BY JEFF FALK
EPHRATA – Here’s the thing with close, extended families: they’re usually comprised of strong individuals with varying interests.
But no matter what they do or how far away they go, sons never lose their sense of belonging. And when they do come home, they’re always welcomed with open arms.
On a muggy Monday night at Ephrata’s War Memorial, during the fourth day of the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four baseball tournament, Campbelltown tallied a critical 5-2 triumph over Paxton, thanks to a boost from the return of prodigal son Brian Coburn. Coburn went the distance on a six-hitter, while C-town played a patient, opportunistic brand of offense in his support.
A day removed from his return from a church youth camp, Coburn, one of Post 831’s top players, was making his initial apperance in the Region Four tournament. But while Campbelltown went 2-1 without him, Coburn certainly made his presence felt against Paxton, the final undefeated team in the event.
With the result, Campbelltown, now 21-3 overall, moved to Tuesday’s final day of the tournament and guaranteed itself at least a third-place finish. But to win it, and capture the state playoff berth that goes with it, C-town would have to pull off the tall task of beating first host Ephrata at 5 p.m. and then Paxton again, at approximately 8 p.m.
At this point, Campbelltown, Ephrata and Paxton have all gone 3-1 in the regional tournament. Paxton, the champions out of Dauphin County, is now 21-4 on the summer.
Post 831 is expected to send southpaw Nick LaFoe to the mound against Ephrata. Campbelltown is now 2-0 in the tournament in its blue uniforms and 1-1 in its red ones.
“I just asked my boys, ‘Who was on the mound?’,” said Campbelltown head coach Tim Morgan. “Brian’s one of our best pitchers, and when he’s on, we only need to score one or two runs. What can I say? It was a shot in the arm having him back. We needed Brian tonight.”
“We’re like a family, a giant family,” said Coburn. “I don’t think anyone sticks out as a leader. We kind of lead as a team. But we’re really close.”