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IMG_6422BY JEFF FALK

LEBANON – Camryn Shaak has familiarized himself with the new rule. He gets it. He understands it.

But that doesn’t mean he necessarily likes it – especially when it impedes his role as a leader or it curtails his ability to compete or it prevents him from finishing what he started.

On Thursday evening at Coleman Memorial Park, scholastic baseball’s new rule for limiting the number of pitches a pitcher can throw on any given day came very much into play. But Shaak and the Lebanon baseball team managed it, and overcame it and the Comets of Penn Manor for a 2-1 non-league victory.

In pursuit of a complete-game victory, Shaak was forced off the mound by the new PIAA regulation, with one on and one out in the top of the seventh inning. Despite a few tense moments, which included stranding the bases loaded, Lebanon’s accidental closer, Franci Nunez, picked up a save by recording the final two outs via strikeout.

IMG_6435“He was at a hundred pitches,” said Lebanon head coach Mike Toomey of Shaak. “He reached his limit. He had to come out of the game, because he wasn’t going to come out if he didn’t have to.”

“It was because of my pitch count,” said Shaak. “Honestly, I wasn’t aware of it. I had no idea where I was. Obviously I had to come out, but I didn’t want to. It was a big game against a very good team. No one would want to come out under those circumstances.”

The win evened Lebanon’s early season record at 1-1. On Monday, the Cedars had dropped a 3-2 decision at Elizabethtown in their season opener.

The result left Penn Manor 2-1.

“Every game’s important,” said Toomey. “And knowing we only had a couple of more games until section play, it was nice to get a win. It was also nice to bounce back from the loss to Elizabethtown, and beat a very, very good team.

IMG_6337“I thought we played with a lot of guts and played with a lot of heart,” continued Toomey. “We made too many mistakes in the field and too many mistakes on the base paths. We have to clean that up. But the effort was outstanding.”

“I feel like we’re still jelling together,” said Shaak. “We’re still learning. Communication is important. Bonding together as a team is a huge part of baseball.”

The hard-nosed Shaak appeared in mid-season form from the first pitch.

He struck out five, walked four and scattered five hits over his six-plus innings of work. But he retired the Comets in order only once and stranded a total of nine Penn Manor runners on base.

“He located his fastball very well,” said Toomey of Shaak. “He threw his breaking ball when he needed to, and pitched with a lot of guts. Pitching is definitely a strength for us, especially with when you have two guys with leadership and mental toughness like Camryn and Cody (Kissinger).

“I’m just really proud of our team,” added Toomey. “They don’t back down from anyone. They’ll take on any challenge. They play the right way.”

“I feel like I pitched a pretty good game,” said Shaak. “I felt like I was hitting my spots. And my curve ball was working good.”

IMG_6473The Cedars were without a hit until they strung three together and assumed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Those three hits came courtesy of Antonio Collazo, Kissinger and Eli Blauch leading off the frame. Collazo eventually scored on a throwing error, while Kissinger came home on a wild pitch.

The rally would’ve been even more productive if it hadn’t been for a double play turned by Penn Manor.

“I thought our approach was good,” said Toomey. “As we see more live pitching, we’re going to get better results. We put the ball in play and scored just enough runs. It helps when you have a bulldog on the mound.

IMG_6404“We have a lot of young guys,” Toomey added. “We graduated ten guys. We’re still coming together as a team. A win like this helps the guys realize our potential. But we have a lot of work to do. We play in a tough section (Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League).”

Penn Manor got to Shaak for its only run in the bottom of the fifth. It was a two-out run produced by a couple of singles and a walk.

The Cedars mustered a response in the bottom half of the frame, in the form of hits from Nunez, Andy Ortiz and Collazo, but couldn’t score.

“We try to get as many non-league games with bigger schools as we can,” said Toomey. “We were supposed to start with Cedar Crest. Penn Manor is a team we could see in the league playoffs. The guys need to get acclimated to this level of competition.

IMG_6418“It’s going to be very tough to get into districts, based on the teams we play in our section schedule,” Toomey continued. “Our mindset is based on the process. We want to take care of the little things. We have goals in the section. We have goals in the league. And if we take care of them, districts will take care of itself.

“Next year we’l be in Section Two. We know the types of teams we’ll be playing next year.”

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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 2017 Lebanon Baseball Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME OUTCOMES
03/27
@Elizabethtown
4:15 PM L 2-3
03/30
Penn Manor
4:15 PM W 2-1
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
03/31
@Milton Hershey
4:30 PM Milton Hershey School
04/03
Garden Spot
4:15 PM Lebanon High School
04/05 *
Cocalico
4:15 PM Lebanon High School
04/10 *
Northern Lebanon
4:15 PM Lebanon High School
04/12 *
@Elco
4:15 PM Elco High School
04/13
Lancaster Catholic
4:15 PM Lebanon High School
04/19
Annville-Cleona
4:15 PM Lebanon High School
04/21
@Lancaster Mennonite
7:00 PM Lancaster Mennonite High School
04/24
Pequea Valley
4:15 PM Lebanon High School
04/26
@Columbia
4:15 PM Columbia High School
04/28
@Garden Spot
4:15 PM Garden Spot High School
05/01 *
@Cocalico
4:15 PM Cocalico High School
05/08 *
Elco
4:15 PM Lebanon High School
05/11
Cedar Crest
4:15 PM Lebanon High School

 

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