Lebanon delays Barons’ hopes to clinch Section

By on May 11, 2016
Manheim Central left-hander Taylor Rohrer mows down the Cocalico lineup in the Barons’ 6-2 win on Monday afternoon. Rohrer improved to 5-0 on the season with 6 2/3 strong innings against the Eagles. Photo by Preston Whitcraft.

Manheim Central left-hander Taylor Rohrer mows down the Cocalico lineup in the Barons’ 6-2 win on Monday afternoon. Rohrer improved to 5-0 on the season with 6 2/3 strong innings against the Eagles. Photo by Preston Whitcraft.

The Manheim Central baseball program’s wait for a Section title has been 22 years since their last one in 1994.

After suffering a 9-2 loss to Lebanon on Tuesday with an opportunity to end the drought, the first-place Barons (11-4 L-L, 11-8 overall) will have to wait until Friday to get another shot at the Section Three crown, when they host ELCO in a make-up game at 4:15 p.m.

ELCO (8-5), along with Cocalico (9-5) and Lebanon (10-5), are all one game back in the loss column, so the Barons still control their own fate.

“I think we have to be thankful for the situation we’re in now,” MC skipper Matt Huber said. “We’ve been down this road a couple of times with our players. We started 0-5 and seemed way out of it, and they’ve fought back. The last four games, we’ve been up, we’ve been down, we’ve been up, we’ve been down. So we just hope that we can finish things Friday. They’ve given themselves a special opportunity that we haven’t done in for 22 years as a program. We’re just challenging them to embrace it and make the most of the opportunity.”

Ephrata’s War Memorial Field is set to host four L-L League quarterfinal games on Saturday. But according to Ephrata Athletic Director Steve Sweigart, “the only way games will be played Saturday is if everyone can complete their schedules by Thursday.”

If first-round games are pushed back, they will begin Monday with War Memorial hosting two games, while Manheim Township will be the site for the other two contests.

The semi-finals will still be Tuesday at War Memorial, beginning at 4 and 7 p.m. The finals will be held next Thursday, 7 p.m. at War Memorial.

First things are first for the Barons, however.

And on Tuesday, Lebanon dashed Central’s hopes of clinching by snapping a 1-1 tie with six runs in the fifth inning. William Scaturro and Austyn Yerger had three hits apiece for the Cedars in the game, but sloppy defense by the Barons in the pivotal fifth was also a factor.

“We had some defensive miscues and blown assignments on some bunt coverages which opened up the door, and then the floodgates came open and we just couldn’t stop it,” Huber said.

Chad Neely took the loss, yielding six runs — just two earned — in 4 2/3 innings before Isaac Eldeen and Nathan Loser finished it out of the ‘pen.

Earlier, Bryce Eberly’s RBI single in the second inning plated Drew Mummau, who walked, tying the score 1-1 off of Lebanon pitcher Michael Deleon.

The Barons scored their other run in the home half of the sixth, as Eldeen reached on a dropped third strike and later crossed the plate on a balk.

On Monday, lefty Taylor Rohrer improved to 5-0, tossing 6 2/3 strong innings in a 6-2 win over Cocalico in a Section Three game in Denver. Rohrer K’d eight, walked five and yielded just one earned run on six hits.

“Taylor pitched another great game,” Huber said, “we played solid defense behind him and we were able to put the ball in play. It was just an all-around great win.”

Rohrer and Eagles’ starting pitcher Tyler Stricker waged a scoreless pitcher’s dual before the Barons broke on top in the fourth.

After Tyler Lutz reached on an error, courtesy runner Jeremy Landis stole second, but he was still there with two outs. Then back-to-back walks to Neely and Eberly loaded the bases, and Loser’s free pass forced in the game’s first run.

The Barons doubled their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fifth, as Jake Novak singled, Tyler Lyons reached on an error, and Mummau hit a sac fly.

Cocalico halved its deficit in the bottom of the fifth, but Central responded in their next at-bats. Neely singled, then Loser (2-for-4) stroked an RBI triple to right-center and scored on Trevor Hosler’s safety squeeze, pushing the lead to 4-1.

They added two more in the seventh. Kevin Starner (2-for-4) singled, advanced to second on Lutz’s sac bunt, stole third and scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Mummau then walked and scored on Eberly’s RBI single.

Last Thursday, Norlebco’s Chase Dubendorf was 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI’s, leading the Vikings in an 11-2 Section Three win over Manheim Central at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field.

With the Barons trailing 3-0 through three innings, the host Barons got one back in the bottom of the fourth. But Northern Lebanon broke it open with a four-run outburst in the fifth.

MC managed just four hits off of Viking pitchers Michigan Daub and Hayden Johnson. Tyler Lutz and Tyler Lyons had RBI’s in the losing cause.

Chad Neely started for the Barons and took the loss, yielding three runs on five hits and two walks in three innings of work.

 

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