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IMG_1037BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – One step up. One step back.

The Cedar Crest baseball team is in the midst of trying to cultivate a culture, of attempting to rebuild a program. What the Falcons are in desperate need of right now is consistency, and the momentum it can produce.

On Wednesday evening, Cedar Crest missed out on a chance to build some early season momentum when it dropped a heart-breaking, 6-5 home decision to McCaskey. The game ended when the Falcons had the potential trying run thrown out on a bang-bang play at the plate, in the bottom of the seventh inning.

IMG_1004After rallying from two different deficits, Cedar Crest fell short on its third attempt, despite a lead-off hit-by-pitch by Luke Hain and a two-out single from Logan Horn.Kyle Poorman followed with another two-out hit, but his teammate was called out trying to score from second base.

“Any section game is important, no matter where you’re at” said Cedar Crest head coach Josh Brown. “This was a big win for them (the Red Tornado) to come here and get. Just like our’s on Monday at Warwick was a big one. But we’ve got to stay positive.

“Right now, we’re on track with our goals,” continued Brown. “We’re battling. It’s the little things we’ve got to fix. Our ultimate goal is the district playoffs.”

The loss left Cedar Crest 1-2 on the spring and 1-1 in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Falcons are attempting to put last year’s worst season in program history behind them.

The win was the first of the season for a McCaskey outfit that is also 1-2 overall and 1-1 in Section One.

IMG_0921“He (McCaskey catcher Michael Abrew) missed the tag by about six inches,” said Brown of the final play of the game. “The ump blew it. I had a better angle than he did. But what are you going to do? You can’t change the call.

“The spirit is a lot different this year,” Brown added. “They (his players) want it more. They want it as much as me. You can’t instill that in them. But you can tell by the way they hustle.”

Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, the Falcons tied the game on Nate Cavic’s two-out, bases-loaded walk. Cedar Crest had jammed the sacks on a lead-off single from Zach Keffer, a HBP by Poorman and Joseph Carpenter’s safety.

But Lancaster re-took the lead and tallied the eventual winning run in the top of the seventh, after having two outs and nobody on. The next three Red Tornado hitters reached base, including pinch hitter Joe Cunningham, who stroked a run-producing single.

“We battled well,” said Brown. “We started off slow. We’re a good ball club. Every walk we gave up scored. Walks will kill you.

“But we didn’t hit in key situations,” added Brown. “We made contact with the ball. But there were a lot of positives today.”

The Falcons entered the bottom of the fifth facing a 4-1 deficit. But the Falcons plated three runs, on three McCaskey errors and hits by Poorman, Carpenter and Cavic.

The Red Tornado answered with a two-out, unearned run in its next at-bat to grab a 5-4 edge.

IMG_0927“The kids did well with the bat,” said Brown. “We’re teaching the kids to see the pitch and hit the pitch. We’re hitting our pitch instead of the pitcher’s pitch. They’re improving, just knowing where their zone is.

“Their pitcher (starter Dylan Esh) kept us off balance,” Brown continued. “His fundamentals are real good. He’s well-coached. He had us off-balance with his curve ball.”

Cedar Crest jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the home half of the opening inning, on a two-out run. Carpenter walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and came around on Ethan Stickler’s RBI-safety.

“Our starter didn’t pitch the ball well at all,” said Brown. “Chad (Ryland) had a bad outing. The last innings were better, but the first three weren’t great.

“I’m happy with what I’m seeing,” added Brown. “The pitching’s got to get better, but we’re hitting the ball well. I like what we’re doing there.”

McCaskey scored twice in top of the second inning, on one hit, two walks, a sacrifice and a wild pitch. The Red Tornado made it 3-1 in the top of the third, then tacked on another run in its next at-bat.

“We just need to pick it up on the mound,” said Brown. “We’ve got to minimize our errors. We’ve got to throw strikes. We can allow walks. And we’ve got to hit better in key situations.”

 

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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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2017 Cedar Crest Baseball Schedule

DATE OPPONENT TIME OUTCOMES
03/29
@Northern Lebanon
4:15 PM L 4-10
04/03 *
@Warwick
4:15 PM W 7-3
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
04/05 *
McCaskey
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
04/07 *
@Hempfield
4:15 PM Hempfield High School
04/08
Palmyra
1:00 PM Cedar Crest High School
04/10 *
@Penn Manor
4:15 PM Penn Manor High School
04/12 *
Manheim Twp.
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
04/13
Conestoga Valley
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
04/17
@Donegal
4:15 PM Donegal High School
04/19
Lampeter-Strasburg
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
04/21
@Solanco
4:15 PM Solanco High School
04/24
Ephrata
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
04/26
@Elizabethtown
4:15 PM Elizabethtown High School
04/28 *
Warwick
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
05/01 *
@McCaskey
4:15 PM McCaskey High School
05/03 *
Hempfield
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
05/04 *
Penn Manor
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
05/08 *
@Manheim Twp.
4:15 PM Manheim Twp. High School
05/09
Fleetwood
4:15 PM Cedar Crest High School
05/11
@Lebanon
4:15 PM Lebanon High School

 

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Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section One

Section Overall
  W L PCT W L PCT RF RA
Hempfield 2 0 100.00 5 0 100.00 62 10
Warwick 1 1 50.00 2 1 66.67 8 7
Penn Manor 1 1 50.00 3 2 60.00 23 4
Cedar Crest 1 1 50.00 1 2 33.33 16 10
McCaskey 1 1 50.00 1 2 33.33 11 28
Manheim Township 0 2 0.00 1 4 20.00 13 55

 

 

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