BY JEFF FALK
FREDERICKSBURG – Talking is teaching.
Listening is learning.
And doing is experiencing.
The Northern Lebanon baseball team has a solid foundation from which to toil.
On an overcast Friday evening, the Vikings experienced some growing pains, while taking a step forward, during a 6-1 setback at the hands of the Donegal Indians. Northern Lebanon surrendered the first five runs of the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three contest, before breaking through in the home half of the sixth inning.
Though the Vikings never seriously threatened Donegal’s early lead, the performance was in stark contrast to their first two this spring, when they were outscored by a combined total of 25-10, issued 17 free passes and committed a total of ten errors. Yesterday’s result made Northern Lebanon 0-3 overall and 0-3 in Section Three, while the Indians improved to 2-0 on the year and 2-0 in the circuit.
“I told the guys I feel a lot better walking off the field tonight than I did after our first two games,” said Northern Lebanon head coach Daryl Hess. “We gave some things away in our first two games. But we’re going to be fine. I don’t want to be 0-3, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made. I have two guys with varsity experience. They’re getting their feet wet a little bit. We’ve just got to get better everyday.
“It’s a young crew,” continued Hess. “But they’re coming from coaches who coached them well. We’re just trying to refine them a little bit. It’s just the little things. Varsity baseball is a little different. These kids are fundamentally sound. We’re just trying to learn to play the right way.”
Facing a 5-0 deficit, Northern Lebanon scratched out a run in the bottom of the sixth, with two outs and without the benefit of a hit. Cameron Seiger scored it, on a ball that was hit – then misplayed – by teammate Ben Bomberger.
“I thought we played well,” said the always optimistic Hess. “The first two games we gave some extra outs, and they led to runs. We didn’t do that tonight. We can’t give teams extra outs.
“Tonight we had no walks and two errors,” added Hess. “That’s what I needed to see. In our scrimmages, that’s the way we played. Playing games is different than scrimmages, but we needed to get back to that. Some of these kids were playing their first varsity game. They’ve shown me they can play the way they did tonight.”