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Palmyra Baseball 061BY JEFF FALK

PALMYRA – It’s a little late to be saying that the Palmyra baseball team is growing up before our very eyes. Only because the Cougars already possesses a level of experience that does not reflect their chronological age.

On a gorgeous Monday evening at Palmyra High School, the young-at-heart, wise-beyond-their-years Cougars continued to write their own story, with a 10-0, six-inning, mercy-rule victory over Susquehanna Township. Palmyra brought the ten-run rule into play in the bottom of the sixth inning, when already up 9-0, they received singles from Dylan Kepler and Braden Drescher, a walk to Nick Jelliff, a wild pitch and an Indian error to end the game.

Many of these current Cougar players were part of an overachieving Campbelltown American Legion club that made some considerable noise in the Lebanon County legion playoffs and the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four baseball tournament last summer. Yesterday’s triumph lifed Palmyra to 9-2 overall and 8-0 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference.

Palmyra Baseball 015Susquehanna Township slipped to 0-10 on the spring and 0-8 in the divsion.

“I think we have good kids,” said Palmyra head coach Neil Weber. “They know the fundamentals of the game. They’ve played a lot of baseball. They’re not intimidated. They held their own in legion. They’re just a fun group of guys to coach.

“We went through the league one time, but we’ve got to keep playing well,” continued Weber. “We could be 2-9 the second time through. It’s a little cliche, but we’ve got to play one game at a time.”

Palmyra Baseball 006“Honestly, we really did (know they were going to have this kind of a season?,” said starting and winning pitcher Sam Ziegler, the only senior in Palmyra’s starting line-up. “We felt we could do this. It’s not unexpected. We were feeling really good at the beginning of the season.

“I think it (the run in legion ball) might have helped,” Ziegler continued. “We felt good after that. It probably did transfer into this season. A lot of guys played on that team.”

Ziegler combined with Joey Fisher to whitewash the Indians on two hits. Certainly the tone for the blow-out was set in the bottom of the first, when the Cougars came out swinging and posted a four-spot on the scoreboard.

In fact, the first five hitters in the Palmyra lineup – Brian Coburn, Austin Lefever, Christian Kreiser, Austin Baal and Zeigler – all recorded hits, and the first four came around to score. Lefevere, Baal and Zeigler each drove home runs, as did Jacob Roe with a sacrifice fly.

“As a coach, you definitely like to start a game with four runs,” said Weber. “Anyone would like that start. But the guys stayed discipline and kept adding on. And we were good defensively.

“It was a good opportunity to see other players get in and get some playing time,” added Weber. “And those guys contirbuted. We really want to have a team approach. That’s a good thing about this group.”

“It just makes you feel more relaxed,” said Ziegler of his early cushion. “It’s good knowing that if you leave up a hit, it’s not the end of the world. You can fire it in there.”

With his teammates tacking on, Ziegler was attacking the strike-zone. Before being lifted in favor of Fisher, Ziegler struck out six and walked none in his three innings of work.

Palmyra Baseball 005He allowed just one hit, as did Fisher. Fisher fanned three and issued a single free pass, over the final three innings of play.

“Sam is solid,” said Weber. “He throws a couple of good pitches. For him, his key is locating the ball on both sides of the plate. He could’ve gone the whole game. We saw what we needed to see from Sam, and he did a great job.

“We didn’t know innings,” Weber continued. “We figured if the game gave us an opportunity, we’d get Joey in there, and it worked out well. Sam’s a team player. He’s a two-way guy. I can’t say enough about him. He’s a captain and he acts like it all the time.”

“I was feeling really good,” said Ziegler. “My fastball felt really good. My curveball felt tight.

“We were hitting really well, so there was no reason for me to pitch more than I needed to,” Ziegler added. “Fisher came in when I came out, and he pitched a good game.”

The Cougars upped their advantage to 6-0 with a two-run second inning. Lefever did much of the damage with a two-run single.

Palmyra Baseball 021Palmyra was at it again in its next at-bat, as a Kreiser RBI-single with two outs plated Kasey Shughart, who had doubled.

“It was a solid game,” said Weber. “Sam Ziegler threw the ball really well and set the tone for us by throwing strikes. We wanted to see Joey Fisher pitch. We had a little bit of a cushion.

“We’ve been playing well,” continued Weber. “But I think there’s a lot of things we can improve on as a ball club. We’ll have a good body of work for this week.”

“It was a great team win,” said Ziegler. “We hit really well. We were just on the ball. We were 8-2 and now we’re 9-2. We really wanted to push towards double-digits in wins.”

Palmyra’s margin reached 9-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Shawn Carter drove home Jelliff, then scored himself on an Indian error.

Palmyra Baseball 010“I go about it game-to-game, practice-to-practice,” said Weber. “I love coaching these guys. They put forth a ton of effort. But we don’t know if we’re one of the best teams in the league or not.”

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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 2018 Palmyra Baseball Schedule
DATE OPPONENT TIME OUTCOMES
03/24
@Northern Lebanon
12:00 PM
03/27 *
@Hershey
4:15 PM W 11-0
03/28 *
@Bishop McDevitt
4:15 PM W 7-2
04/05 *
Lower Dauphin
4:15 PM W 3-1
04/06
Big Spring
7:00 PM W 5-2
04/07
Cedar Crest
1:15 PM L 2-13
04/10 *
@Mechanicsburg
4:15 PM W 4-3
04/12 *
@CD East
4:15 PM W 15-5
04/18 *
Harrisburg
4:15 PM W 12-3
04/19 *
Hershey
4:15 PM W 13-3
04/21
Muhlenberg
12:00 PM L 2-4
04/23 *
Susquehanna Twp.
4:15 PM W 10-0
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
04/24 *
Bishop McDevitt
4:15 PM Palmyra High School
04/26 *
@Susquehanna Twp.
4:15 PM Susquehanna Twp. High School
05/01 *
Lower Dauphin
4:00 PM Palmyra High School
05/03 *
Mechanicsburg
4:15 PM Palmyra High School
05/07
@Middletown
4:15 PM Middletown High School
05/08 *
CD East
4:15 PM Palmyra High School
05/09
@Northern Lebanon
4:15 PM Northern Lebanon High School
05/10 *
@Harrisburg
4:15 PM Harrisburg High School
05/12
Shippensburg
12:00 PM Palmyra High School

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PIAA District Three

 Class AAAAA Power Rankings

AAAAA School  W  L  T  Rating  TWP  OWP  TWPW  OWPW  TWPL  OWPL
1 Muhlenberg 10- 1- 0  0.754827  0.940239  0.528212  11.8  82.9  0.8  74.0
2 Lower Dauphin 8- 2- 0  0.745124  0.853211  0.613017  9.3  112.6  1.6  71.1
3 Cedar Cliff 6- 1- 0  0.729030  0.907975  0.510320  7.4  63.1  0.8  60.5
4 Palmyra 8- 2- 0  0.727745  0.851852  0.576059  9.2  101.3  1.6  74.6
5 Red Land 7- 1- 0  0.723456  0.910526  0.494815  8.7  66.8  0.9  68.2
6 Lampeter Strasburg 9- 3- 0  0.719307  0.811538  0.606580  10.6  130.9  2.5  84.9
7 Ephrata 8- 3- 0  0.709726  0.798354  0.601404  9.7  128.6  2.5  85.2
8 Elizabethtown 8- 3- 0  0.705543  0.803347  0.586004  9.6  124.4  2.4  87.9
9 Donegal 7- 3- 0  0.701531  0.771028  0.616590  8.3  127.9  2.5  79.5
10 Northern York 9- 2- 0  0.687904  0.830986  0.513026  8.9  89.6  1.8  85.1
11 Waynesboro 8- 2- 0  0.686901  0.827273  0.515335  9.1  80.7  1.9  75.9
12 Gettysburg 8- 3- 0  0.683277  0.786026  0.557694  9.0  100.5  2.5  79.7
13 Dover 6- 3- 0  0.646168  0.717949  0.558437  7.0  102.7  2.8  81.2
14 New Oxford 7- 4- 0  0.641117  0.709251  0.557843  8.1  104.9  3.3  83.1
15 Manheim Central 7- 3- 0  0.635611  0.727723  0.523030  7.4  102.2  2.8  93.2
16 Twin Valley 7- 3- 0  0.629843  0.742424  0.492244  7.4  95.2  2.6  98.2
17 Hershey 6- 5- 0  0.612617  0.615385  0.609235  6.8  105.6  4.3  67.7
18 Cocalico 7- 3- 0  0.605524  0.735000  0.447275  7.4  88.7  2.7  109.6
19 Fleetwood 6- 4- 0  0.605152  0.621359  0.585342  6.4  121.4  3.9  86.0
20 Greencastle Antrim 5- 3- 0  0.592150  0.660494  0.508618  5.4  75.3  2.8  72.7
21 Solanco 3- 6- 0  0.541184  0.433526  0.672766  3.8  143.4  4.9  69.8
22 Spring Grove 3- 5- 0  0.535277  0.467949  0.617568  3.7  114.3  4.2  70.8
23 Daniel Boone 4- 6- 0  0.531837  0.484536  0.589650  4.7  96.9  5.0  67.4
24 Mechanicsburg 4- 7- 0  0.509009  0.439024  0.594545  4.5  98.1  5.8  66.9
25 Garden Spot 5- 7- 0  0.479415  0.448718  0.516934  5.3  101.5  6.5  94.9
26 Northeastern 2- 8- 0  0.421964  0.250000  0.632143  2.2  123.9  6.6  72.1
27 South Western 0- 8- 0  0.287522  0.000000  0.638937  0.0  128.7  6.6  72.7
28 Exeter Township 0- 8- 0  0.277222  0.000000  0.616050  0.0  128.2  6.4  79.9
29 Milton Hershey 0- 8- 0  0.240522  0.000000  0.534494  0.0  82.9  7.8  72.2
30 William Penn 0- 0- 0  0.000000  0.000000  0.000000  0.0  0.0  0.0  0.0

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Palmyra Baseball 041Mid-Penn Conference

 Keystone Division 

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Palmyra 8-0 9-2
Lower Dauphin 7-1 9-2
Harrisburg 5-3 5-3
Hershey 3-5 5-6
Mechanicsburg 3-5 4-8
Bishop McDevitt 2-4 6-5
CD East 2-4 3-6
Susquehanna Twp. 0-8 0-10

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