Rohrer all business in Barons’ win over Catholic

By on April 27, 2016

 

Manheim Central sophomore lefty Taylor Rohrer shut down Section Four-leading Lancaster Catholic on Monday, allowing just two runs on two hits in six innings to help the Barons earn a key 10-4 victory. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Manheim Central sophomore lefty Taylor Rohrer shut down Section Four-leading Lancaster Catholic on Monday, allowing just two runs on two hits in six innings to help the Barons earn a key 10-4 victory. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Manheim Central skipper Matt Huber knew as soon as he emerged from the dugout in the top of the seventh inning that his decision wasn’t going to be popular with pitcher Taylor Rohrer.

Just three outs from a complete-game victory against Section Four front-runner Lancaster Catholic, the Barons’ sophomore lefty was hoping to finish the job.

But with Rohrer having thrown 93 pitches to that point, and a leadoff batter on first base thanks to a walk, Huber had the hook with him.

“A little bit,” Rohrer said when asked if he was disappointed to leave early, “but that’s alright. I figured, ‘Just let Drew (Mummau) finish it. He’ll get the job done.’”

“I could see the look in his eyes, he wanted to stay on the hill,” Huber smiled. “As a coach, you want that. I know he wanted to go all seven today. But he did his part and got us through six solid innings.”

True words, to be sure.

Backed by an offense which plated five runs off of Crusader freshman Nick Breznak in the first inning, Rohrer kept Catholic off balance with a combination of fastballs and curves, leading the Barons in a 10-4 Section Three-Four crossover win in Manheim.

Kevin Starner and Drew Mummau each had two hits, while Drew Mummau stepped up with three RBI’s to lead the offense against four Lancaster Catholic pitchers.

While winning for the eighth time in its last nine games, Manheim Central (8-2 L-L, 8-6 overall) remained tied with Cocalico atop the Section Three standings. Lancaster Catholic, despite losing its third straight, maintained a two-game lead in first place in Section Four.

“It’s a big win,” Huber said. “We had already lost one crossover game to a solid Annville-Cleona team and we couldn’t really afford a second loss. We try not to talk about it a whole lot. We just challenged our players to show up and give their best today and they certainly did. Hopefully this can be a confidence-builder and a momentum-changer for our season.”

The Barons no doubt gained some confidence when Rohrer (3-0, 3.11 ERA, 26 K’s in 27 innings), facing a hard-hitting Crusader squad, struck out the side in the top of the first on just 12 pitches. For the game, he surrendered just two runs on two hits, with five K’s and four walks.

“Just come out, hit my spots and throw strikes,” Rohrer said of his game plan. “(Going up against) a better team, I think I get more hyped for the game. I just get excited to pitch.”

“Usually with Taylor, you can tell in the first inning what kind of performance we’re going to get from him,” Huber said. “And he was all business today.”

Building on Rohrer’s dominant start, MC’s offense went to work against Breznak, who had allowed just two unearned runs and was 2-0 entering the game. The Barons capitalized on five hits, a walk and one of Catholic’s four errors to go up 5-0, as Mummau hit a bases-loaded sac fly, Lyons followed with a two-run single to left-center and Bryce Eberly and Nathan Loser added RBI doubles.

“Nick Breznak has done a great job for us so far this year and I just think he was a little off today,” Crusaders’ boss Chris Kiehl said. “It’s just one of those classic cases of hitting it where they aint, and what can you do? Then you start to kick the ball around a little bit, high school kids start to lose their focus and you end up losing 10-4.”

“Great freshman lefty,” Huber said of Breznak. “We challenged them before the game to get run support. I don’t think anyone thought we’d get five runs in the first inning, but it just helped the momentum.”

Gabe Cicala picked up Lancaster Catholic’s first hit, a double to left field in the third inning which sent Bryan Downey, who walked, to third base. Bayley Jamanis then stroked a sac fly to right, but Rohrer limited the damage, keeping it 5-1.

“We knew we were getting a tough lefty,” Kiehl said. “(Rohrer)’s a nice pitcher. He throws strikes. We just got off to a slow start and we couldn’t come back from it.”

Catholic reliever Shawn Henry restored order for the Crusaders, but MC tacked on a run in the fifth on Mummau’s sac fly, and then they threatened to invoke the 10-run mercy rule in the sixth, scoring four more runs on just one hit off of Henry, Dylan Atkinson and Henry Womble. Chad Neely had an RBI single to left, Starner hit a sac fly and the Barons benefitted from three Crusader errors, making it 10-1.

Those insurance runs loomed large in the top of the seventh, as Catholic loaded the bases with no outs. Cicala’s RBI fielder’s choice, Jamanis’ sac fly and Dillon Marsh’s RBI double to left-center cut the Barons’ lead to 10-4, but Mummau slammed the door, getting a game-ending ground out from Tyler Peters to put the win in the books.

“Thankfully, (Taylor) located because you could see even in that last inning, they’re great hitters,” Huber said. “That’s a great Lancaster Catholic team, they’re well-coached.”

The Barons are proving that they are pretty good in their own right. After an 0-5 start, they have rebounded nicely to go 8-1 since. With just six games left in the regular season, Manheim Central is just hoping to keep the ball rolling.

“We told them to just keep believing,” Huber said, “the offense will come around, and if we can hit and continue to get our pitching and defense, good things will happen. They’ve never given up.”

Manheim Central was also on the field last Friday, as Tyler Lutz went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s, while Kevin Starner was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBI’s, leading the Barons past host Lancaster Mennonite 9-3 in a Section Three-Four crossover win.

It was Central’s seventh win in their last eight games.

After MC took a 3-0 in the lead in the top of the first inning, the Blazers answered with three in their half. But Central took a lead it never relinquished by coming back with two in the second. They added three insurance runs for winning pitcher Chad Neely in the fourth and one more in the sixth.

Neely pitched six scoreless innings in relief of Bryce Eberly, yielding just three hits, striking out one and walking one. Drew Mummau added a pair of RBI’s for the Barons, who outhit LMH 8-7.

Last Wednesday, April 20, Manheim Central’s bats erupted in a 15-0 three-inning whitewashing of Lebanon Catholic in a Section 3-4 crossover.

Brandon Fisher, Hunter Grissinger and Chad Neely had two hits apiece, as the Barons broke it open with a 12-run second inning.

For the game, MC scored 15 runs on 11 hits and three Lebanon Catholic errors.

Pitcher Neely was the beneficiary of the onslaught, picking up the decision with two hitless innings. He struck out two and walked none.

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