Mummau’s debut delivers Section crown for MC

By on May 18, 2016
Manheim Central center fielder Jake Novak (far left) leaps onto the “dogpile” in celebration of the Barons’ Section Three-clinching 2-0 shutout of ELCO last Saturday at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field. The title is the program’s first Section title since 1994. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Manheim Central center fielder Jake Novak (far left) leaps onto the “dogpile” in celebration of the Barons’ Section Three-clinching 2-0 shutout of ELCO last Saturday at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field. The title is the program’s first Section title since 1994. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Manheim Central’s Drew Mummau couldn’t have asked for a bigger spot to make his first varsity start on the mound.

The Barons had lost back-to-back games with an opportunity to clinch the Section Three crown. With their two-game lead now gone, it all came down to Saturday against ELCO in a one-game playoff for the title.

Mummau got his chance and didn’t disappoint.

Showing poise beyond his years, the freshman right-hander tossed a complete-game five-hitter, as Manheim Central shut out the Raiders 2-0 at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field. It’s the first Section crown for the Barons (12-5 L-L) in 22 years dating back to 1994. Last year, the Barons were just four outs away from the Section title before suffering a 3-2 loss to Donegal in a one-game playoff.

“It’s a huge relief,” MC skipper Matt Huber said. “I’m so happy for the program, I’m so happy for the team. Twenty-two years is a long time and I’m really proud of our guys.”

Mummau included. Having closed a number of games for Manheim Central this spring, he proved effective in a starting role too, striking out four and walking just two on 87 pitches while mixing a fastball, curve and knuckle-curve.

“Fantastic,” Huber said of Mummau’s performance. “He just controls the game, fields his position, pounds the strike zone, has great command and poise. He doesn’t get rattled and just always has confidence that he’s going to make that pitch.”

It didn’t hurt that Mummau was staked to a 2-0 first inning lead off of ELCO (11-6 L-L, 13-7 overall) pitcher Clay Hain. Saturday’s game became necessary when the Raiders knocked off MC 5-1 behind Cole Blatt on Friday night.

The Barons, however, wasted no time reaching Hain in the opening frame. Chad Neely worked a nine-pitch free pass and scored on Kevin Starner’s one-out RBI double to the right-center field gap. Tyler Lutz (2-for-3) then roped an RBI single to right-center to make it 2-0. Hain wriggled out of further trouble, but the damage was done.

“It’s huge for us,” Huber said. “Again, we don’t score many runs, so to be able to get two in the first inning and just have a little confidence, even though we were hoping to be able to extend the lead, it didn’t happen. But to get those two and be able to control the game and just have that momentum for the next six innings was big.”

From there, Hain began showing better command of his breaking pitches. not allowing another hit until Neely stroked a one-out single to right in the fifth. For the game, Hain scattered five hits, while striking out five and walking three.

“We struggled with that low pitch today,” Huber said. “We had a lot of swings and misses, and a lot of foul balls … Credit (Hain) for making those pitches and making us chase, keeping us off-balance. We had some approaches that could be improved for our next game. But credit Clay Hain, he pitched a great game.”

ELCO, meanwhile, finally threatened in the third — putting runners at first and third with one out — and again in the fifth, getting Mummau in a two-on, two-out jam. But the MC freshman escaped trouble both times. Blatt reached base twice on a single and walk to lead the Raiders’ O.

“(Drew) loves the moment and he just likes pitching in the big game,” Huber said. “He’s used to pressure. He’s come in and closed several games for us this year with runners on base in scoring position, so this wasn’t anything new to him. And he did just what we expected him to.”

With Hain approaching the 100-pitch count in the bottom of the sixth, the Barons threatened to add to their lead. Lutz had a leadoff single, Tyler Lyons reached on a fielder’s choice and Nate Loser was intentionally walked, loading the bases with one out. Then following a K and with Jake Novak at the plate, courtesy runner Jeremy Landis broke from third, but was tagged out in a rundown.

“We’ve played aggressive all year, we had a steal at home on — we just play our averages and we’re always going to try to take that extra base,” Huber said. “We’ll do it again if it happened tomorrow.”

The two-run lead turned out to be enough, though, as Mummau retired the Raiders in order in the top of the seventh, retiring Cody Good and Joe Ginder on strikes to end the game.

“We talked today about just living in the moment, making the most of an opportunity and this team did just that,” Huber said.

Last Friday, Aaron Deitz and Cody Good had two hits apiece, while Blatt shut the Barons down on six hits, leading ELCO to a 5-1 win at Ephrata.

Blatt struck out five and walked three while throwing 101 pitches in the complete-game win.

The Raiders scored all they needed off of MC starting pitcher Taylor Rohrer in the second on Good’s RBI base hit and Ginder’s run-scoring ground out. Rohrer went five innings, yielding just two runs on six hits with two K’s in the loss.

Nate Hostetter’s RBI fielder’s choice extended the Raiders’ lead to 3-0 in the sixth.

In the bottom of that inning, MC had its best chance to score, as Starner and Lutz worked back-to-back one-out walks. But Blatt got out of the jam.

The Raiders put it out of reach in the top of the seventh on Cole Miller’s RBI fielder’s choice and Travis Zimmerman’s suicide squeeze.

Neely’s RBI single to left in the home half of the seventh plated Hunter Bruckhart, who reached on a fielders’ choice, with MC’s only run.


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