Down to their last strike, Lynx stun the Barons

By on May 21, 2014

Oley Valley was literally down to their last breath.

Somehow, they escaped.

Craig Eidle’s RBI single capped a two-out, two-strike rally, and then the 10th-seeded Lynx pulled out a 6-4 win over 7th-seeded Manheim Central on Monday in a District Three Triple-A first-round game on Monday in Manheim.

“It was just disappointing,” Barons’ coach Matt Huber said. “We wanted to win a District game for our seniors. At one point we were one out away and at one point, one strike away. And we could almost taste it and it just didn’t work out.”

While Oley Valley (16-6) advanced to the quarterfinals to face Fleetwood (13-7), a 3-2 winner over Greencastle-Antrim, Manheim Central ended its season with a 14-7 record.

Although the Barons were hoping for a deeper playoff run, Huber was pleased with their season.

“I think we all would have liked a few more wins and a few games just seemed to squeak away in the last couple innings for us near the end of the season,” he said. “A couple of games were so close.”

Monday’s game was going the Barons way early on when they took a 3-0 lead off of Penn State recruit Nick Distasio in the bottom of the second inning behind senior starter Andrew Bucher. Blake Reiff and Dan Wiederrecht singled, and Damon Crouse stroked an RBI double. Following an error on Josh Flanagan’s grounder, allowing Crouse to score, Frank Bowman had an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 3-0.

The Lynx answered with two in the top of the third and then tied it 3-3 on Eidle’s sac fly in the top of the fifth.

The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Bowman hit a leadoff single and scored on Colin Fry’s two-out double to right-center field, putting the Barons up 4-3.

It appeared that might stand up as the difference in the game when Bucher retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the seventh. But Distasio’s two-out base hit kept things alive, and then after Pete Vaccaro walked, Eidle’s RBI single capped a shocking comeback. Bucher finally ended the inning by getting cleanup batter Tyler Wentzel on a flyout to left, but the damage was done.

“That was a heartbreaker of an inning,” Huber said.

Meanwhile, Distasio, who pitched a six-hit complete-game gem, retired the Barons in order in the bottom of the seventh to force extras. He struck out five and walked two.

“(Distasio) just had a really nice fastball that challenged us and challenged our hitters,” Huber said.

In the top of the eighth, Hunter Renninger singled, Damian Mace dropped a sac bunt, and Matthew Fisher delivered what proved to be the game-winning RBI single. Distasio’s RBI fielder’s choice added an insurance run.

Reiff got the final two outs in relief of Bucher, who scattered nine hits over 7 1/3 innings. He finished with five K’s and two walks.

In the bottom of the eighth, Reiff reached on the second of Oley Valley’s two errors and advanced to third, but was stranded there when Distasio ended the game on a ground out.

“It’s always tough that last game and last huddle when you know your seniors aren’t going to be with you anymore,” Huber said. “Guys never gave up and they battled through a lot of tough games and they stayed positive and learned some life lessons through it and unfortunately, we just didn’t get a few wins to go our way.”

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