Manheim’s offense quieted in pair of New Era losses

By on July 30, 2014
A stellar defensive play by Manheim catcher B.J. Fisher (left) prevented a fifth Donegal runner from scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning. (Photo by Mike Shull)

A stellar defensive play by Manheim catcher B.J. Fisher (left) prevented a fifth Donegal runner from scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning. (Photo by Mike Shull)

The Manheim Lions pitching staff had its work cut out for them last week in the New Era Junior-Midget Tournament.

Unfortunately, given just two runs of offensive support on back-to-back nights, their efforts weren’t quite enough.

Following a 5-2 loss to Donegal in the opening-round last Thursday, 4th-seeded Manheim was eliminated with a 3-2 setback to Elizabethtown Navy on Friday night at Mt. Joy’s Kunkle Field.

Kyle Hess and Richard Velez combined on a seven-inning no-hitter for Donegal, while E-town’s Hunter Spigelmyer and David Shank struck out nine and shut down the Lions on just three hits.

“Both of our left-handers (Bryce Eberly and Taylor Rohrer) were tremendous,” Manheim skipper Jeff Mummau said. “Donegal could be the best team in the county and we held them to one run in five innings. Then tonight (Friday), Eberly comes out and does what he does against E-town, who’s a very good team. The future is bright for us. We’ve got to hit more.”

The Lions (17-16) found themselves playing from behind after Greg Good’s RBI double got E-town on the board in the second inning against Eberly, who scattered seven hits over 51/3 innings. The hosts pushed their lead to 3-0 in the third as Shank stroked an RBI double and Spigelmyer scored on a rundown.

Manheim finally got its first hit in the top of the fourth when Brady Carper turned on a pitch from Spigelmyer and homered over the 255-foot sign in dead center field.

“That was a remarkable task for my little leadoff hitter,” Mummau said. “That’s a memory he’s never going to forget. He’s 5-foot-2, 100 pounds, but he blasted it over the flag with a wood bat. It’s the furthest ball he’s hit all year.”

Rohrer’s RBI single in the top of the sixth got Manheim within one, 3-2, but they could get no closer.

“E-town deserved to win,” Mummau said. “They out-hit us. We have to hit the ball. You can only pitch so well for so long before it’s going to cave in. Somewhere, you have to hit the baseball.”

In earlier action, the Lions rallied from a 1-0 deficit against Donegal, capitalizing on some command issues by Hess in the third inning. Carper was hit by a pitch, B.J. Fisher reached on a fielder’s choice and Eberly walked to load the bases. Carper scored on a wild pitch and Fisher slid safely across the plate on an errant throw by catcher Andrew Erb.

But that’s all Hess and Velez would allow.

Manheim had only one other runner in scoring position, as Tyler Simon was by a pitch in the sixth inning and stole second, but was stranded there. Hess issued eight free passes and K’d five.

Still, the Lions carried a 2-1 edge into the bottom of the inning. That changed, however, when Velez tied it with a long leadoff homer to left field and then Seiler Edwards delivered a game-winning three-run blast – his first of the season – to put Donegal up 5-2.

Manheim then went down in order in its final at-bats, with Hess and Velez combining to strike out the side.

Putting things in perspective, Mummau was pleased with the achievements of his team this summer.

“To get here was a huge accomplishment,” he said. “On paper, we were probably not (among) the top four. We had to fight for everything we got. To our credit, we have a lot of character. Typical Manheim, we work hard.”

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