Lebanon Sports Buzz
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 BY JEFF FALK

 LEBANON – It’s one thing to get better. It’s a whole other thing to get well against your rival.

 Shoot, the Cedars didn’t even know the Falcons were ailing.

 On a warm Monday evening at Coleman Memorial Park, the Cedar Crest baseball team righted its wayward course with a 12-2 thumping of Lebanon High. Behind the consistent pitching of senior right-hander Logan Horn, the Falcons got off to a fast start, then pulled away from the Cedars late.

 The Lancaster-Lebanon Section One-Two crossover outcome was Cedar Crest’s third victory in its last four outings, after beginning the season 0-3. The Falcons, the reigning Section One champions, improved to 3-4 on the spring and 2-4 in the section.

 Lebanon dropped to 1-8 on the year and 0-6 in Section Two.

 “This is about getting back on track and moving forward,” said Cedar Crest head coach Josh Brown. “It’s a great crosstown rivalry, but it’s about progressing. If we play like we did today, we’re going to be OK.

 “So far, we’re on task, because of three of the last four,” continued Brown. “A lot of the games we lost were close. I think we’re on track. We’re going to battle. But those Section One teams are tough.”

 “I think the rivalry with Cedar Crest has changed to a positive rivalry,” said Lebanon head coach Fred Gonzalez. “We always want to beat Cedar Crest, and they always want to beat us. They always want us. But today there was a mutual respect between the players and the coaches. There’s no animosity.

 “For me, it’s another game,” Gonzalez continued. “Sometimes you push yourself to do too much. Today we were relaxed. It was a good game for us. We’re still showing progress, it just wasn’t in the win column.”

  In opening an early 5-1 lead, Cedar Crest scored in each of its first three at-bats.

 After three-hole hitter Jon Labarbera had plated an opening-inning run with an RBI-single, Horn piled on three more Falcon scores with a long bomb to left, in the top of the second. Preceding Horn’s blow were a Lance Hains single and a walk to Alex Shutter.

  Lebanon responded with Ronny Cabera’s run-producing grounder in the bottom of the frame. But the Falcons got that run back courtesy of Amani Jones’ RBI-safety in the third.

 “My concern has been about our approach, even before we get into the box,” said Brown of his club’s offense. “They (his players) were taking pitches right down the middle. I tell them, ‘You might only get one (good) pitch per at-bat.’ We swing the bats great in practice. It was about changing the approach. We’ve been swinging the bats better. But hitting is all mental.

 “I thought today’s game unfolded pretty well,” added Brown. “Lebanon stayed tough. They stayed close. But we were making solid contact during the whole game. We did a good job of capitalzing on their mistakes. Lebanon’s a good baseball team. They’re solid, and they’re going to be good the next couple of years.”

  “They’re starting to swing the bats a little better,” sad Gonzalez of the Falcons. “They’re (Horn and Labarbera) the two best sticks in their lineup. They’ll be alright. They’re starting to get their engine going.

 “It was a good game for a while,” Gonzalez added. “The game was closer than the score indicated. We’re right there. It’s the little fine details that slowly need to get better. And we’ve been plagued by injuries. This is the first game we didn’t get anybody hurt. We’re right on the verge again.”

 For six innings, it wasn’t vintage Logan Horn, but it was typical Logan Horn. Among his 92 pitches were seven strikeouts and two free passes.

  Horn surrendered two earned runs and yielded four hits – one of which was Nate Portes’ two-out, RBI-single in the bottom of the third that made the score 5-2.

 “Logan threw strikes,” said Brown. “He did a great job of getting ahead with first-pitch fastball. We’ve got to keep him healthy. I want him prepared when he’s pitching. But he did a fanstastic job. You know what you’re going to get from Logan.

 “I felt today was one of the best games we played all year,” Brown continued. “Lebanon is a better ball team than their record shows. They have some talented athletes. They gave us a battle.”

 “I’ve seen Logan command it better,” said Gonzalez. “But he was all around the plate. When he needed to throw strikes, he did. Logan usually takes care of business on the hill. He’s such an athletic kid. He’s a competitor.

 “Today we had a much better approach at the plate,” continued Gonzaelz. “Tip your hat to Hornie. Up and down the lineup, I thought we made pretty good contact. We were getting good swings. We haven’t been as aggressive on the first two strikes.”

 The Falcons flexed their muscles during their last two at-bats to put the outcome out of reach.

 Jack Beasley’s two-run single in the sixth extended Cedar Crest’s advantage to 8-2. That was preceded by an RBI-single from Kyle Poorman.

 Then with two outs in the seventh, Labarbera put the finishing touches on it with a grand slam to left.

 “The bats weren’t working early in the season,” said Brown. “We weren’t taking the right approach with at-bats, mentally. We have three or four Section One all-stars, and they weren’t producing. But they’re coming along now.

 “Some of the newer guys have been outstanding,” added Brown. “Those guys are really important. They were carrying us early. But hits are contagious.”

  “I really expected to win a few more games,” said Gonzalez. “We played some tight games. We’re having trouble finishing. But we don’t roll over. That killer instinct is something I’m trying to instill in them (his players). They’re young, but they’ve had a taste of winning.

 “I see growth,” Gonzalez added. “I also see a lot of growth to come. We’re not a roll-over team. We just can’t give up that big inning. Sooner or later, we’ll get it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Schedule

 
 
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
   
4/10
4:15 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Cedar Crest
   
4/12
4:15 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest
   
4/13
11:00 am
Cedar Crest
at Exeter Township
   
4/15
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Elizabethtown
   
4/17
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Solanco
   
4/22
4:15 pm
Ephrata
at Cedar Crest
   
4/24
4:15 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
   
4/26
6:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
   
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
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 2019 Lebanon Baseball Schedule
 
 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
3/26
4:15 pm
Exeter Township
at Lebanon
6
5
 
3/27
4:15 pm
Lampeter-Strasburg
at Lebanon
8
1
 
3/28
4:30 pm
Lebanon
at Milton Hershey
4
2
 
3/29
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Solanco
0
10
 
4/01
7:00 pm
Lebanon
at Ephrata
1
5
 
4/03
4:15 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon
8
6
 
4/04
4:15 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Lebanon
10
4
 
4/08
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
   
4/10
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Hempfield
   
4/12
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at McCaskey
   
4/15
4:15 pm
Warwick
at Lebanon
   
4/17
4:15 pm
Manheim Township
at Lebanon
   
4/22
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Penn Manor
   
4/24
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Lampeter-Strasburg
   
4/26
4:15 pm
Solanco
at Lebanon
   
4/29
4:15 pm
Ephrata
at Lebanon
   
5/01
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Elizabethtown
   
5/02
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Conestoga Valley
   
5/07
4:15 pm
Reading
at Lebanon
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section One Standings
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Hempfield 4 0 100.00 6 1 85.71 49 11
Manheim Township 4 2 66.67 6 2 75.00 51 22
Warwick 4 2 66.67 5 2 71.43 37 5
McCaskey 2 3 40.00 2 4 33.33 25 18
Cedar Crest 1 4 20.00 2 4 33.33 30 27
Penn Manor 1 5 16.67 2 6 25.00 15 41
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Two Standings
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Lampeter-Strasburg 5 0 100.00 6 0 100.00 56 7
Ephrata 3 2 60.00 6 2 75.00 50 29
Solanco 3 2 60.00 3 2 60.00 32 9
Conestoga Valley 2 3 40.00 3 3 50.00 45 41
Elizabethtown 2 3 40.00 3 3 50.00 26 42
Lebanon 0 5 0.00 1 6 14.29 21 32
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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