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 Elco Baseball 008BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN  – The Elco baseball team isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.

But the Raiders certainly aren’t playing with the same sort of passion and intensity that they did earlier in the season. And at this point, Elco is uncertain where that re-igniting spark is going to come from.

On a warm Wednesday evening at Elco’s Lyle Krall Field, the Raiders stumbled once again, this time dropping a 6-2 decision to their guests from Garden Spot. Elco fell into an early 5-1 hole, one it couldn’t dig itself out of.

After starting the season 3-0 and 6-2 under new head coach Roger Hehnly, Elco has gone 3-5 in its last eight contests. At 9-7 overall and 7-6 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League, the Raiders, who stood 12th in the latest District Three Class AAAA power rankings, have all but been eliminated from section championship contention and are now long shots to qualify for the league playoffs.

Elco Baseball 057Back on April 6th, Elco had blanked the same Spartan club 6-0.

Yesterday’s result made Garden Spot 9-8 overall and 8-6 in the league.

“We’re on a down slide,” said Hehnly. “We’re not playing well. We have bits and pieces. It’s been a slow, progressive slide, but we’re extremely young. You’re going to have to go through growing pains, and part of it is the game itself.

“It’s everything, in all the games,” continueh Hehnly. “Hitting, pitching, fielding, they’ve all been regressing. I still think they’re (his players) as good as they were at the beginning of the season. We’re playing good teams. And in my eyes, there’s a bunch of games we should’ve won.”

Elco Baseball 030“This was important for us for leagues and districts,” said Raider senior shortstop Clay Hain. “After the Annville loss, we just lost our level. We’re satisfied to play at a lower level.”

“I don’t think we’re playing as well as we were earlier in the year,” said Elco senior third-baseman/pitcher Travis Weaver. “We’re not as emotional. We’re just looking for a playoff spot now.”

Garden Spot got to Raider starter Riley Blatt for five runs in its first two at-bats, but in Blatt’s defense only one of them was earned. Ben Spencer, Justin Petersheim and Kyle Martin all drove in runs for the Spartans, before Weaver relieved Blatt with two outs in the top of the second.

“We had a short leash,” said Hehnly of Blatt. “Our senior (Weaver) doesn’t feel comfortable starting, but we had a couple of miscues. It is what it is.”

“I wasn’t necessarily ready to go in,” said Weaver. “I knew it wasn’t time. I said I wasn’t comfortable starting the game. But after that, I started feeling my zone and hitting my spots.”

Before he was called upon for relief, Weaver had sliced the Raiders’ 2-0, first-inning deficit in half with a ‘big fly’ to left field.

Then once he settled in on the mound, Weaver hurled the final five-and-one-third innings, yielded three hits, struck out six and walked one. At one point, Weaver went four frames without allowing a hit.

“He did great,” said Hehnly of Weaver. “He kept us where we had to be.”

Elco Baseball 046Meanwhile, the Raiders were having trouble scratching out much offensively against Garden Spot pitcher Aiden Bracken. Hain got him for a two-out solo dinger in the bottom of the third that pulled Elco to within 5-2 of the lead, but it would prove to be the only cink in the Spartan starter’s armor.

Before giving way to his pitch count with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Bracken fanned three and walked one. But the Raiders got at least one base runner on against him in each of their at-bats, including the bottom of the fifth, when they loaded the bases with one out.

Elco out hit Garden Spot 10-6.

“It was sporadic,” said Hehnly of the Raiders’ approach to hitting. “Some had good approaches and some didn’t.

“He (Bracken) had a tailing fastball,” Hehnly added. “He’s a decent pitcher. He’s a good pitcher.”

“He had a fastball that tailed,” said Hain of Bracken. “And he had a good change-up.”

Garden Spot tallied its final run in the top of the seventh inning. Spencer’s two-out double plated teammate Dylan Crosson, who had singled.

Elco Baseball 009“This would’ve done us a huge justice to pull off,” said Hehnly. “We know we’re going back farther and farther. We need some help.

“Our goal is to finish strong,” continued Hehnly. “We have a couple of games left. If we don’t, it’s too much regression.”

“We’ve got to start playing from the beginning of the game,” said Hain. “Not just trying to turn it ‘on’. We have four games left and we have to win out, and see if we can get a playoff spot. Once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elco Baseball 035To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

2018 Elco Baseball Results

Date Opponents Outcomes
3/28
4:15 pm
Wyomissing
at Elco
0
3
4/05
4:15 pm
Cocalico
at Elco
3
4
4/06
4:15 pm
Elco
at Garden Spot
6
0
4/07
12:00 pm
Elco
at Hamburg
3
5
4/09
4:15 pm
Elco
at Manheim Central
1
8
4/11
4:15 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
4
0
4/12
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
14
20
4/13
4:15 pm
Elco
at Columbia
10
3
4/17
4:15 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Elco
5
1
4/18
4:15 pm
Elco
at Lebanon Catholic
7
0
4/20
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Elco
5
2
4/23
4:15 pm
Elco
at Lancaster Mennonite
10
8
4/26
4:15 pm
Conrad Weiser
at Elco
6
9
4/30
7:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
4
5
5/01
4:15 pm
Pequea Valley
at Elco
9
3
5/02
4:15 pm
Garden Spot
at Elco
5/04
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Elco
5/05
4:15 pm
Tulpehocken
at Elco
5/07
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Elco
5/09
4:15 pm
Elco
at Cocalico
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Elco Baseball 005PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

 

AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 West Perry 13- 3- 0  0.678775  0.818471  0.508036  12.9  134.4  2.9  130.1
2 Littlestown 10- 3- 0  0.657316  0.765799  0.524725  10.3  131.6  3.2  119.2
3 Kennard Dale 10- 3- 0  0.652745  0.789272  0.485878  10.3  117.0  2.8  123.8
4 West York 9- 6- 0  0.649435  0.667774  0.627020  10.1  166.9  5.0  99.3
5 Berks Catholic 9- 2- 0  0.647829  0.818182  0.439619  8.6  90.1  1.9  114.9
6 East Pennsboro 9- 4- 0  0.633847  0.718876  0.529922  9.0  143.5  3.5  127.3
7 Bishop McDevitt 9- 6- 0  0.615193  0.658863  0.561818  9.9  141.6  5.1  110.4
8 Hamburg 10- 7- 0  0.574312  0.601719  0.540815  10.5  157.4  7.0  133.6
9 Boiling Springs 6- 5- 0  0.557038  0.579710  0.529328  6.0  111.5  4.4  99.1
10 Bermudian Springs 9- 8- 0  0.547651  0.536657  0.561088  9.2  151.8  7.9  118.7
11 Middletown 7- 7- 0  0.536680  0.528369  0.546838  7.5  150.9  6.7  125.1
12 Eastern Lebanon County 9- 7- 0  0.532417  0.578125  0.476552  9.3  138.2  6.8  151.8
13 Big Spring 6- 8- 0  0.526159  0.453237  0.615286  6.3  144.1  7.6  90.1
14 York Suburban 4- 7- 0  0.513793  0.434783  0.610362  4.5  158.5  5.9  101.2
15 Northern Lebanon 6- 9- 0  0.496809  0.435088  0.572247  6.2  169.9  8.1  127.0
16 James Buchanan 5- 7- 0  0.473390  0.431624  0.524437  5.1  115.4  6.7  104.6
17 Susquehannock 5- 11- 0  0.447581  0.332278  0.588505  5.3  161.6  10.6  113.0
18 Eastern York 5- 10- 0  0.428021  0.352727  0.520047  4.9  142.7  8.9  131.7
19 Conrad Weiser 4- 11- 0  0.426536  0.287719  0.596200  4.1  174.2  10.2  118.0
20 Wyomissing 4- 10- 0  0.378601  0.255319  0.529279  3.6  140.6  10.5  125.0
21 Shippensburg 1- 10- 0  0.351372  0.114428  0.640970  1.2  161.3  8.9  90.4
22 Susquehanna Township 0- 14- 0  0.277510  0.000000  0.616688  0.0  169.3  12.5  105.2

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Elco Baseball 038Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Manheim Central 10 2 83.33 11 3 78.57 89 40
Cocalico 8 4 66.67 10 4 71.43 115 52
Elco 7 5 58.33 9 6 60.00 87 63
Garden Spot 7 6 53.85 8 8 50.00 82 73
Northern Lebanon 6 6 50.00 6 9 40.00 91 109
Lebanon 3 10 23.08 3 12 20.00 49 107

 

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