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IMG_9177BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON  – It was somehow ironc that on the heels of one of its most forgetable outings it celebrated a season full of consistency, achievement and memories.

It wasn’t the way the Cedar Crest baseball team hoped it would happen. But when it’s been that long, and it’s something that they wanted so much, the Falcons will take it anyway they can get it.

On a comfortable Monday evening at Cedar Crest High School, the Falcons captured a well-earned and much-sought-after Lancaster-Lebanon Section One championship, despite dropping an 8-0 home decision to Manheim Township. Cedar Crest clinched the title when McCaskey nudged second-place Warwick 5-3 in Lititz.

IMG_9212For one of the most storied programs in the annals of Lebanon County scholastic sports, it was the Falcons’ first section crown since 2011. Over the last two springs, Cedar Crest went a combined 13-24, which represented the worst stretch in baseball in school history.

In light of yesterday’s result, the Falcons are now 14-4 overall and 11-4 in Section One. Upon completion of its regular season, Cedar Crest, which stood second in the latest District Three Class AAAAAA power rankings, will compete in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs on Saturday against Section Three runner-up Cocalico, at a time to be determined.

Manheim Township improved to 8-10 on the spring and 7-9 in the circuit. Back on April 11th in Neffsville, the Falcons had edged the Blue Streaks 9-7.

“From early on, when we first started, I realized we were young,” said Josh Brown, who’s in his third year as Cedar Crest’s head coach. “First you’ve got to deal with the psychological and mental parts of the game. You’ve got to figure out where the kids’ heads are, and what they need to get where they need to be. We had to change the psychology of the game. We met with the kids and changed the personna of the kids. Last year, we lost 13 one-run games. That’s a huge learning experience for kids, but it helped them this year.

IMG_9126“The kids know the history of the program,” continued Brown. ‘There’s a great tradition of baseball here. It’s probably been the best program in Cedar Crest’s history. They know that tradition. My whole goal was to bring back Cedar Crest being a baseball school.”

Before the news from Lititz arrived, it was a fairly bleak afternoon for the Falcons.

Cedar Crest managed just three hits off Nick Kurtz, Township’s freshman southpaw, and got a runner as far as second base just once. That came in the bottom of the fifth – with the Blue Streaks already up 9-0 – on walks to Nate Trovinger and Luke Hains.

Kurtz whiffed three in his route-going effort. Joseph Carpenter collected two of the Falcons’ hits, while Nate Cavic picked up the other.

“We had two or three hits all game,” said Brown. “You’ve got to hit the ball to win. We’re going to see good pitching the rest of the way.

“I don’t know why we couldn’t hit,” added Brown. “It wasn’t like he (Kurtz) was throwing 90 miles-an-hour. And he couldn’t get his curveball over the plate. You’ve got to chalk that up to being one of those days.

With Ben Demarco’s lead-off double and Colin Yablonski’s two-out, RBI-single, Manheim Township assumed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

IMG_9200The Blue Streaks batted around, notched four runs and padded their lead to 5-0 in the second. Kurtz, Ethan Kile and Brenden Moshos all drove home teammates.

“We didn’t play that well,” said Brown. “We didn’t hit the ball that well. We won six in-a-row, and we laid an egg today.

We (the coaches) found out in the bottom of the fifth (that Warwick lost),” added Brown. “The kids didn’t know until they announced it (after the game). We just didn’t have it today. But it’s a great feeling.”

Manheim Township scored two runs in the top of the fourth, without the benefit of a hit, to extend its advantage to 7-0.  The Blue Streaks got the job done with three free passes, an error and a wild pitch.

The Blue Streaks tallied their final run in the top of the fifth, courtesy of a DeMarco single, his stolen base and two more Falcon wild pitches.

“In situations like this, you’ve got to learn from a loss,” said Brown. “That section (title) is huge. It changes the aura. It changes the mentality. Obviously it’s the ultimate goal. It’s not something we discussed, but it’s always going to be in the back of their (his players’) heads.

IMG_9189“Three years ago, we started five freshmen,” Brown added. “Now those frreshmen are seniors. It’s big. They took over great leadership roles. They led the team, on and off the field. It’s been a great year. We laid two eggs.”

Throughout the season, Cedar Crest has outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 133-59 and has out hit them by an aggreate margin of 164-116. The Falcons have committed only 31 errors this spring and six different hurlers have picked up pitching victories.

“You’re always going to have some degree of personal satisfaction,” said Brown. “But I didn’t go out and win the games. The kids went out there and did their jobs. There’s more satisfaction for me because of the coaches I have and the leaders I have.”

 

 

 

 

 

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To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

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2018 Cedar Crest Baseball Results

Date Opponents Outcomes
3/27
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
2
16
4/05
4:15 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
3
4
4/06
4:15 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
9
3
4/07
3:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Palmyra
13
2
4/09
4:15 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
2
8
4/10
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
13
11
4/11
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
9
7
4/13
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Conestoga Valley
15
4
4/18
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lampeter-Strasburg
4
5
4/20
4:15 pm
Solanco
at Cedar Crest
3
4
4/23
7:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Ephrata
1
6
4/24
4:15 pm
Donegal
at Cedar Crest
1
5
4/26
4:15 pm
Elizabethtown
at Cedar Crest
0
1
4/30
4:15 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
2
10
5/02
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
3
1
5/03
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
9
0
5/07
4:15 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
5/08
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Fleetwood
5/08
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
5/09
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
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IMG_9156PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Dallastown 14- 3- 0  0.744692  0.878049  0.581701  16.2  190.1  2.3  136.7
2 Cedar Crest 13- 3- 0  0.737985  0.864641  0.583183  15.7  193.9  2.5  138.6
3 Cumberland Valley 13- 3- 0  0.732982  0.859890  0.577872  15.7  178.1  2.6  130.1
4 Red Lion 12- 5- 0  0.687360  0.764228  0.593410  14.1  180.1  4.4  123.4
5 Wilson (3) 12- 5- 0  0.678032  0.782369  0.550509  14.2  164.9  4.0  134.6
6 Warwick 10- 6- 0  0.669172  0.718563  0.608806  12.0  203.3  4.7  130.6
7 Governor Mifflin 11- 9- 0  0.651693  0.647783  0.656472  13.2  226.5  7.2  118.5
8 HEMPFIELD 10- 10- 0  0.635112  0.608911  0.667135  12.3  237.2  7.9  118.4
9 J P McCaskey 9- 8- 0  0.617620  0.632653  0.599247  10.9  207.0  6.3  138.4
10 Manheim Township 8- 10- 0  0.592398  0.556180  0.636664  9.9  212.2  7.9  121.1
11 Chambersburg 6- 8- 0  0.561757  0.510791  0.624048  7.1  196.7  6.8  118.5
12 Central York 6- 10- 0  0.531864  0.452703  0.628618  6.7  194.4  8.1  114.9
13 Penn Manor 5- 13- 0  0.490865  0.373457  0.634364  6.1  213.4  10.2  123.0
14 Central Dauphin East 6- 10- 0  0.490746  0.449367  0.541320  7.1  162.5  8.7  137.7
15 York County School of Technology 7- 8- 0  0.447041  0.449180  0.444426  6.9  130.8  8.4  163.5
16 Harrisburg 3- 8- 0  0.440264  0.323383  0.583119  3.3  158.9  6.8  113.6
17 Reading 4- 15- 0  0.437877  0.276276  0.635390  4.6  207.6  12.1  119.1
18 Central Dauphin 2- 12- 0  0.412332  0.208333  0.661663  2.5  191.8  9.5  98.1
19 Conestoga Valley 2- 15- 0  0.394948  0.169492  0.670505  2.5  227.1  12.3  111.6
20 Lebanon 4- 14- 0  0.371968  0.232143  0.542866  3.9  184.0  12.9  154.9
21 Carlisle 0- 16- 0  0.300165  0.000000  0.667032  0.0  212.9  12.6  106.3

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IMG_9175 Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Cedar Crest 11 3 78.57 14 3 82.35 133 51
Warwick 9 6 60.00 10 7 58.82 122 61
Hempfield 9 7 56.25 10 10 50.00 121 80
McCaskey 8 8 50.00 10 8 55.56 98 92
Manheim Township 6 9 40.00 7 10 41.18 97 87
Penn Manor 4 12 25.00 5 14 26.32 66 84

 

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