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 MYERSTOWN – One produced a playoff spot. Two earned a shot at first place.

 The Myerstown American Legion baseball club didn’t get what it wanted. But Iit got what it needed.

 On a toasty Monday night at Elco High School’s Lyle Krall Field, Myerstown split two playoff-implication results with Richland. After Richland captured a suspended game 1-0 on Reilly Peiffer’s RBI-double in bottom of the 11th inning, Myerstown rebounded with a 7-6 victory in the regularly-scheduled, complete-game nightcap.

 The second outcome was only secured after Myerstown’s Dakota Smith laced a two-run, two-out double in the top of the seventh, and Richland stranded the potential tying run at third base with nobody out. Peiffer’s ringing double to straight-away centerfield in the bottom of the only inning contested had given Richland a victory from a game suspended earlier in the summer.

 With the split, Myerstown, now 10-5, clinched second-place and the final playoff spot in the Lebanon County American Legion League’s East Division. On the other hand, the results eliminated Richland, now 6-8 on the summer, from postseason consideration.

 Back on June 24 at the Myerstown Legion Field, old Post 55 had beaten Richland 13-3.

  “We needed to win one of two to clinch a playoff spot,” said Myerstown assistant head coach Johnny Mentzer. “We truly want to win every game. But we beat them in the full game, which has more emphasis.

 “We still can finish first,” Mentzer continued. “They (first-place Ephrata) have a couple more games left. But if we don’t win baseball games, it doesn’t matter. We’re going to need help no matter what. But I try to keep the kids focused on the game at hand.”

 “Ultimately we split, but we lost the season series with them,” said Richland head coach Travis Thome of Myerstown. “Not taking the second game was key. That was the important game, as far as the playoffs go.

 “We had to get both,” added Thome. “Not getting tonight’s game, we lifted them up and we fell back.”

  The outcome of the regularly-scheduled game came down to reliever Smith coaxing three straight pop-ups out of Richland hitters, with the potential tying run at third base in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the top of the frame, Smith had given Myerstown a 7-5 advantage with a double that scored teammates Braden Bohannon and Amani Jones.

 Myerstown took a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth, thanks to two Richland errors and Smith’s sacrifice fly. But Richland knotted the score in the home half of the fifth, on three M-town miscues.

 “We definitely gave them runs,” said Mentzer. ‘We made some errors. We didn’t do things mentally, but we did a good job with certain things situationally. We put the ball in play when we needed to.

 “Mentally, we have to be better,” continued Mentzer. “Defense and pitching have won a lot of games for us this year. Tonight, we sort of shot ourselves in the foot.”

 “We caught a lot of breaks that helped us out,” said Thome. “But we helped them out too. We got some timely hits, and so did they. It was a game which came down to the last at-bat, which was pretty much how the whole game went.

 “They beat us two out of three this season,” Thome continued. “I think they’re a solid, solid club. They’ve got some good hitting and some good pitching. They’re in the second spot for a reason.”

  Richland opened the scoring in the second game with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. After two outs had been recorded, four straight Richland batters reached base, including Mitch Spittle, who knocked in a run with a safety.

 Myerstown countered with a four-spot in the top of the third, as its first five hitters in the frame reached. The big blow was Jones’ three-run double, while Jack Beasley knocked in another M-town run with a sacrifice fly.

 But Post 880 tied the game at four by scoring twice in the bottom of the fourth. Jude Anthony scored on a passed ball, before Hunter Bojanic plated a second run with a perfectly executed suicide-squeeze bunt.

 “It would’ve been different if we had played a little bit longer,” said Mentzer of the carry-over from the completion of the first game. “It would’ve been harder to come back mentally. Having it end the way it did, we didn’t have to think about it too much.

 “They’re (Richland) a good team,” added Mentzer. “What’s hurting them right now is their schedule, from rain-outs. They’re playing everyday. We kind of got our games in. But they have quality baseball players.”

 “There was definitely momentum,” said Thome of the initial result. “It raises your confidence a bit and sinks them a little. There was a little bit of carry-over, but ultimately you’ve got seven more innings to play.”

 Peiffer’s game-winner in the opener came with one-out in the bottom of the 11th. It made a winner out of Matt Peipher, who worked a score-less top of the frame.

 “Would we love to steal first place from Ephrata? Absolutely,” said Mentzer. “Would it put us in a better position for the playoffs? Yes. Now we’re getting into the position where we’re getting everyone here. And when we do that, we can compete with anyone in the league. We’re hitting our stride offensively.

 “We (he and father John, Sr.) talked about it, coming out of retirement,” continued Mentzer. “We were surprised we had a full roster of 18 kids. We have some talent. We have some quality players. We’ve gotten guys to show up and we’re competitive. If we play like we can, we can be competitive with anybody in the league.”

 “I would’ve loved to make the playoffs,” said Thome. “But I’m not sure the players wanted to. Guys don’t show up, without letting us know. If they’d be here, I’d think they’d want to make it to the playoffs. To me, that’s showing they’re not committed to playing for the team.

 “Ultimately, that’s (the postseason) how you’re measured,” Thome continued. “Does the coaching staff think the season has been a success? No. We’ve been at nine or ten players for nine years now. If the two kids from Lancaster wouldn’t have been here, we wouldn’t have had a team.”



 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.












 2019 Myerstown Schedule

  Day Date Time   Status Score Visitors Home Venue  
  Sun 6/2/2019 2:00 pm   W 2-1 Myerstown   Conrad Weiser   Womelsdorf  
  Sun 6/2/2019 4:30 pm   W 5-1 Myerstown   Conrad Weiser   Womelsdorf  
  Tue 6/4/2019 6:00 pm   L 2-3 Myerstown   5th Ward   5th Ward Athletic Club  
  Sun 6/9/2019 6:00 pm   L 9-6 Ephrata   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Wed 6/12/2019 6:00 pm   L 10-1 Campbelltown   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Fri 6/14/2019 7:00 pm   W 8-4 Myerstown   Fredericksburg   Earl Wenger Memorial Field  
  Mon 6/17/2019 6:00 pm   W 1-0 Myerstown   Annville   Annville High School  
  Tue 6/18/2019 6:00 pm   W 0-1 Annville   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Wed 6/19/2019 6:00 pm   L 0-10 Myerstown   Campbelltown   Palmyra High School  
  Sun 6/23/2019 5:00 pm   W 1-6 5th Ward   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Mon 6/24/2019 6:00 pm   W 3-13 Richland   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Wed 6/26/2019 7:00 pm   W 2-1 Myerstown   Ephrata   War Memorial Field  
  Sun 6/30/2019 5:00 pm   W 4-5 Fredericksburg   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Mon 7/1/2019 6:00 pm   TBP   Myerstown   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Mon 7/1/2019 6:00 pm   SPD 0-0 Myerstown   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Tue 7/2/2019 6:00 pm   TBP   Ephrata   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Fri 7/5/2019 6:00 pm   TBP   Conrad Weiser   Myerstown   Myerstown  










2019 Richland Schedule

  Day Date Time   Status Score Visitors Home Venue  
  Mon 6/3/2019 6:00 pm   L 10-3 Ephrata   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Fri 6/7/2019 6:00 pm   L 16-2 Campbelltown   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Wed 6/12/2019 6:00 pm   W 8-5 Richland   Annville   Annville High School  
  Fri 6/14/2019 6:00 pm   W 2-8 5th Ward   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Tue 6/18/2019 6:00 pm   L 0-1 Richland   Campbelltown   Palmyra High School  
  Fri 6/21/2019 6:00 pm   L 2-9 Richland   5th Ward   5th Ward Athletic Club  
  Mon 6/24/2019 6:00 pm   L 3-13 Richland   Myerstown   Myerstown  
  Tue 6/25/2019 7:00 pm   W 11-10 Richland   Ephrata   War Memorial Field  
  Wed 6/26/2019 6:00 pm   W 0-7 Conrad Weiser   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Thu 6/27/2019 5:30 pm   L 5-3 Fredericksburg   Richland   Earl Wenger Memorial Field  
  Thu 6/27/2019 7:00 pm   L 12-13 Richland   Fredericksburg   Earl Wenger Memorial Field  
  Fri 6/28/2019 6:00 pm   W 9-4 Richland   Conrad Weiser   Womelsdorf  
  Mon 7/1/2019 6:00 pm   TBP   Myerstown   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Mon 7/1/2019 6:00 pm   SPD 0-0 Myerstown   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Tue 7/2/2019 7:00 pm   TBP   Richland   Conrad Weiser   Womelsdorf  
  Wed 7/3/2019 6:00 pm   TBP   Ephrata   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  
  Mon 7/8/2019 6:00 pm   TBP   Annville   Richland   Lyle Krall Stadium @ Elco High School  








 Lebanon County American Legion League

 East Division Standings

Team Won Lost Tied Pct. GB RF RA
Ephrata 11 3 0 .786 115 39
Myerstown 9 4 0 .692 1.5 52 47
Richland 5 7 0 .417 5.0 68 88
Conrad Weiser 2 12 0 .143 9.0 18 86









 West Division Standings

Team Won Lost Tied Pct. GB RF RA
Campbelltown 12 2 0 .857 94 27
Annville 5 7 0 .417 6.0 30 48
Fredericksburg 5 9 0 .357 7.0 62 79
5th Ward 4 9 0 .308 7.5 39 64









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