball School League standings.
Overall, the Odd Fellows have allowed just two runs in their first three games.
"Overall, the pitching and defense have been outstanding," Odd Fellows’ skipper Bill Weismandel said. "We’re off to a good start. There’s only one other team that’s undefeated out of 16 teams."
Tim Griest and Justin Smith both went 2-for-2 to lead the Odd Fellows’ attack off of Ephrata losing pitcher Charlie Warden.
Lititz touched Warden for two runs in the bottom of the second inning to grab a lead it never relinquished. Grant Zimmerman led off with a walk and advanced to third base on Griest’s single. After Griest stole second, both runners scored on Smith’s one-out single to center field.
In the third inning, Gilbert helped his own cause, starting a two-out single by stroking a base hit to right field. He later scored on an RBI single by Zimmerman, who then pirated second and third bases. Then when Griest legged out an infield hit to shortstop, Zimmerman crossed the plate to make it 4-0.
The Odd Fellows added an insurance run in the fourth, as Smith, batting seventh in the lineup, doubled to left-center, advanced on Luke Mariano’s ground out and scored on Tyler Martin’s sac fly to center field.
Overall, Warden struck out eight over five innings of work, but the Odd Fellows were able to capitalize on six hits and three walks.
"(Warden) pitched well," Weismandel said. "He had us off balance. He had a really nice curve ball and they played pretty solid defense. We just kinda strung a couple things together to manufacture some runs."
Gilbert, meanwhile, pitched very well for the Odd Fellows. He held the Pride hitless until Chase Weik singled with two outs in the top of the sixth inning to drive in Lane Kurtz, who had coaxed a leadoff walk.
That was the only blemish for Gilbert, who K’d eight and walked four in six innings.
"Chase was hitting his spots, getting ahead," Weismandel said. "Until that single, I don’t think there was even a fly out to the outfield. He had bunch of strikeouts and ground outs. He was dominant and worked ahead and was throwing a good fastball and a nice curve ball. And Justin Smith, our catcher, did a real good job helping him locate."
Cover took the ball in the seventh and retired Ephrata in order, with two punch-outs, to put the win in the books.
After playing Donegal at home last night (Wednesday), Lititz hits the road for Hempfield on Friday. Next week, the Odd Fellows host Comet Blue on Monday, June 17 and then travel to face Bears Blue on Wednesday, June 19.
Although Lititz currently holds a 3-0 record, they still have room for improvement, Weismandel said.
"I’d like to see us hit the ball a little better," Weismandel said. "We’re winning games, but we’re not hitting the ball as consistently as I kinda thought we would. But it’s early."
More ODD FELLOWS, page B-4
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