Reapsome, Warriors shut out Penn Manor Baseball
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
The way Monday’s third inning started for Warwick, it had disaster written all over it.
It certainly didn’t end that way.
Warriors’ junior lefty Travis Reapsome got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the top half of the frame, and then he and his teammates reached Penn Manor ace Zac Burke for five hits and six runs in the bottom half.
That was all Reapsome and senior reliever Ryan Braundmeier needed, as Warwick knocked off the Comets 6-0 in Lititz in the Section One opener for both teams.
The fact that Warwick (1-0 L-L, 2-2 overall) earned the win against Burke, a pre-season All-State selection, should be a big confidence booster.
"(Penn Manor’s Jim) Zander is a great coach — they’re always very well coached and fundamentally sound," Warwick skipper Bob Locker said. "And their pitcher was an All-Star pitcher last year. It’s like your ace against their ace, and to get the win was really important. Reapsome pitched a great game."
Wearing short sleeves in cold, windy conditions, Reapsome proved to be tough on Penn Manor’s hitters, striking out 12, walking two and combining with Braundmeier on a four-hitter.
The Comets put their leadoff batter on base in each of the first three innings. In the top of the third, Brandon Stone led off with a single to right-center, and then when Burke walked and Cameron Dickerson was hit by a pitch, Warwick was probably having flashbacks to last Thursday against Manheim Central. In that game, the Barons scored three runs on four Warwick errors in a 7-3 victory.
This time, however, Reapsome struck out Comets’ cleanup hitter Darien Ebersole swinging, then punched out Collin Groff looking and ended the inning by getting catcher Anthony Knight on strikes.
"That was huge," Locker said, "because we put ourselves in a hole again. We talked after the game that we’ve got to cut down on the mistakes. We make our lives a lot harder than they need to be. But for (Travis) to come back and bear down and get us out of an inning like that was huge because with a hit there, we could have been down two, down three. But he kept us right there."
Instead of Warwick being down by two or three, it was Penn Manor that was actually down six by inning’s end. Kyle Maguire led off and reached on an error, Tyler Rhoads singled and Zach Hurst sacrificed both runners into scoring position. Ben Keyser then put Warwick on the board with an RBI single, and one out later, Reapsome helped his own cause with a double, Ian Hart was hit by a pitch, Cody Kimmel doubled, and Derek Acaley singled to make it 6-0.
"We’ve been hitting the ball hard at people," Locker said. "It was just nice to see some of them start to fall in. Kimmel’s first at-bat today (was a hard-hit ball for an out), but then his next at-bat, he got a hit and another line drive. He’s been hitting the ball hard at people. It gets to be frustrating some times, but we got some timely hits today when we needed them, which was good to see."
After Reapsome pitched five strong innings, Braundmeier closed the door, striking out two in two scoreless innings.
"(Ryan) did a good job of spotting his pitches," Locker said. "He threw strikes. This week, we’re going to play four games in five days, so having some depth at pitching is going to be extremely important. The fact that he could give us two innings today is hopefully going to pan out to be big as we go through the week."
Last Wednesday, March 27, Hurst, Morris and Reapsome each had two hits and Maguire added two RBI’s in a 3-0 non-league shutout of Lancaster Mennonite.
Maguire’s RBI double off of Blazers’ starter Paul Frederickson in the fourth opened the scoring, and then Warwick added two insurance runs in the seventh on an LMH error and Maguire’s RBI ground out.
Kimmel walked twice and scored two runs.
Brady Weiler started and yielded two hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked three. Caleb Metzler and Morris pitched the final three innings in relief. More WARRIORS, page B-3