PALMYRA – In between, it was truly magic. But the Palmyra baseball team did not get off to a fast start, and the Cougars certainly didn’t end on a high note.
On a damp Monday afternoon at Palmyra High School’s OAL Sports Complex, the Cougars were dealt a disappointing and debilitating 10-5 loss by York Suburban, in the first round of the District Three Class AAAAA postseason. The Spartans equally strafed six Palmyra pitchers for a dozen hits.
The seventh-seeded Cougars’ third straight loss ended their season at 16-6, and threw some shade on what was an otherwise bright spring. After dropping its first two contest of the year, Palmyra won 16 of its next 17 outings.
The outcome pushed tenth-seeded York Suburban to 13-6, and into Thursday’s quarterfinal round of the District Three Class AAAAA tournament.
“This was a fun team and a great group of young men to coach,” said Palmyra head coach Neil Weber. “They put in a lot of time and effort. I’m proud of these guys. Today was not our day. When we look back, we’ll be glad about what we accomplished.
“But I don’t think we were playing our best baseball at the end of the season,” Weber continued. “There were keys offensively and defensively that we needed to execute, and we didn’t get it done.”
Down 3-1, Palmyra mounted a three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead.
Pinch-hitter Tim Hall knocked in a run with a walk, and Evan Siegfried followed with a clutch two-run single. The rally was started by singles from Jacob Deimling and Gage Miller, and a walk to Thomas Ziegler.
“For our hitters, it was an awful day,” said Weber. “They carried us through the year. It just didn’t happen today. We scattered eight hits. We didn’t score much early. Some days, five runs is enough.
“Some of our guys played well and battled,” Weber added. “In my opinion, they (the Spartans) were just a better ball club.”
The Cougars’ only lead of the game was short-lived.
In the top of the sixth, York Suburban plated five runs on five hits to take an 8-4 advantage, and complete control of the contest. The highlights of the Spartan rally were a couple of two-run doubles, first by Ian Korn and then by pinch-hitter Boston Henry.
In its next at-bat, York Suburban widened its lead to 10-4, courtesy of Spencer Butz’s two-run ‘big fly’ over the left-field fence.
“We didn’t play well in all aspects of the game,” said Weber. “I honestly wish I knew, but we consistently don’t play our best baseball at the end, when the games matter the most. I don’t know. Maybe it’s that the moment is too big.
“I don’t know,” continued Weber. “The guys get after it. They work hard. I can’t figure it.”
The Spartans broke a score-less draw by tallying two runs in the top of the third inning, after two outs had been recorded. Butz stole home and Nick Richardson drew a bases-loaded walk.
York Suburban made it a 3-0 game in the fourth, with another two-out run.
But the Cougars got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fourth, after Alex Fuhrman tripled and Siegfried drove him in with a single.
“It comes down to execution,” said Weber. “We had plenty of base runners in the early innings. But we couldn’t score, and it breathed some life into them (the Spartans).”
Palmyra notched the final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh, on a Ziegler single and Siegried’s RBI-triple.
“It’s depressing,” said Weber. “We have nine seniors. We root for those guys. We just didn’t come up with the win today.”
|2021-03-31||A||vs||Bishop McDevitt (3)(3)||L||9-11|
|2021-04-05||H||vs||Central Dauphin East(3)||W||15-0|
|2021-04-26||H||vs||Bishop McDevitt (3)(3)||W||14-4|
|2021-04-28||A||vs||Central Dauphin East(3)||W||10-0|
|11***||Spring Grove Area||13-||7-||0||0.655909||0.728365||0.567351||15.15||215.65||5.65||164.45|