Comets erupt in L-L semi-final win over the Barons

By on May 13, 2015
Manheim Central’s Jake Novak slides across the plate with a run in the Barons’ 10-2 win over L-S last Saturday. Covering for the Pioneers is pitcher Cameron Enck. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Manheim Central’s Jake Novak slides across the plate with a run in the Barons’ 10-2 win over L-S last Saturday. Covering for the Pioneers is pitcher Cameron Enck. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Sophomore lefty Jeff Taylor has done a lot this spring to establish himself as the ace of the Penn Manor pitching staff.

On Tuesday night, he also proved that he can handle the bat pretty well.

Taylor was 4-for-4 with a double, five RBI’s and two runs scored, as the Comets belted Manheim Central 14-0 in five innings in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff semi-finals at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field.

Truth be told, there was no shortage of offensive heroes for PM on a night when it mashed 17 hits off of three Manheim Central pitchers, jumping out to a 6-0 first inning lead and never looking back. With the win, Penn Manor punched its ticket to the L-L finals for the first time since 2009 when they beat Donegal. The Comets (18-4) will face Ephrata (15-7) in Thursday’s finals back at War Memorial.

“This one stung,” Barons’ coach Matt Huber said. “They had a huge first inning, gained some momentum … (PM pitcher Jacob) Herr kept us limited as far as what we could do on the base paths and when you can’t get runners on, it’s difficult to do much of anything.”

Herr threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of the 23 batters that he faced. He took a no-no into the fourth inning, where Brenden Good had a one-out single to left, and eventually settled for a two-hitter.

“Credit (Herr) for everything he did,” Huber said. “He did a lot of things well. But at the same time, I’m not sure it was anything we haven’t seen before this year. I think it was just one of those games that some of our guys put the ball in play and things just didn’t go our way tonight.”

The Comets sent 10 batters to the plate in the first against MC lefty starting pitcher Taylor Rohrer and reliever Chad Neely. Cameron Dickerson’ bases-loaded free pass forced in the first run, Nate McFarland (2-for-2) had a two-run single, Grant Gale (2-for-4) drove a two-run triple to right-center and Taylor delivered an RBI single to shallow center. Five Penn Manor players had a multiple-hit game, including Collin Whiteside (3-for-4) and Anthony Knight (3-for-4).

“They hit it everywhere,” Huber said. “The whole field was getting sprayed.”

In all, the Comets scored in every inning but one, as they added two runs in the third, and three in the fourth and fifth innings to pull away.

Central (17-6) loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth on Dan Wiederrecht’s walk, Frank Bowman’s bunt single, Blake Reiff’s fielder’s choice, and Mitchell Shenk’s base hit. But Herr ended it with a K, one of three in the game while throwing 68 total pitches.

“We said two things (after the game),” Huber said. “Thank you to the pitching staff for getting us here today. Second, there’s 20 teams at home that wish they could have been here tonight. And that’s it. Now it’s onto season three of three. We had our regular season, we had our chance at League playoffs today and now it’s onto Districts on Monday. And after we leave here, we’re going to talk about it again.”

The Barons hold the No. 6 seed in the District Three Triple-A power ratings.

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