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 PALMYRA – Campbelltown didn’t set out to defend the honor of local summer baseball. It wasn’t a goal, or anything like that.

 But quite uninentionally, by playing for itself, Campbelltown also represented Lebanon County very well.

 On a steamy Monday night at In The Net Sports Complex, Campbelltown captured the championship of the Lebanon County American Legion baseball league by edging Ephrata 7-6 in the circuit’s title tilt. After building a 7-2 lead through the middle innings, Post 831 held off a late charge by Ephrata.

 C-town didn’t secure the crown until reliever Braeden Drescher recorded the final out, with the potential tying run on second base in the top of the seventh inning.

  It was Campbelltown’s first local legion baseball championship since 2013 and the 11th overall for the Campbelltown/Palmyra franchise. In its first year in the league, Ephrata was seeking to become the first non-Lebanon County entry to win a championship, in the 91-year history of the summer circuit.  

 Campbelltown, the winner of the league’s West division, and Ephrata, the first-place team from the East Division, had split two regular season meetings. Campbelltown prevailed 6-5 at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field on June 21, while Ephrata scored a 5-0 decision at Palmyra High School on June 23.

 C-town, now 18-2 overall, will represent Lebanon County in the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four tournament that Ephrata is hosting, beginning on Friday at 1:30 p.m. against Mechanicsburg, the runner-up from Cumberland County. Ephrata fell to 16-4 in the league.

 Post 831 starter Nick LaFoe was named the Warren ‘Lefty’ Grumbine most valuable pitcher for the championship game. LaFoe, a crafty southpaw, earned the win by working the first four-and-two-thirds innings, scattering six hits, striking out one and walking two.

 Meanwhile, Campbelltown six-hole hitter Austin Baal was honored as the Jack Bicher most valuable hitter. Baal went two-for-three with four RBIs.

  “No,” said Campbelltown head coach Tim Morgan, when asked if the outcome was an upset. “Who had the best record in the league this year? We did. We split with them in the regular season. It makes you better when you play good teams.

 “(Ephrata skipper, Sipe) Derek’s a great dude,” continued Morgan. “He’s been doing it a long time. A lot of coaches aren’t happy about it (Ephrata being in the league). I know Ephrata is a quality team, just like ours. They have good players. I’ll take it.”

 “It means everything to us,” said Baal. “For them to come into the league this year, they wanted to make a statement. Honestly, I don’t know if this was an upset. They do have a very good team. But we’re a pretty good ball club ourselves. I knew it was going to be a good ball game.

 “Nothing against them, but we’re worried about ourselves,” added Baal. “Regionals is our only focus. We’re just going to keep our heads down and focus on the task at hand.”

 Already ahead 5-2, Campbelltown tacked on another couple of runs on Baal’s two-run homer over the right-field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning. Gage Miller, who had led off with a single, scored ahead of Baal.

 But Ephrata responded with four runs in the top of the sixth to pull to within a run of the lead and make the result dicey. Campbelltown was guilty of two errors in the frame, including one with two outs that allowed two runs to score, while Justin Byler picked up an Ephrata RBI with a sacrifice fly.

 “Seven-to-two went away in a hurry,” said Morgan. “All of a sudden it was 7-6. I was loving life when it was 7-2. But you’ve got to give these guys credit. That (LaFoe) was our number-five pitcher. He ran out of gas, so we brought in (Jake) Kernie. Those sloppy lefties are tough.

 “We hit the ball tonight,”Morgan continued. “I had Baalie bunting on the second strike and then he hit a home run. But the pitching and defense we’ve been playing lately have been the keys. I’ve been telling you that for weeks.”

 “I’ve kind of been in a little slump,” said Baal. “On the first one, I wanted to get the monkey off my back. The second one was an inside fastball and I drove it pretty good. I haven’t hit a ball that well in a while.”

 Campbelltown gained control of the outcome with a four-run rally in the bottom of the third. Down 1-0 at the time, Post 831 batted around and banged out five hits.

 Baal bashed a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line to make it 4-1, but it was Kasey Shughart’s bunt single in a suicide-squeeze situation that may have been the key play. Christian Kreiser also drove in a C-town run, with a single.

 “We wanted to win the championship,” said Morgan, “but we have to have pitching for Friday (at Regionals). I want to represent Lebanon County well. That was the first situation. They (Ephrata) also have a lot of lefties in their lineup. It worked.”

  Another successfully executed suicide squeeze by Shughart in the bottom of the fourth extended Campbelltown’s advantage to 5-1. The frame had started with a single by Jake Roe and a walk to Jake Wagner.

 Ephrata made it a 5-2 game in the top of the fifth on Brendan Martin’s RBI.

 “It’s a matter of people stepping up,” said Morgan of Regionals. “We’re losing three or four of our best players. We’re going to do what we can do. So, whatever. I’m elated. It’s a great group of kids.”

 “We’re excited to go to Regionals,” Baal said. “Before the season started, we wanted to reach regionals. It’s been a good season and now we’re ready to rock and roll. Tonight was fantastic. You’ve got to give credit to Ephrata. They didn’t quit.”












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 2019 Campbelltown Results









 Lebanon County American Legion Baseball League

 East Division Standings

Team Won Lost Tied Pct. GB RF RA
Campbelltown 15 2 0 .882 116 31
Annville 7 10 0 .412 8.0 44 70
Fredericksburg 6 11 0 .353 9.0 74 97
5th Ward 5 12 0 .294 10.0 44 87


 East Division Standings

Team Won Lost Tied Pct. GB RF RA
Ephrata 14 3 0 .824 150 40
Myerstown 11 6 0 .647 3.0 73 70
Richland 7 10 0 .412 7.0 84 111
Conrad Weiser 3 14 0 .177 11.0 29 108




Lebanon County American Legion League
Past Champions
 2019 – Campbelltown
 2018 – Richland
 2017 – Fredericksburg
 2016 – Annville
2015 – Myerstown
2014 – Myerstown
2013 – Campbelltown
2012 – Campbelltown
2011 – Annville
2010 – Campbelltown
2009 — 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
1990 — 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
1975 — 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
1959 — 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)
1941 — 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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