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Cedar Crest baseball 088BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – There are no secret formulas for winning. You absolutely, positively must execute the fundamentals of the game – pitching, hitting and defense.

But when one of those area isn’t going particularly well, what successful teams do is place a little more emphasis on the others.

On a clear Thursday evening at Cedar Crest High School, a hard-hitting Falcon baseball discovered a different way to win, during a dramatic 1-0, 11-inning triumph over Elizabethtown. Riding gutsy pitching and stingy defense the entire way, Cedar Crest walked off in the bottom of the 11th inning, thanks to nine-hole hitter Luke Hains two-out single.

Cedar Crest baseball 033The win kept the Falcons, who came in as the most productive team in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, atop the circuit’s Section One standings. The result lifted Cedar Crest to 10-3 overall, 8-3 in Section One and to 4-2 in crossover contests against Section Two.

The Falcons have already surpassed their win total of a year ago.

Elizabethtown fell to 8-5 on the year and 7-4 in Section Two.

“Basically, we were able to find a way to win,” said Cedar Crest head coach Josh Brown. “It’s a sign of a good team, and a sign of good leadership. When teammates are together like that, they become a family, and everything else just follows along. We’re an army. If one guy goes down, we’re all going down. But if you go down, we’re going to pick you back up again.

“Right now, we’re sitting at 10-3,” continued Brown. “If you get a loss in that situation, you get down a little bit and it’s hard to dig yourself out of it. It was a great pitching game and a great defensive game, on both sides.”

Cedar Crest baseball 071“Obviously, over 11 innings, we had a lot of scoring situations, but we couldn’t get the run in,” said Hains. “I just wanted to see myself up there, relax and get the job done.”

Each side had had its fair share of offensive opportunities, when the Falcons came to bat in the bottom of the 11th inning.

After two outs had been recorded, Hunter Bojanic singled. Bojanic promptly stole second, ahead of Hains, who slapped a 1-1 fastball into centerfield to score Bojanic.

“When we went to extra innings I was having the kids take a pitch,” said Brown. “I said, ‘sit on your pitch, because you might only get one.’ Luke sat on his, and he went with the pitch. And we were able to score from second base.

“Going 11 innings against a good team like Elizabethtown, and pulling out a win, it’s going to be emotional,” added Brown. “To me, it’s a very meaningful win.”

“He came at me with a fastball,” said Hains, of Bears’ relief pitcher Larry Locker. “I didn’t want to get down in the count. I took a pitch in my area and I drove it in the gap.

“I was looking for a fastball or a change-up,” continued Hains. “I got a fastball, but I was ready to adjust to the change-up. We’re on top of Section One. It was a big win today, and it’s going to keep us on top.”

The Falcons stranded a total of 12 base runners in the extra-inning affair.

On three earlier ocassions, Cedar Crest had gotten the potential winning run to third base – in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings. But each time the Falcons failed to come through in the clutch.

Cedar Crest ended up out hitting E-town nine to five.

Cedar Crest baseball 002“I thought we could’ve hit the ball a little better,” said Brown. “We were getting over anxious and were swinging at pitches early in the count. We weren’t as patient as we could’ve been, but we squared it up and they (the Bears) made the plays.”

“Today was a great pitchers’ duel, both ways,” said Hains. “The Elizbethtown guy (starter Cole Patrick) pitched well and he kept us off balance. Pitching and defense were the keys. But we put it all out on the field.”

Hurlers Braiden Hitchings and Justin Frazier collaborated on the Cedar Crest shutout.

Hitchings started, went the first five frames, yielded two hits, struck out two and walked five with 94 pitches. Frazier collected the win by also working five innings, surrendering two hits, fanning five and walking four.

“We had some walks,” said Brown. “But after we had the walks, we battled back and got strikeouts when we needed them. They (Hitchings and Frazier) threw well.”

Cedar Crest baseball 043“This team has a lot to offer,” said Hains. “We’re unique as a baseball team.”

Both Hitchings and Frazier leaned  heavily on the Cedar Crest defense.

Frazier walked three batters in the top of the eighth, but emerged unscathed thanks to a double play. He also stranded the potential go-ahead run at third base in 11th.

Hitchings allowed a single baser-unner in four of his five innings of work, and also wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning.

Cedar Crest baseball 013“At the beginning of the season, we had our captains set goals,” said Brown. “My only restriction was those goals couldn’t be about districts or about leagues. They had to be game-to-game goals. If you add the little things up, they’ll turn into big things. Those goals (playoffs and championships) are obvious. But we need to focus on one game at a time.

“(L-L) Section Two is tough,” continued Brown. “They have a lot of very good baseball teams. The crossovers were just teams battling each other.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 Schedule

Date Opponents Results
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
4/27
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
4/30
4:15 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
5/02
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
5/03
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor
5/07
4:15 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
5/08
4:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Fleetwood
5/09
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
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 PIAA District Three
 Class AAAAAA Power Rankings
AAAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Dallastown 12- 1- 0  0.777107  0.949153  0.566829  14.0  122.4  0.8  93.5
2 Cumberland Valley 11- 1- 0  0.760633  0.939286  0.542279  13.2  88.5  0.9  74.7
3 Wilson (3) 10- 2- 0  0.729511  0.880597  0.544851  11.8  102.7  1.6  85.8
4 Cedar Crest 9- 3- 0  0.707189  0.814394  0.576162  10.8  138.3  2.5  101.7
5 Red Lion 8- 3- 0  0.704155  0.784810  0.605577  9.3  127.1  2.6  82.8
6 Governor Mifflin 7- 6- 0  0.641837  0.637736  0.646850  8.5  136.6  4.8  74.6
7 HEMPFIELD 7- 7- 0  0.630725  0.606383  0.660477  8.6  161.9  5.6  83.2
8 J P McCaskey 7- 5- 0  0.629118  0.673387  0.575011  8.4  134.2  4.1  99.2
9 Warwick 5- 5- 0  0.602304  0.605000  0.599009  6.1  139.0  4.0  93.1
10 Chambersburg 4- 6- 0  0.549460  0.479167  0.635375  4.6  111.0  5.0  63.7
11 Central York 4- 6- 0  0.546486  0.473118  0.636157  4.4  126.2  4.9  72.2
12 Central Dauphin East 5- 6- 0  0.532718  0.534247  0.530850  5.9  116.2  5.1  102.7
13 Manheim Township 4- 8- 0  0.525711  0.438596  0.632184  5.0  145.8  6.4  84.8
14 Harrisburg 3- 5- 0  0.499664  0.433333  0.580736  3.3  113.7  4.3  82.1
15 Reading 3- 9- 0  0.471015  0.322430  0.652618  3.5  127.8  7.3  68.0
16 York County School of Technology 5- 5- 0  0.459180  0.479798  0.433979  4.8  86.4  5.2  112.7
17 Penn Manor 3- 10- 0  0.457765  0.316017  0.631011  3.7  146.3  7.9  85.6
18 Conestoga Valley 2- 10- 0  0.432891  0.235849  0.673721  2.5  156.0  8.1  75.6
19 Central Dauphin 1- 9- 0  0.391642  0.148810  0.688436  1.3  114.9  7.2  52.0
20 Lebanon 3- 10- 0  0.380612  0.244980  0.546385  3.1  125.5  9.4  104.2
21 Carlisle 0- 11- 0  0.304777  0.000000  0.677282  0.0  119.1  8.8  56.8

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Cedar Crest baseball 004 Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Cedar Crest 8 3 72.73 11 3 78.57 111 48
Warwick 6 4 60.00 6 5 54.55 82 47
McCaskey 6 5 54.55 8 5 61.54 74 66
Hempfield 6 5 54.55 7 8 46.67 81 70
Manheim Township 3 7 30.00 4 8 33.33 61 58
Penn Manor 3 8 27.27 4 10 28.57 49 51
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