Ephrata overcomes early deficit to beat the Post 56’ers

By on June 22, 2016

 

Lititz catcher Justin Byler tags out Ephrata base runner Adam Schwartz on a close play at the plate during Tuesday’s District 10 American Legion game. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Lititz catcher Justin Byler tags out Ephrata base runner Adam Schwartz on a close play at the plate during Tuesday’s District 10 American Legion game. (Photo by Stan Hall)

The Ephrata Chryslers improved to 5-1 in District 10 American Legion play Tuesday night with a 13-3 win over Lititz at the Ephrata War Memorial Field.

The two teams started the second game of a doubleheader and completed four innings, with the Post 56’ers holding a 2-1 lead when play was suspended due to storms. The two teams will complete the nightcap at time and place still to be determined.

In the opener, Lititz (4-5 League) struck for two runs in the first inning on a combination of clutch hitting and sloppy defensive play by Ephrata.

Third baseman Tyler Martin walked and advanced to second on a wild pickoff attempt. Catcher Justin Byler then singled to center field, plating Martin.

Another errant pickoff attempt sent Byler to second, where he scored on a bloop double down the right field line by pitcher Tim Griest. All of this production came with two outs off Chrysler right hander Dillon Good.

“I was focused for the first two batters, then mentally I took a bit of a break,” Good said. “It showed with those two failed pickoffs. I kind of got my head back in the game, realizing I have to stay focused for every batter.”

Ephrata bounced back in their half of the first on three consecutive singles by shortstop Nate Fassnacht, right fielder Adam Schwartz and Good, plus an RBI fielder’s choice ground out by third baseman Chase Weik, knotting the score at 2-2.

“Yeah, it was a great start,” Lititz coach Grant Zimmerman said. “We started out with a lot of aggressive at bats. We were squaring the bats up early.”

The Chryslers staged a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the second as center fielder Brian Wentz singled to left center and second baseman Nick Lucky drove one over the right field fence for a home run and a 4-2 Ephrata lead.

While this was happening, Good settled down to blank Lititz in the second and third innings, allowing the Chryslers to expand the lead to 5-2.

“When he threw strikes, he was very effective,” Ephrata skipper Derek Sipe said. “He has a lot of movement on his ball, so it’s hard to square him up. I thought he struggled with his command, but he improved as the game went on.”

Lititz scored one run in the fourth, pulling to within 5-3, capitalizing on two Good walks and a single by second baseman Josh Weachter.

The Chryslers started to pull away in their half of the fourth, again scoring three runs after two were out and a total of four in the frame. Two walks and three singles were part of the manufactured inning.

Ephrata closed out the game by scoring four more times in the sixth, invoking the mercy rule at 13-3.

“Our defense wasn’t great,” stated Zimmerman, noting that three errors hurt in the loss. “We also had a lot of men on base, but fell short with runners in scoring position.”

For the game, Lititz left seven men on base.

Ephrata is beginning to catch up with a schedule that was delayed when the high school team extended its season into the State playoffs.

“We’re blessed with a lot of pitching,” Sipe said. “We can handle a schedule like that. When you get into the post-season, you get used to the fact that you’re playing every day.”

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