Raiders escape with 4-3 win over MC in District third-place game

By on June 3, 2015

 

Twin Valley got an unconventional game-ending double play and held on to defeat Manheim Central 4-3 in the District Three Triple-A third-place game at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field last Thursday.

Manheim Central courtesy runner Jake Novak (27) crosses the plate with a third-inning run as Twin Valley catcher Mark Keys looks on during last Thursday’s action. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Manheim Central courtesy runner Jake Novak (27) crosses the plate with a third-inning run as Twin Valley catcher Mark Keys looks on during last Thursday’s action. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Trailing by one run going to the bottom of the seventh, the No. 6 seeded Barons (19-7) put their first two runners on base, as Peter Breit was hit by a pitch from Raiders’ reliever Colby Hiddeman and Dan Wiederrecht (3-for-4) reached on a swinging bunt up the third-base line.

Following Frank Bowman’s fielder’s choice ground ball to second base, Blake Reiff ripped a sinking line drive to right which caught by Twin Valley’s Kris Otto. Unfortunately, courtesy runner Jake Novak got hung up in no-man’s land and was caught diving back into third on a strong relay throw from TV’s first baseman.

“It was a tough ball,” Barons’ skipper Matt Huber said. “It looked like it was going to be down. From our eyes, it looked like (Otto) made a shoestring grab. (Jake) tried to hustle back to the bag … just didn’t get back in time.”

Tanner Fahnestock went the distance on the mound for Central and suffered the tough-luck loss. While throwing 103 pitches, the senior right-hander scattered eight hits, K’d five and walked four.

When Wiederrecht scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, Fahnestock and the Barons snapped a 2-2 tie and took a one-run lead into the top of the seventh.

But Otto worked a leadoff five-pitch walk and Alec Ranck dropped a nicely-placed bunt single. Both runners were sacrificed into scoring position by Mitch Carsley, forcing Manheim Central to bring their infielders up to the edge of the grass.

The next batter, Hiddeman, grounded to Reiff, but Otto slid headfirst into the plate, barely beating the tag of catcher Skylar Wilson with the tying run.

“We got a ground ball to shortstop which was what we wanted,” Huber said, “and it was a close bang-bang play at home … I’m not going to question the umpire’s call.”

Following an intentional free pass to cleanup hitter Colin Hartey (2-for-2, triple), Casey Fitzsimmons’ five-pitch walk forced in Ranck with the go-ahead run. Fahnestock then got out of the inning as Rich Lennon flew out to right and MC’s Brenden Good nailed Hiddeman trying to score an insurance run.

Asked if Fahnestock might have run out of gas in the seventh, Huber said, “I don’t know if he ran out of gas. He still got us a double play ball there to end the inning. Obviously, I know he didn’t want to walk two men in the seventh inning, but they had a good eye, got two men on base for walks and that was the difference.”

Earlier, Fahnestock stranded Twin Valley runners in scoring position in the opening two frames. The No. 8-seeded Raiders (17-7) were also in business in the third, putting runners at second and third with no outs, but Fahnestock limited the damage, yielding only a sacrifice fly to Hiddeman for a 1-0 TV lead.

“(Tanner) did pitch well,” Huber said. “He’s a senior, we knew that he wanted that moment and we had complete confidence in him.”

Quickly, the Barons answered in the bottom of the inning. Wilson led off with a single to center, Breit reached on an error, and Wiederrecht’s base hit to left field loaded the bases. Novak scored the tying run on Bowman’s single to right and Reiff’s infield single to deep short drove in Breit to make it 2-1.

Hartey’s RBI triple to right-center field tied it at 2-all for the Raiders in the fifth, but Wiederrecht’s leadoff double in the bottom of the inning chased Raiders’ starter Fitzsimmons. Wiederrecht advanced to third on a comebacker and then scampered home on a wild pitch by Hiddemon to put MC up 3-2.

“It was a good read by Dan,” Huber said. “It gave us the lead going into the sixth inning.”

Central still had that lead with the Raiders down to their final three outs, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“It’s hard. You want to end Districts on a win and to be down here with our last District game at Ephrata at War Memorial, it would have been nice to get win number 20 here for the team,” Huber said. “They’ve worked so hard all season, so it’s hard to come out of here with a loss.”

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