Lititz ousted from District 10 playoffs

By on July 15, 2015

 

Lititz second baseman Tyler Martin takes a throw at the bag to cut down a Lancaster base runner trying to steal last Thursday. Backing up on the play is Post 56’ers’ shortstop Chase Martin. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Lititz second baseman Tyler Martin takes a throw at the bag to cut down a Lancaster base runner trying to steal last Thursday. Backing up on the play is Post 56’ers’ shortstop Chase Martin. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Lititz was eliminated Sunday evening from the District 10 Legion baseball playoffs at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field. The Post 56’ers found themselves behind the eight ball before even coming to the plate and fell to Manheim Township 6-1.

The visiting Streaks jumped on Lititz starter Chase Martin for five hits and four runs in the top of the first, punctuated by right fielder Cole Hoffman’s two-out RBI double. Township starter Aiden Zimmerman followed up the big start with a shutdown 1-2-3 bottom of the first.

The Streaks were not done yet, plating two more runs in the top of the second. The key blow, an RBI single by third baseman Jack Hankin, turned into an extra run on the second Lititz throwing error.

Township, the tournament’s fourth seed, did not get another hit off Martin and lefty Luke Hackman, who relieved in the seventh inning, but the damage was done and the 56ers only recorded three hits, two by catcher Drew Keller.

Lititz (9-8), the No. 3 seed, scored in its half of the third, as first baseman Tim Greist and Keller stroked back-to-back singles, before Zimmerman mishandled a slow roller, loading the bases with no outs. The Post 56’ers, though, could only manage one run on a walk by Hackman.

“That was our best chance to get back in the game,” Lititz coach Glenn Martin said. “We had to get more from that opportunity. You have to tip your hat to Township for getting out of that inning.”

Manheim Township skipper John Dochterman breathed easier as well.

“In the playoffs, one big hit can change things around,” he said.

Both coaches also acknowledged the importance of the first inning.

“Four runs in the first inning put us down,” Martin said. “Chase pitched very well after the second, but we couldn’t solve their pitchers.”

Dochterman added, “We said to the guys that the start is the key. Both teams were coming off losses the night before, so it can come down to who bounces back the quickest.”

Lititz started the tournament with a walk-off 1-0 victory last Thursday against Lancaster, as pitcher Matt Cover tossed a complete-game four-hit shutout. Cover struck out five while walking only two and wiggling out of a one out, second-and-third situation in the fifth.

The Post 56’ers scored the winning run in the seventh on back-to-back one out singles by Greist and Ben Keyser, an eight-pitch walk to Cover, and a hit-by-pitch drawn by Michael Perezous. Greist and Keyser had two hits each to lead the Lititz offense, which struggled throughout the tournament.

The offensive woes continued Saturday night as number two seed Penn Manor blanked Lititz 5-0. Tyler Shirk’s double down the right field line was the only safety off Manor’s Jeremy Miller, who struck out six in the complete-game shutout. The Comets extended the lead to five in the sixth, taking advantage of five walks in the inning.

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