Simon pitches MC to win over ELCO

By on April 11, 2018

 

Amid snow showers on Monday, Manheim Central senior pitcher Tyler Simon mows down the ELCO batting order. He yielded just one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings to get the win. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Tyler Simon is described by Manheim Central baseball coach Matt Huber as an “animal.”

The Barons’ skipper might have been talking about his senior pitcher’s performance Monday on the mound.

Or that Simon wore short sleeves despite playing in a steady snow shower.

“I have four layers on,” Huber laughed. “He’s tough as nails.”

ELCO probably wouldn’t argue, as Simon yielded just one run on three hits in 6 1/3 innings to lead the Barons in an 8-1 Section Three victory in cold conditions in Manheim.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound righty, who will be playing football at Shippensburg University this fall, battled arm soreness last week, but got good rest over the weekend and was ready to go.

“I felt pretty good,” said Simon, who K’d five and walked three. “Props to the defense. It wasn’t just me. It was them. I’ve got to give it to them. They make great plays.”

While finishing with 101 total pitches, he estimated that he threw about 80 fastballs to the Raiders.

“I was hitting that outside corner,” Simon said. “It was a decently tight strike zone, he wasn’t giving me anything off the plate, really, but the low and outside fastball was working all night.”

ELCO’s Clay Hain had things working early on , as he struck out the side in the first inning. But the senior right-hander lost command in the second, walking the bases loaded with one out, and then designated hitter Taylor Rohrer (2-for-3, BB, 3 runs) scored on a wild pitch to put MC up 1-0.

Central doubled its lead in the fourth after Dawson Good worked a leadoff walk, Nate Loser dropped a bunt single and Jake Novak (2-for-4) stroked an RBI single to center field.

Still, however, the Barons stranded six runners on base through the first four frames. For the game, Hain struck out eight, but walked seven while giving up five runs on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

“Clay Hain is a great pitcher, and we’ll take those base runners the way we got them,” Huber said, “but no doubt, if we want to continue to win ball games and extend our regular season, we have to capitalize. We might have left the bases loaded, or second and third a couple times, and in some cases, we just need a ball in play to put pressure on their defense.”

Simon faced some two-out pressure in the top of the fifth inning when Matt Bentz walked and Braden Bohannon hit an infield single to deep short. But he got out of the inning with a grounder to second baseman Cody Gibble.

“Whenever I get in tough situations, I personally just go into focus mode,” Simon said. “Get ground balls, get fly outs, nothing easy for them to hit.”

Finally, in the bottom of that inning, the Barons’ offense created some separation. With one out, Rohrer singled up the middle, Drew Mummau walked, and Good hit a Texas League single into shallow right field, loading the bases. Rohrer and Mummau scored on wild pitches, and then pinch-hitter Curtis Kroesen greeted ELCO reliever Joe Ginder with an RBI single to right, making it 5-0.

“You don’t want to be in a 1-0 game in these types of conditions,” Huber said, “so just to get a little bit of breathing room, a security blanket or whatever you want to call it, that was huge to know that we had some extra room.”

The Raiders spoiled MC’s shutout in the top of the sixth on Ginder’s RBI ground out, but the Barons put things out of reach with a three-spot in the bottom of that inning. Simon doubled and later scored on a wild pitch, Rohrer doubled to drive in Bryce Eberly, who walked, and Mummau added a sacrifice fly.

From there, Simon recorded his fifth K to start the seventh, then handed the ball to reliever Matt Wiederrecht, who retired the final two batters, including a game-ending strikeout.

“It’s been snowing for two and a half hours,” Huber said, “and (Tyler) gave us everything he had out there. He just gutted it out, pure grit, and he was just tough.”

*****

Last Friday, Drew Mummau was 2-for-4 and picked up the decision on the mound in Manheim Central’s 9-1 victory over Lebanon.

With the score tied 1-1, the Barons erupted for a six-run fourth-inning rally. Bryce Eberly, Mummau, Colton Book, Dawson Good, Garrett Bruckhart, and Cody Gibble all scored in the inning.

Mummau K’d five and walked none before Matt Wiederrecht finished up in relief.

*****

On Wednesday, March 28, the Barons opened their season with a 7-4 non-league win over Elizabethtown.

Manheim Central collected eight hits and took a 7-0 lead and then held on. Tyler Simon started and got the decision, and Bryce Eberly closed it out.

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