Lebanon Sports Buzz
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 BY JEFF FALK

 ANNVILLE – It’s a collective effort, and an accumulative effect. No one player or no one game has the power to turn things around.

 But if he or it could, it would be the game that Riley Blatt pitched yesterday.

 On a partly sunny Wednesday evening at Annville-Cleona High School, Blatt injected some much-needed hope into the Elco baseball team’s season by shutting down and shutting out the home-standing Little Dutchmen, 3-0. Blatt wasn’t overpowering, but he stuck to his own personal game plan and didn’t permit an Annville-Cleona runner to advance past second base.

 It was a positive result for a Raider club which had struggled to this point of the spring. The win was only Elco’s third of the year and pushed the Raiders to 3-6 overall and 3-5 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

  On the home side, Annville-Cleona was shut out for the second time in three days. The Little Dutchmen now stand at 5-3 on the year and 4-3 in Section Four of the L-L.

  “We had to start getting some wins,” said Elco head coach Roger Hehnly. “We’re getting further into the season. We’ve got to start putting it together. It’s easy to coach when it works that way.

 “Tonight they (his players) played with a sense of urgency,” continued Hehnly. “There were glimpese of it, but as the game wore on, the urgency was there. We’ve been struggling with it, up to this point. But the urgency was there.”

 “For the most part, things are going pretty well,” said Annville-Cleona head coach Miller, of his club’s fortunes. “We’ve got to cut out our errors on routine plays. We can’t have four errors. When that happens, it can get out of hand.

 “Everything (goal-wise) is still attainable,” Miller continued. “We want to be section champs. We want to qualify for the league playoffs. We want to qualify for the district playoffs. If we can get on a roll, we’ll be OK. We have to start stringing some runs together, then we can start stringing some wins together.”

 Blatt started off well and seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. The sharp right-hander retired the Little Dutchmen in order in the second, fourth and fifth innings.

 Blatt hurled an even 100 pitches, fanned five and issued two free passes. He gave way to teammate Matt Bentz with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and Bentz recorded the final out of the contest.

 “He controlled the game,” said Hehnly of Blatt. “He was throwing his off-speed and spotting his pitches. We had great defense behind him. He got ahead in the count, which is good.

 “This was definitely his best start of the season,” added Hehnly. “His pitch count was getting up, so we brought in Bentz. As soon as he gets to a hundred, he’s done.”

  “He (Blatt) mixes his pitches well,” said Miller. “He was always around the plate. He didn’t labor. He was always ahead in the count. He did a nice job of keeping us off balance. And he got the strikeout when he needed it.

 “We hit some balls hard, but right at people,” Miller added.”For the most part, I thought we put the ball in play. But I thought they (the Raiders) did a better job of it. We have to work on a couple of things.”

  Little Dutchman starter Sal Biondollo also pitched well, in defeat.

 The Raiders touched him for an unearned run in the top of the second inning to assume a 1-o edge. Riley Peiffer led off with a walk, and when Dakota Smith’s single to right was misplayed in the outfield, Peiffer raced all the way around from first to score.

 “It was fantastic. It was great,” said Hehnly. “We’re starting to put our hitting together. We came together as a team. It was a team effort. They (his players) did everything right. And we got great pitching, from start to finish.

 “They’ve (his players) got to want to do it,” Hehnly continued. “They’ve got to want to do what they did tonight. We have a young squad. We’ve had growing pains.”

 “We had too many errors,” said Miller. “I counted four. It puts you in bad positions. It should be the third out. They (the Raiders) did a nice job of hitting it where it’s pitched. But we can’t give extra outs.”

  The Raiders extended their lead to 3-0 with a pair of third-inning runs. The rally began with two outs and nobody on, and with an error, making both runs unearned.

  Blatt scored on a wild pitch, after Jude Anthony had kept the rally going with a single. Then Peiffer plated Anthony with a base knock.

  “We’re in the middle of the season,” said Hehnly. “We need some help and to get on a roll. It’s disappointing because we lost to one or two teams we should’ve beaten.

 “It’s a young team,” Hehnly added. “Pitching has been one of our problems. If we execute and throw strikes, we’re fine. I think the bats are going to come around.”

 “That’s what we thought we’d get from them (the Raiders),” said Miller. “Every one of the Section Three teams are good. They’re all knocking each other off. It’s a dogfight up there.

  “All the crossovers are so tough on the smaller teams,” added Miller. “Anytime you get a close game, you’ve got to try to get a win out of it. And you always like the in-County games.”

 Before being relieved by Junior Bours to start the top of the seventh, Biondollo worked six innings of six-hit, four-strike-out, two-walk ball.

 “Their pitcher was fantastic. He’s downhill,” said Hehnly of Biondollo. “You’ve got to get to him. One or two runs could win the game. I thought our guys tood a good approach. They didn’t swing at pitches out of the zone. They did a great job, as a whole.

 “They’re (the Little Dutchmen) strong,” continued Hehnly. “I’m hoping they can knock off a couple of Section Three teams for us. But they’re solid.”

   “He (Biondollo) pitched well,” said Miller. “I don’t think it was his best game. But it was a good game. He wasn’t getting his off-speed pitch over. He’s better when he gets that off-speed pitch in.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Elco Baseball Schedule

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
3/26
4:15 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
16
9
 
3/27
4:15 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
5
6
 
3/28
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Elco
15
0
 
3/29
4:00 pm
Elco
at Hamburg
2
5
 
4/01
4:15 pm
Elco
at Octorara
2
6
 
4/03
4:15 pm
Garden Spot
at Elco
6
4
 
4/08
4:15 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
1
3
 
4/09
4:15 pm
Donegal
at Elco
12
8
 
4/10
4:15 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
   
4/12
4:15 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Elco
   
4/17
4:15 pm
Columbia
at Elco
   
4/18
4:15 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Catholic
   
4/22
4:15 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Elco
   
4/24
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
   
4/26
4:15 pm
Elco
at Manheim Central
   
4/29
4:15 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
   
5/03
4:15 pm
Octorara
at Elco
   
5/04
1:00 pm
Elco
at Tulpehocken
   
5/06
4:15 pm
Elco
at Garden Spot
   
5/08
4:15 pm
Elco
at Donegal
   
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Annville-Cleona Baseball Schedule

 
 
Date Opponents Outcomes  
3/27
4:15 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Annville-Cleona
0
10
 
3/29
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Catholic
2
4
 
4/01
4:15 pm
Lebanon Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
0
11
 
4/03
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Columbia
16
0
 
4/04
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Pequea Valley
5
3
 
4/06
11:00 am
Conrad Weiser
at Annville-Cleona
2
12
 
4/08
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Donegal
0
10
 
4/10
4:15 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona
   
4/12
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Garden Spot
   
4/15
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Annville-Cleona
   
4/17
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Cocalico
   
4/18
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Octorara
   
4/22
7:00 pm
Annville-Cleona
Northern Lebanon
at Earl Wenger Field
   
4/24
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lancaster Mennonite
   
4/26
4:15 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Annville-Cleona
   
4/29
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Lebanon Catholic
   
5/01
4:15 pm
Columbia
at Annville-Cleona
   
5/03
4:15 pm
Pequea Valley
at Annville-Cleona
   
5/07
7:00 pm
Tulpehocken
at Annville-Cleona
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Three Standings
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Manheim Central 7 1 87.50 7 2 77.78 75 17
Octorara 6 1 85.71 6 2 75.00 42 19
Garden Spot 5 3 62.50 5 4 55.56 56 29
Donegal 4 3 57.14 4 3 57.14 41 43
Cocalico 4 4 50.00 4 4 50.00 55 29
Northern Lebanon 2 5 28.57 2 6 25.00 35 68
Elco 2 5 28.57 2 6 25.00 40 55
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lancaster-Lebanon League
 Section Four Standings
 
 
 
  League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Lancaster Catholic 6 1 85.71 7 1 87.50 62 22
Annville-Cleona 4 2 66.67 5 2 71.43 56 16
Pequea Valley 3 4 42.86 4 4 50.00 58 33
Columbia 2 5 28.57 2 6 25.00 37 53
Lancaster Mennonite 1 5 16.67 1 6 14.29 33 45
Lebanon Catholic 0 7 0.00 0 7 0.00 4 95
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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