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IMG_3049BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – It was the kind of loss from which it was easy to take a lot of positives. It was also the type of loss from which it was difficult to take any consolation.

On Wednesday after school, the Northern Lebanon baseball club had its hopes of qualifying for the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs all but dashed, by a stinging 8-7, nine-inning loss to Manheim Central. The Barons plated the decisive run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, on a single from Brendan Good that was just out of the reach of – and bounced off the glove of – Viking second-baseman Hayden Johnson.

Good’s heroics had been set up by a lead-off walk and a sacrifice. Northern Lebanon did manage a Jordan Nichols single and an intentional walk to Isaac Wengert with two outs in the bottom of the frame, but could not complete what would’ve been its third comeback of the contest.

IMG_2914The loss dropped Northern Lebanon, which had suffered an earlier 8-2 loss in Manheim, to 9-7 on the campaign and 8-5 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon. The Vikings are currently ranked 20th in a District Three Class AAA field that takes 16 teams for its postseason.

The result also solidified now 12-4 and 11-3 Manheim Central’s hold on the section’s second and final league playoff berth.

“There’s not a lot of things I can say to make them feel better,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Daryl Hess of the post-game message to his troops. “I hit on the positives. It was hard-fought, unfortunately someone had to lose. I thought both teams played well. Both teams had clutch hits.

IMG_2888“This one would’ve kept us in the hunt in the section,” continued Hess. “They (the Barons) have two games left (in the section) and we’re two games behind. It hurts us in the loss column. If Donegal wins today, it takes us out of contention for the section championship. It was definitely a must-win for us.”

It was also Good who had sent the contest to extra frames, with a two-out single in the top of the seventh, that knotted the score at seven. The Vikings had scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to establish a 7-6 edge.

IMG_2932Wengert touched off the rally with his third hit of the afternoon, then stole second. Ryan Biever drove Wengert home with a two-out hit, and Johnson plated Biever with a single.

“All year we’ve been very disciplined batters,” said Hess. “We don’t chase a lot of bad balls. We swing at balls in the zone. We got some really clutch hits today.

“Our section is tough,” added Hess. “Cocalico has a nice ball club, and so does Lebanon. And the top four (Donegal, Manheim Central, Elco and Northern Lebanon) are very good. It’s a very competitive section. We coaches talk about it like that every year.”

IMG_2921 (250x180)A four-run top-of-the fifth, against a tiring Northern Lebanon starter Nichols, gave the Barons a 6-5 margin. Manheim Central collected a pair of doubles and a couple of singles during the rally.

Wengert had given the Vikings a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the third, with his second bomb of the day – a three-run dinger over the left-field porch. Johnson and Chase Dubenforf had walked ahead of Wengert.

“He’s been hitting the ball well for us,” said Hess of Wengert, “and it wasn’t just tonight. He’s been playing a good center field too. He’s been doing a nice job for us.

IMG_3019“He was the winning run, and they (the Barons) put the tying run on second (with the intentional walk in the top of the ninth),” Hess continued. “I’ve never seen that before. Their coach held to his guns, and they got out of it.”

Wengert and Seth Walmer each hit solo shots to left field in the bottom of the second inning to knot the score at two.

“It looked like it caught him in the heel, and popped out,” said Hess, of the decisive Good hit that caromed off Johnson’s glove. “It was a tough ball to go back on. The sun was in his eyes and it was a tough play. I know he feels horrible about it, but he’s resilient.

IMG_3051“They’re (the Barons) a very good ball club,” Hess added. “They hit the ball hard on us. They played good defense. They’re a nice club.”

A hit-batsman touched off the Barons’ top-of-the-first-inning rally that gave them a 2-0 edge. Manheim Central smashed a couple of two-baggers and executed a suicide squeeze during the at-bat.

“We’ve got some work ahead of us,” said Hess. “If we can get four more wins, hopefully we can sneak up into a (district playoff) spot.

“You always like to extend it past the regular season,” continued Hess. “It’s exciting for the kids.”

IMG_2896 Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

TEAM LEAGUE OVERALL
Donegal 12-2 14-3
Manheim Central 11-3 12-4
Northern Lebanon 8-5 9-7
Elco 8-6 10-6
Cocalico 6-7 7-9
Lebanon 5-8 6-10

IMG_2933Northern Lebanon 2015 Results

DATE Opponent TIME RESULT
03/27
McCaskey
4:15 PM W 8-5
03/30 *
Lebanon
4:15 PM W 11-6
04/01 *
Cocalico
4:15 PM W 4-3
04/02 *
@Manheim Central
4:15 PM L 2-8
04/06 *
@Donegal
4:15 PM L 0-3
04/08 *
@Elco
4:15 PM L 3-4
04/09
@Palmyra
4:15 PM L 0-4
04/10 *
@Lancaster Mennonite
4:15 PM W 10-0
04/11
Hamburg
1:00 PM L 7-13
04/13 *
Lancaster Catholic
4:15 PM W 7-4
04/15 *
@Pequea Valley
4:15 PM W 6-0
04/17 *
Columbia
4:15 PM W 10-0
04/21 *
@Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM W 8-0
04/22
Lebanon Catholic
4:15 PM
04/24 *
@Lebanon
4:15 PM W 10-4
04/27 *
@Cocalico
4:15 PM L 2-3
04/29 *
Manheim Central
4:15 PM L 7-8

IMG_2989PIAA District Three

 Class AAA Power Rankings

AAA School W L T Rating

1 West York Area 12- 1- 0 0.776005

2 West Perry 13- 1- 0 0.755023

3 East Pennsboro 10- 2- 0 0.731871

4 Spring Grove Area 12- 4- 0 0.722282

5 Lampeter Strasburg 11- 5- 0 0.705201

IMG_30006 Shippensburg Area 10- 3- 0 0.705130

7 Twin Valley 10- 3- 0 0.684998

8 Donegal 13- 3- 0 0.677187

9 Northern York 11- 4- 0 0.674849

10 Greencastle Antrim 8- 5- 0 0.651216

11 Manheim Central 10- 4- 0 0.648951

12 Northeastern 10- 7- 0 0.641459

13 Palmyra Area 8- 6- 0 0.628054

14 Berks Catholic 11- 4- 0 0.620098

15 Eastern York 10- 5- 0 0.612708

IMG_301816 Eastern Lebanon County 9- 5- 0 0.606435

17 Hamburg Area 12- 6- 0 0.605528

18 Boiling Springs 7- 5- 0 0.600483

19 Daniel Boone 6- 8- 0 0.588370

20 Northern Lebanon 9- 6- 0 0.587208

21 Middletown Area 5- 7- 0 0.574384

22 Bishop McDevitt 6- 8- 0 0.572647

23 York Suburban 8- 5- 0 0.564737

IMG_304124 Littlestown 9- 5- 0 0.563645

25 Gettysburg Area 7- 7- 0 0.533496

26 Susquehannock 6- 9- 0 0.529784

27 Wyomissing Area 7- 6- 0 0.520278

28 Cocalico 7- 8- 0 0.518731

29 Fleetwood Area 7- 9- 0 0.517229

30 Big Spring 6- 10- 0 0.502318

31 Bermudian Springs 8- 9- 0 0.496665

32 Kennard Dale 5- 10- 0 0.464165

33 Conrad Weiser 4- 10- 0 0.457724

IMG_302834 Susquehanna Township 3- 12- 0 0.453530

35 Dover Area 2- 13- 0 0.375302

36 James Buchanan 3- 9- 0 0.353979

37 Milton Hershey 1- 9- 0 0.328062

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