BY JEFF FALK
MYERSTOWN – The more you win, the more meaningful upcoming games become. At this point of the season, it’s up to the Elco baseball team to decide and define what meaningful is.
On a seasonal Tuesday evening at Elco High School’s Lyle Krall Field, the Raiders assured themselves of more meaningful games to come, with a 9-2 Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three-Four crossover dumping of Lancaster Mennonite. With the outcome very much in doubt and the home side trailing 2-1, the Raiders rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to win it.
The victory was Elco’s third in its last four outings, and it pushed the Raiders’ overall mark to 4-6 and its Section Three record to 4-5. Lancaster Mennonite slipped to 1-9 on the year and 1-8 in Section Four.
“The goals coming into the season were high. They still are,” said Elco head coach Roger Hehnly. “We’re not even close to peaking. We have to work harder and take it a little more serious. There’s a lot of lackadaisical play.
“Every game is a must-win,” continued Hehnly. “To compete in the section, we’ve got to keep going and moving forward. We can’t lose to teams we should beat. We shouldn’t be in games like this.”
But Elco trailed most of the way, until sending 14 hitters to the plate and posting its eight-spot in the sixth. That at-bat started with Dakota Smith’s lead-off single, and at one point, seven straight Raider batters reached base, thanks in part to a key Blazer error.
The explosion featured three dfferent two-run singles, from Bryce Coletti, Riley Blatt and then Jason Gattens. Elco six-hole hitter Braden Bohannon drove home another run with a bases-loaded walk.
“The error helped us,” said Hehnly. “It got us going. We had to put the bat to the ball and put the ball in play. (Starting pitcher) Ryan Miller kept us in the game. That was a great pitching performance.
“It’s (the Raider offense) been sporadic,” Hehnly continued. “We can hit good pitching one day, and not hit bad pitching the next day. We’ve got to find that happy medium. We have a pretty good nucleus. We’re just not consistent now.”