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 BY JEFF FALK

 SOUTH LEBANON – With the possible defense of its section championship behind it, the Cedar Crest baseball team has turned its attention to other goals. A shift of focus which begs the question: Does it need to qualify for the playoffs for its season to be a success?

 The Falcons will always have their pride.

 On a moderate Wednesday evening at Cedar Crest High School, the Falcons officially had their seasonal goals re-arranged for them, by a 6-2 loss to Hempfield. The Black Knights scored three times in their first at-bat and three times in their final at-bat, and in between the Falcons experienced difficulties stringing hits together.

 The outcome officially ended Cedar Crest’s reign as Lancaster-Lebanon Section One champions and put a huge crimp in the Falcons’ hopes for a league playoff berth. But at 7-7 overall and 6-7 in the circuit, the Falcons are still very much alive for a District Three Class AAAAAA posteason spot.

 Cedar Crest was situated eighth in the latest District Three power rankings, in a AAAAAA bracket which takes ten teams for its tournament.

 The result moved front-running Hempfield to 13-2 on the spring and 11-1 in Section One. Back on March 27th in Landisville, the Black Knights had bested the Falcons by a 4-2 score.

 “Last year we set the goal of winning the section championship,” said Cedar Crest head coach Josh Brown. “But it seemed once we did, everything fell apart. This team is actually more focused. I’d say we’re playing better baseball, overall. The trouble is Section One is really tough and we dug a hole for ourselves early in the year.

 “In order for us to look at the season as a success, we should probably get to districts,” continued Brown. “But there’s other things about the season which have been a success. The trouble at the beginning of the year was errors, but we’ve cleaned that up. But I don’t know if it can be a success if we don’t make districts.”

 The Black Knights got to Cedar Crest starter Lance Hains for a trio of runs in the top of the first inning. Nick Fiore and Christian Labarbera collected RBIs for the visitors, while Hempfield plated its middle run courtesy of a double steal.

  Cedar Crest wasted little time responding.

  In the bottom of the first, four consecutive two-out singles by Jon Labarbera, Kyle Poorman, Jack Beasley and Hains pulled the Falcons to within 3-2 of the lead. Beasley and Hains drew RBIs from the rally.

 “Overall, it was a pretty good baseball game,” said Brown. “Little mistakes hurt us. Over the first three innings, I thought we played fairly well. But we’re not getting our lead-off hitters on base. We’re not creating as many opportunities for ourselves.

 “Today was an important game because Hempfield’s the best team in our section,” Brown continued. “This was the first game of the second time around in our section. We lost to them the first time, and it was a very similar game.”

 Before giving way to reliever Labarbera in the bottom of the sixth, Hempfield starter Ty Vaughn settled in and held Cedar Crest in check during the middle innings. After the bottom of the first, never did more than one Falcon batter reach base in any one inning.

 Vaughn retired the Falcons in order during their second and fifth at-bats, while Labarbera turned the trick in the sixth. Cedar Crest batters struck out on nine different occasions and they did not receive a free pass.

 “Hempfield is a good baseball team,” said Brown. “But our hitters are better than what they’re doing. We saw their (the Black Knights’) number-two guy or number-three guy. We’re not swinging the bats the way we should be.

 “They’re (his batters) putting too much pressure on themselves,” added Brown. “If you do that, you’re not going to hit the baseball. We lost that approach after the first inning. That’s our story for the year.”

 The outcome was still very much hanging in the balance until Hempfield plated three runs in the top of the seventh frame off Cedar Crest reliever Dalton Reinhart. The Black Knights did their damage thanks to a wild pitch, Fiore’s suicide squeeze bunt and a two-out, RBI-double from Labarbera.

 “Hains was a little bit off,” said Brown. “He was elevated. He was at 75 pitches when I brought Reinhart in in the fourth. But both did very well, even though they weren’t on. They got guys out. They got ground balls. I thought they did a fantastic job.

 “We want to go to districts,” Brown added. “We could go on a roll. It’s going to take us going on a big roll and gettting a lot of help to get into leagues. But we’re not worried about that. We’re focused on the district playoffs. That’s what it’s about anyway.”

 

 

 

  

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Cedar Crest Baseball Results

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
3/27
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
2
4
 
3/29
4:15 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
4
1
 
4/01
4:15 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
3
1
 
4/03
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
14
4
 
4/04
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
2
12
 
4/06
2:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
0
10
 
4/08
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
12
2
 
4/10
4:15 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Cedar Crest
3
5
 
4/12
4:15 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
3
7
 
4/15
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elizabethtown
10
2
 
4/17
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Solanco
1
2
 
4/18
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
0
12
 
4/22
4:15 pm
Ephrata
at Cedar Crest
3
2
 
4/24
4:15 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
   
4/26
6:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
   
4/27
11:00 am
Cedar Crest
at Exeter Township
   
4/29
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
   
5/01
4:15 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
   
5/06
4:15 pm
Palmyra
at Cedar Crest
   
5/07
4:15 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings
 
 
AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 HEMPFIELD 12- 2- 0  0.780183  0.901235  0.632232  14.6  168.2  1.6  97.8
2 Dallastown 11- 2- 0  0.743456  0.889273  0.565234  12.9  132.6  1.6  102.0
3 Manheim Township 11- 4- 0  0.735171  0.806647  0.647813  13.4  171.8  3.2  93.4
4 Warwick 9- 4- 0  0.711905  0.768421  0.642829  11.0  162.7  3.3  90.4
5 Waynesboro 11- 1- 0  0.701494  0.937956  0.412485  12.9  84.3  0.9  120.0
6 Red Lion 7- 2- 1  0.691943  0.808471  0.549519  8.8  121.8  2.1  99.8
7 Central Dauphin 7- 5- 0  0.643019  0.686992  0.589274  8.5  135.5  3.9  94.4
8 Cedar Crest 7- 6- 0  0.636670  0.639847  0.632788  8.4  172.2  4.7  99.9
9 Penn Manor 6- 7- 0  0.615271  0.572549  0.667487  7.3  181.7  5.5  90.5
10 Cumberland Valley 5- 5- 0  0.609810  0.600962  0.620625  6.3  134.9  4.2  82.5
11 Wilson (3) 5- 6- 1  0.609484  0.563238  0.666007  6.7  154.8  5.2  77.6
12 J P McCaskey 6- 8- 0  0.589866  0.536232  0.655420  7.4  176.4  6.4  92.7
13 Reading 4- 7- 0  0.483222  0.454976  0.517744  4.8  120.4  5.8  112.1
14 Carlisle 3- 10- 0  0.475256  0.313305  0.673197  3.7  151.9  8.0  73.7
15 Central York 3- 9- 0  0.464455  0.319444  0.641690  3.5  140.6  7.4  78.5
16 Conestoga Valley 3- 10- 0  0.445781  0.297778  0.626675  3.4  159.1  7.9  94.8
17 Governor Mifflin 2- 9- 0  0.445743  0.248705  0.686567  2.4  160.5  7.3  73.3
18 Harrisburg 2- 8- 0  0.405251  0.260870  0.581717  2.4  115.5  6.8  83.1
19 Central Dauphin East 2- 10- 0  0.391359  0.223214  0.596870  2.5  141.1  8.7  95.3
20 Chambersburg 1- 10- 0  0.375034  0.135135  0.668243  1.3  137.0  8.0  68.0
21 Lebanon 1- 13- 0  0.340552  0.100877  0.633487  1.2  165.2  10.3  95.6
22 York County School of Technology 3- 10- 0  0.335997  0.235060  0.459364  3.0  104.0  9.6  122.4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section One Standings
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Hempfield 10 1 90.91 12 2 85.71 120 27
Warwick 9 3 75.00 10 4 71.43 92 25
Manheim Township 7 5 58.33 11 5 68.75 87 51
Cedar Crest 6 6 50.00 7 6 53.85 79 40
Penn Manor 6 6 50.00 7 7 50.00 51 45
McCaskey 5 7 41.67 6 9 40.00 61 39
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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