Rohrbach, Horst pace Phillies over Ephrata, 2-1

By on June 24, 2015

 

 

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Tristan Horst gets congratulations from his teammates at home plate after slugging a first-inning two-run homer against Ephrata last Friday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Tristan Horst gets congratulations from his teammates at home plate after slugging a first-inning two-run homer against Ephrata last Friday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

he Warwick 12U Phillies didn’t have anything to gain in the standings.

Neither did the Ephrata Dragons.

But with the possibility of the two meeting in a first-round best-of-three series in the LNP Midget-Midget Tournament, the Phillies and Dragons weren’t taking their regular-season finale lightly last Friday night.

“We wanted to send a message,” Warwick coach Todd Shertzer said.

Behind a two-hit complete-game gem, Phillies’ ace Evan Rohrbach out-dueled the Dragons’ Brenden Molchany and Warwick earned a 2-1 victory at Ephrata Township Park. Rohrbach struck out 10 and walked just one.

“He was hitting his spots,” Shertzer said of Rohrbach, who improved to 11-1 on the season. “He was really setting the batters up with an effective curve ball and he’s got a lot of pop on his fastball. He was throwing strikes and not walking people.”

The Lancaster County Youth Baseball League’s Atlantic Division winning Phillies improved to 16-2 league (40-4 overall) with the victory. Seeded No. 2 in the playoffs, they will open their best-of-three series against Manheim (a winner over Hempfield in the play-in) on Thursday night. The series continues next Monday, June 29, and if necessary on Wednesday, July 1.

Getting a solid test from Ephrata last Friday was just what Shertzer expected.

“Ephrata is very well coached, their fundamentals are extremely strong, they make the plays when they need to, and they have enough guys offensively to put the ball in play and score,” Shertzer said.

It was the Phillies who opened the scoring with a pair of hits in the first inning off of Molchany. Zach Shertzer stroked a one-out single and scored when Tristan Horst launched a two-run blast to center for a 2-0 Warwick lead. Shertzer (2-for-3) and Horst entered the game batting. .530 and .582, respectively.

Cam Hess (.564) also connected for a pair of base knocks, as the Phillies had eight hits off of Molchany. But they couldn’t add to their lead against Ephrata’s hurler, who K’d two and walked none in his complete-game outing. He also coaxed four ground out and 10 fly outs in the game.

“We obviously didn’t have any sort of consistency to our hitting,” Shertzer said. ‘We didn’t have timely hitting. We were putting the ball in play, but we were struggling to score some runs.”

Molchany, of course, deserved some credit for that.

“He did a real nice job,” Shertzer said. “He threw strikes, obviously without walking anybody, and he kept our batters off-balance with a little bit of a curve ball and not an over-powering fastball. We popped up and rolled over on a lot of pitches adjusting to the speed.”

Molchany helped his own cause with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, driving in Devan Eshelman, who worked a leadoff walk to cut the Phillies’ lead to 2-1.

But Rohrbach closed the door from there to seal Warwick’s victory.

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