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BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – It’s a sound and cerebral approach to the game.

At the forefront of one’s consciousness is this focus on day-to-day improvement. But as that improvement compounds itself, thoughts of the postseason begin to creep from the back of the mind to the front.

The time has come for the Cedar Crest baseball team to focus on the playoffs.

On a comfortable Thursday evening at Cedar Crest High School, the Falcons missed out on a chance to solidify their playoff standing, during a 3-0 loss to undefeated Manheim Township. The Lancaster-Lebanon Section One contest shook out as a pitcher’s duel between Cedar Crest southpaw Dalton Reinhart and Blue Streak right-hander Colin Fitzgerald, before Manheim Township scored three times in its final two at-bats.

The setback was Cedar Crest’s third in its last four outings and eliminated the Falcons from Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff consideration. But the now 10-7 Falcons are still very much alive for a District Three Class AAAAAA postseason spot.

In the latest rankings for a Class AAAAAA classification that takes 12 teams for its District Three tournament, Cedar Crest was situated eighth.

The outcome lifted Manheim Township to 18-0 on the spring, to 9-0 in the circuit and clinched the Section One crown. The Blue Streaks are currently the top-seeded club in the District Three Class AAAAAA field.

“I think we’ve had some highs and some lows, with certain games this season,” said Cedar Crest rookie head coach Matt Knox. “It’s baseball. It’s the nature of it. We try to make sure they (his players) always stay engaged. The long-term goal was to make it to the playoffs, and we’re in the mix to be able to make it to districts.

“No matter what, the goal for these kids as competitors, has been to make it to the postseason,” continued Knox. “But I don’t think we need to do that to validate the season. The kids came out and did what they needed to do. These kids work hard.”

With Reinhart working into, then out of, trouble most of the way, the game was score-less through five innings. Before being lifted in favor of reliever Luke Hostetter with one out in the top of the sixth inning, the senior lefty allowed three hits, struck out five and walked five.

“Dalton threw an absolutely fabulous game today,” said Knox. “Offensively, they’re (the Blue Streaks) really good. He gave 100 percent. You can’t give more than that. It was a great game to watch from a pitcher’s standpoint.”

Manheim Township finally broke through with the game’s first run in the top of the sixth.

With runners at the corners and one away, Manheim Township’s Jason Weaver lofted a foul fly behind first base. Cedar Crest’s Dylan Beard made a nice over-the-shoulder catch, but the play turned into a sacrifice fly when the Blue Streak runner at third tug up and scampered home.

“Dylan made a great catch,” said Knox. “He turned, made a great catch and then made a great throw. But his momentum took him away from the plate. He did everything he could. Instinctively, kids are taught to go get the ball and make an out. It was an athletic play.”

The Blue Streaks added a pair of insurance tallies in the top of the seventh inning. Kyle Musser and Fitzgerald walked, then came around to score on Ryan Jones’ two-run triple.

For the game, Manheim Township stranded a total of nine runners on base.

“They’re all important,” said Knox. “But today we were playing an undefeated Manheim Township team and playing for a berth in districts. We came out and gave ourselves an opportunity to win. That’s how you want them all to be played.

“Our guys played a fantastic game,” Knox added. “We were in it the whole way. We gave ourselves opportunities to score, we just didn’t do it.”

In the bottom of the third inning, Cedar Crest failed to score after their first two hitters – Conrad Wasson and Nolan Groff – reached base on a single and an error, respectively. Those same two Falcon batters coaxed back-to-back walks, with two outs in the fifth.

But after that, Fitzgerald retired the final seven hitters he faced.

“Fitzgerald threw a great game,” said Knox. “They (the Blue Streaks) played well defensively. When you’re going up against a kid of that caliber, you just want opportunities to score.

“Offensively, there’s been some highs and some lows for us this season,” Knox continued. “There have been games where we’ve gone out and scored some runs.”

To purchase images in this article please email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2021 Cedar Crest Baseball Results

DateOpponentsOutcomes
3/30
4:15 pm
Governor Mifflin
at Cedar Crest
0
2

Nonleague
3/31
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Warwick
1
0

League
4/05
4:15 pm
McCaskey
at Cedar Crest
1
5

League
4/07
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Hempfield
10
0

League
4/09
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Manheim Township
7
12

League
4/13
4:15 pm
Penn Manor
at Cedar Crest
1
7

League
4/14
4:15 pm
Ephrata
at Cedar Crest
6
2

Nonleague
4/16
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lampeter-Strasburg
8
5

Nonleague
4/19
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Solanco
9
10

Nonleague
4/21
4:15 pm
Elizabethtown
at Cedar Crest
0
3

Nonleague
4/22
6:00 pm
Cedar Crest
at Palmyra
1
11

Nonleague
4/23
4:15 pm
Conestoga Valley
at Cedar Crest

Nonleague
4/26
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Lebanon
7
2

Nonleague
4/28
4:15 pm
Warwick
at Cedar Crest
16
1

League
4/30
6:30 pm
Cedar Crest
at McCaskey
9
4

League
5/03
4:15 pm
Hempfield
at Cedar Crest
12
10

League
5/06
4:15 pm
Manheim Township
at Cedar Crest
3
0

League
5/07
4:15 pm
Cedar Crest
at Penn Manor

League

PIAA District Three

Class AAAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAAASchool W L T Rating TWP OWP TWPW OWPW TWPL OWPL
1Manheim Township17-0-0 0.831630 1.000000 0.625845 20.55 199.05 0.00 119.00
2Wilson (3)14-1-0 0.803252 0.957020 0.615313 16.70 166.35 0.75 104.00
3Warwick14-4-0 0.751802 0.845000 0.637894 16.90 193.25 3.10 109.70
4Cedar Cliff9-3-0 0.734530 0.824627 0.624412 11.05 159.35 2.35 95.85
5Dallastown12-3-0 0.729442 0.862385 0.566956 14.10 156.65 2.25 119.65
6Governor Mifflin14-5-0 0.709909 0.813896 0.582814 16.40 168.20 3.75 120.40
7Central Dauphin8-5-0 0.698346 0.723247 0.667911 9.80 134.15 3.75 66.70
8Cedar Crest10-6-0 0.690081 0.717647 0.656390 12.20 198.00 4.80 103.65
9Cumberland Valley10-5-0 0.686687 0.750769 0.608363 12.20 143.30 4.05 92.25
10Central York10-5-0 0.680509 0.746082 0.600365 11.90 164.35 4.05 109.40
11Carlisle9-5-0 0.639908 0.713793 0.549604 10.35 142.10 4.15 116.45
12Hempfield (3)8-9-0 0.631237 0.585075 0.687657 9.80 219.50 6.95 99.70
13J P McCaskey9-9-0 0.623155 0.612994 0.635573 10.85 197.25 6.85 113.10
14Red Lion7-6-0 0.610147 0.632959 0.582266 8.45 150.05 4.90 107.65
15Chambersburg Area4-9-0 0.533450 0.405063 0.690367 4.80 172.35 7.05 77.30
16Penn Manor4-12-0 0.503118 0.340580 0.701776 4.70 225.20 9.10 95.70
17Harrisburg3-4-0 0.456451 0.424460 0.495551 2.95 80.75 4.00 82.20
18Lebanon3-12-0 0.426957 0.262357 0.628134 3.45 186.65 9.70 110.50
19Central Dauphin East2-11-0 0.394216 0.207792 0.622067 2.40 164.35 9.15 99.85
20York County School of Technology3-9-0 0.330608 0.244000 0.436463 3.05 96.00 9.45 123.95
21William Penn0-11-0 0.305150 0.000000 0.678111 0.00 147.15 8.95 69.85
22Reading0-10-0 0.298064 0.000000 0.662364 0.00 161.65 8.60 82.40

Lancaster-Lebanon League

Section One Standings

LeagueOverall
WLPCTWLPCTPSPA
Manheim Township901.0001801.00016745
Warwick720.7781340.76512522
Cedar Crest540.5561070.5638249
Hempfield450.444890.47110658
McCaskey170.125770.5006548
Penn Manor080.0004100.2864766

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