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Lebanon baseball, Northern Lebanon baseball 020BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – When you’re compacting 20 or so of them into the scholastic sports’ shortest calendar, they’re all important. But some games matter more than others.

And with the way the Northern Lebanon baseball team approaches things, Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three games matter most.

On a flurry-filled Monday evening at Northern Lebanon High School, the Vikings picked up a key 15-4 league trimph over Lebanon High. After the Cedars had come back to tie the game at three in the top of the fourth inning, Northern Lebanon batted around twice and scored 12 times in the bottom of the same frame, to evoke the ten-run, mercy rule.

The result evened Northern Lebanon’s overall mark at 2-2, but more importantly lifted it to 2-0 in Section Three of the L-L. The rebuilding Cedars fell to 0-4 on the spring and 0-2 in the circuit.

Lebanon baseball, Northern Lebanon baseball 081“Anytime we can get out and get a win, we’re going to be excited about that,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Daryl Hess. “We always want to get out in the section the best we can. It’s always important to get as many wins as you can. They’re all important.

“I think we’re coming along,” continued Hess. “As games go along, I think we’re getting better. That’s all you can ask. I like the way we’re progressing.”

“Four games in a week is a huge danger for us,” said Lebanon rookie head coach Freddy Gonzalez. “This game we were playing a county team. Not that it’s a big rivalry with Northern Lebanon, but it’s a game we should win. It’s very trying.

“We need to hit the ball,” Gonzalez continued. “We need more contact up and down the lineup. The work, I think, is starting to kick in. But we’ve got to put runs on the board. It changes the mentality of the game. We had that one bad inning and couldn’t get off the field.”

Lebanon baseball, Northern Lebanon baseball 043After squandering an early 3-0 lead, the Vikings’ response was immediate and decisive. With the score deadlocked, Northern Lebanon was both aggressive and opportunistic in the batter’s box.

The Vikings sent 18 batters to the plate in the home half of the fourth, and at one point eight in-a-row reached base. Northern Lebanon benefitted from seven free passes, a pair of hit-batsmen and a Cedar error.

It was Hayden Johnson’s two-out, three-run double which ultimately brought the mercy rule into play, after Michigan Daub had driven in three runs ahead of him, with an earlier two-run dinger and an RBI-double. Austin Barry also drove in three runs with two hits during the same Viking rally.

“After they (the Cedars) came back and tied it up, the key was getting after it again,” said Hess. “Instead of going one, two, three, we tried to get the momentum back again.

“I’ve been pleased that we’ve been swinging at good pitches,” Hess added. “We’re swinging at the pitches we should. We didn’t chase bad pitches. I’ve definitely been pleased with that.”

“We went down early, but we didn’t lay down,” said Gonzalez. “We chipped away. We got lackadaisical mentally. When we blow a play, it’s like ‘Here it comes’.

“That whole inning exploded,” added Gonzalez. “This was the third game in-a-row we went into the fourth inning tied. What do you do? But they (the Vikings) put the bat on the ball.”

Down 3-0, Lebanon fought back in the top of the fourth.

Lebanon baseball, Northern Lebanon baseball 017James Apple drove in the first Cedar run with a sacrifice fly, and Jeffrey Deitzler followed with a key two-run single with two outs to knot the score. Lebanon had loaded the bases against Viking starter Cole Felty with one out, when Antonio Collazo was hit by a pitch, Zaire Leger singled and Luis Valkerio walked.

But Felty did get the win, by striking out seven and walking five, in five innings of work.

“I thought early he was hitting really good spots,” said Hess of Felty. “He kept the ball down and he was mixing in his breaking ball. He sat for a litttle bit (during the bottom of the fourth), and he had to go out and battle. I was pleased with his outing.

“I think our pitching has been good,” Hess continued. “It’s going to get tested because we’re going to have a whole lot of games in a little bit of time. We’re going to need to use a lot of guys. It’ll be interesting to see.”

“I thought he (Felty) had good velocity,” said Gonzalez. “He hit his spots well, and he pitched well. He was one of the faster kids we’ve seen in awhile. But our key players need to make key plays. They need to step up more than they are.

Lebanon baseball, Northern Lebanon baseball 012“It’s not like they quit,” continued Gonzalez. “It’s a learning curve. Baseball is a mental game and it’s a grind. It’s a development thing. We were hungry at some positions, but we can’t get through that one bad inning.”

Already ahead 2-0, Northern Lebanon added to its lead in the bottom of the third inning, without the benefit of a hit. Johnson walked, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and came home on a wild pitch.

“I thought we played well,” said Hess. “I’m happy with the way we’re hitting the ball. The one thing I’m very, very pleased with was our defense. We talked about how we needed to sure it up.”

“I played ball against Daryl when I was their (his players’) age,” said Gonzalez. “I always enjoyed coming down and playing Daryl. He’s got that old-school mentality. He’s dedicated to Northern Lebanon baseball. I hope they have a good season.”

Lebanon baseball, Northern Lebanon baseball 061The Vikings broke out on top with two runs in the top of the opening inning. Barry walked ahead of Daub’s RBI-triple, and Daub came around to score on a wild pitch.

“That waas a tough Lebanon team,” said Hess. “It was a three-three game, and they were battling. They made plays and battled at the stick. We’ve always had good games with them.”

“I think the transition’s been really good,” said Gonzalez. “I spent some time with the older ones (his players) in the fall. I’m learning. I plan to be at it for awhile. I’m going to need some time.

“I have some talented younger kids in the shadows,” concluded Gonzalez. “I’ve got some younger kids in the works. My goal is to be .500 this season. I want to win some games.”

 

 

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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 Lebanon Baseball Schedule

Date Opponent Result
3/27
4:15 pm
Elizabethtown
at Lebanon
12
0
3/29
4:15 pm
Lebanon
Penn Manor
at Millersville University
5
11
4/06
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Lebanon
9
1
4/09
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
4/10
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Cocalico
4/11
4:15 pm
Elco
at Lebanon
4/13
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Lancaster Catholic
4/17
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Garden Spot
4/18
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Annville-Cleona
4/20
4:15 pm
Lancaster Mennonite
at Lebanon
4/23
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Pequea Valley
4/25
4:15 pm
Columbia
at Lebanon
4/27
4:15 pm
Garden Spot
at Lebanon
4/30
4:15 pm
Cocalico
at Lebanon
5/04
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon
5/07
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Elco
5/09
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
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 2018 Northern Lebanon Baseball Schedule
Date Opponent Results
3/23
4:15 pm
McCaskey
at Northern Lebanon
3/27
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cedar Crest
2
16
3/29
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Hamburg
6
7
4/06
4:15 pm
Cocalico
at Northern Lebanon
13
14
4/09
4:15 pm
Lebanon
at Northern Lebanon
4/11
4:15 pm
Garden Spot
at Northern Lebanon
4/12
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco
4/16
4:15 pm
Annville-Cleona
at Northern Lebanon
4/18
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lancaster Mennonite
4/20
4:15 pm
Pequea Valley
at Northern Lebanon
4/23
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Columbia
4/25
4:15 pm
Lancaster Catholic
at Northern Lebanon
4/26
4:15 pm
Manheim Central
at Northern Lebanon
4/30
7:00 pm
Elco
at Northern Lebanon
5/02
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Cocalico
5/04
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Lebanon
5/07
4:15 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Garden Spot
5/09
4:15 pm
Palmyra
at Northern Lebanon
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 Lebanon baseball, Northern Lebanon baseball 086Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RS RA
Manheim Central 2 0 100.00 3 0 100.00 24 6
Northern Lebanon 2 0 100.00 2 2 50.00 37 33
Elco 2 1 66.67 3 2 60.00 17 16
Cocalico 1 2 33.33 3 2 60.00 36 9
Garden Spot 0 2 0.00 1 4 20.00 13 44
Lebanon 0 2 0.00 0 4 0.00 10 47

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