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IMG_6852BY JEFF FALK

PALMYRA – Not only did the best team win the championship, but also the team which played the best. And perhaps the one which improved the most.

On a steamy Tuesday night at Palmyra High School, Fredericksburg applied the finishing touches to a highly-anticipated and much-sought-after Lebanon County American Legion baseball championship with a dominant 5-0 victory over Palmyra, in Game Two of the best-of-three Warren ‘Lefty’ Grumbine final series. Fredericksburg completed the sweep, as seasoned right-hander Seth Walmer checked Campbelltown on three hits.

For Fredericksburg, the title avenged a bitter defeat at the hands of Annville in last year’s championship series. It was Fredericksburg’s league-leading 24th championship overall, but first since 2009.

IMG_6754F-burg outscored Campbelltown by a combined margin of 8-1 in the two championship games, completing a 4-1 run through the playoffs and a 5-0 season sweep of Campbelltown. The result left Fredericksburg, which also wore the regular-season crown, 21-6 on the summer and 18-5 in the league, while C-town fell to 13-9.

Both clubs will compete in the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four tournament hosted by Fredericksburg at Earl Wenger Memorial Field, beginning Saturday.

Despite his pitching performance, Walmer was named as the championship series’ outstanding hitter. The outstanding pitcher award went to teammate Isaac Wengert, the Game One winner.

“After last year, this means a lot,” said Fredericksburg manager Tim Schaeffer. “We left one slip away last year. That was the goal from the beginning. It makes it a little easier from last year. But it’s still not gone.

IMG_6775“Every game, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, I’m fidgety,” continued Schaeffer. “Tonight it was a little more. All day long I was chomping at the bit to play this game.”

“The first time we played them this year, they didn’t make a mistake,” said Campbelltown head coach Tim Morgan. “With my 15-year-olds, it’s like on a different level. But these guys are going to be here three or four years.

“It goes in cycles,” Morgan continued. “We’ve got some good stuff. To get here was an accomplishment. You’ve got to hit the ball. But that’s the way it goes.”

Not unlike Monday night at Earl Wenger Memorial Field, the first four batters in Fredericksburg’s half of the opening inning reached base. Walks to Noah Gingrich and Wengert, and a single by Michigan Daub loaded the bases for Walmer, who delivered a two-run single.

In the top of the third, Fredericksburg added to its 2-0 advantage. And the top of the order again got the job done for F-burg.

Gingrich reached on an error, Wengert walked and Daub singled, ahead of Walmer’s sacrifice fly to left.

‘We’ve been very consistent,” said Schaeffer. “Our pitching and defense have been solid. When we have made mistakes, we’ve put them behind us. And when you get up, it makes a world of difference. It puts pressure on the other team. We didn’t hit. But everything else, like the pitching, was superb.

IMG_6813“I was really confident because we had all the pitching set up,” added Schaeffer. “We started thinking about it two weeks ago, before the Fourth of July. That’s why we were limiting pitches. The goal was to keep them (his pitchers) in order.”

“In the beginning, when we had the meeting with (league president) Bruce (Kilmoyer), we told him if we beat Annville there’s no sense playing because our pitching would be depleted,” said Morgan. “It’s just like a jinx playing them. We just couldn’t put things together.

“It was all year,” Morgan added. “You give up four or five early against them, it’s tough. But I don’t think any team has crushed the ball this year.”

Walmer cruised from the opening pitch. He retired Campbelltown in order only twice, but didn’t permit a base runner to advance past second.

Walmer made efficient use of his 68 pitches, relying on his defense, striking out one and walking one.

“He pitched a heck of a game,” said Schaeffer of Walmer. “He didn’t throw too many pitches. He’s a workhorse. If I had to pick between him and Isaac, I’d flip a coin.

IMG_6751“The one thing is he’s very confident,” Schaeffer continued. “These guys want the baseball. When a guy says that to me, I know they get it. I want that from all of them.”

“He (Walmer) beat me four times this year,” said Morgan. “He (Schaeffer) has things lined up.”

Fredericksburg was at it again, looking for more, in the top of the fourth inning. Wengert’s two-run double drove home Will Rivera and Cole Felty and pushed F-burg’s lead to five.

“I’m pretty confident,” said Schaeffer of regionals. “We actually played some of those teams, and that’s a good thing.

IMG_6720“They’re (Campbelltown) young this year,” Schaeffer added. “They’re going to be a good team coming up. But they’ve got to commit to play. We haven’t had any problems with that all year. These guys have been a treat to coach.”

“I told them (his players) I never expected to make it to regionals with this team,” said Morgan. “It’s an accomplishment. These little kids are going to be good when they get older. It was all a benefit for them.

“At regionals, I’d like to win a game,” added Morgan. “It’s going to be an experience. I’m glad it’s in Fredericksburg. If we get a win out there, it’ll be sweet.”

 

 

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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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Lebanon County American Legion

 Baseball League Standings

Team Won Lost Tied Pct. GB
Fredericksburg 14 4 0 .778
Campbelltown 11 6 0 .647 2.5
Annville 10 7 0 .588 3.5
5th Ward 8 10 0 .444 6.0
Conrad Weiser 8 10 0 .444 6.0
Richland 5 12 1 .294 8.5
Myerstown 5 12 1 .294 8.5

 

 

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Lebanon County American Legion League

Past Champions
 2017 – Fredericksburg
 2016 – Annville
2015 – Myerstown
2014 – Myerstown
2013 – Campbelltown
2012 – Campbelltown
2011 – Annville
2010 – Campbelltown
IMG_68442009 — Fredericksburg
2008 — Fredericksburg
2007 — Richland
2006 — Richland
2005 — Richland
2004 — Annville
2003 — Fredericksburg
2002 — Richland
2001 — Fredericksburg
2000 — Fredericksburg
1999 — Fredericksburg
1998 — Palmyra
1997 — Fredericksburg
1996 — Fredericksburg
1995 — Fredericksburg
1994 — Fredericksburg
1993 — Fredericksburg*
1992 — Palmyra
1991 — Palmyra
IMG_68351990 — Fredericksburg
1989 — Fredericksburg
1988 — Palmyra
1987 — Fredericksburg
1986 — Fredericksburg*
1985 — Myerstown
1984 — Richland
1983 — Lebanon
1982 — Lebanon
1981 — Fredericksburg*
1980 — Richland
1979 — Fredericksburg
1978 — Myerstown
1977 — Fredericksburg
1976 — Fredericksburg
IMG_67891975 — Myerstown
1974 — Lebanon
1973 — Fredericksburg
1972 — Myerstown*
1971 — Myerstown*
1970 — Annville*
1969 — Annville*
1968 — Myerstown
1967 — Myerstown
1966 — Myerstown
1965 — Myerstown
1964 — Richland
1963 — Lebanon
1962 — Richland
1961 — Richland*
1960 — Not Contested
IMG_67381959 — Fredericksburg
1958 — Fredericksburg
1957 — Fredericksburg
1956 — Lebanon
1955 — Myerstown
1954 — Jonestown*
1953 — Myerstown
1952 — Palmyra*
1951 — Palmyra
1950 — Palmyra
1949 — Annville
1948 — Myerstown*
1947 — Lebanon
1946 — Myerstown
1945 — Not Contested (World War II)
1944 — Not Contested (World War II)
1943 — Not Contested (World War II)
1942 — Not Contested (World War II)
IMG_67571941 — Lebanon*
1940 — Myerstown
1939 — Myerstown
1938 — Myerstown*
1937 — Lebanon*
1936 — Lebanon
1935 — Annville
1934 — Annville
1933 — Myerstown
1932 — Lebanon*
1931 — Orioles*
1930 — Fifth Ward
1929 — Progressive
* Denotes regional champions
Note — The 1937 Lebanon squad was the only team from the county to win a state title. The 1981 Fredericksburg, the
1948 Myerstown and the 1938 Myerstown clubs were all state runners-up.

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