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 BY JEFF FALK

 PALMYRA – It’s not anything like greed. It’s about earning a prize or being rewarded for hard work.

 The Palmyra baseball team wants everything it’s got coming to them.

 On a radiant Tuesday evening at Palmyra High School, the Cougars added another addendum to their already successful agenda by nudging Daniel Boone 4-2, in the opening round of the District Three Class AAAAA postseason. After spotting the Blazers an early 2-0 head start, Palmyra turned its fortunes around by playing complete team baseball.

  The outcome was just another feather in the Cougars’ cap. With the result, fifth-seeded Palmyra, the reigning Mid-Penn Keystone Division champions, moved to 17-4 overall and into Thursday’s quarterfinal round, at fourth-seeded Cedar Cliff, at 4:30 p.m..

 Because the top four finishers from the Class AAAAA postseason advance to the PIAA playoffs, a state berth will be on the line when the Cougars and Colts tangle.

 Daniel Boone, the 12th-seed, ended its spring at 11-8.

 “We want to be right in the mix,” said Palmyra head coach Neil Weber of the district tournament. “We feel like we have the team to compete. We’re very aware of how deep 5-A is. We just want to keep getting better. We want to keep giving our boys experience.

 “I think our season has been a success,” continued Weber. “Winning the Mid-Penn Conference’s Keystone Division is a big thing for our school. But I don’t want to be complacent. Our boys still have a lot of baseball left in them.”

 “Personally, I wanted to get my first playoff win,” said Palmyra senior starter and winner Braeden Drescher. “Coach and I talked about it. He trusts me and I trust him. He gave me the start, and I was pumped up to get out there.

 “Our ultimate goal,” added Drescher, “is to win the district championship, just like everybody else.”

 Daniel Boone touched Draescher for a pair of runs in the top of the opening inning. But the Cougars answered back in the bottom of the second inning and scored three times to take the lead for good.

 It started with lead-off walks to Austin Baal and Austin Lefever. It continued with Jake Wagner’s RBI-single, but the big blow – a two-run double to right-center field – was struck by eight-hole hitter Jacob Roe.

 “We got down by two runs,” said Weber. “I figured we were going to score something. So it was about stopping them from scoring more. We wanted to keep it close.

 “Overall, I thought we played a good game,” Weber continued. “Daniel Boone is a real solid team. It took a good effort for us to get the win.”

  “It was my first playoff start, so I was a little nervous,” said Drescher. “After they scored those two runs, it hit me. ‘Here we go!’ And then I settled in. Coach said all year, when we get in tough situations, I want the ball.”

 It was a pair of walks which got Drescher into trouble in the top of the first inning. Both free passes came around to score on Tim Richard’s RBI-double.

 But Drescher scattered four hits over the next five frames, and didn’t allow the Blazers to bunch them. Before giving way to Brian Coburn to start the top of the seventh inning, Drescher whiffed one and didn’t issue another walk.

 Coburn worked a spotless seventh to register the save.

 “In the first inning, you’re trying to find the strike zone,” said Weber. “And you’re facing hitters you know nothing about. There’s a tendency to pick at the strike zone. Once he found it, he really settled in.

 “We’ve got some other arms that are capable,” Weber added. “But Braeden is a gamer. He was prepared. He’s the heart and soul of our team. He wanted the baseball. We thought he could handle the moment.”

 “I felt pretty good,” said Drescher. “I was missing my spots early. But once I got loose, I started hitting my spots. I knew they (the Blazers) like pulling the ball, so I tried to keep it away. That’s all I really knew about them.”

 Palmyra gave Drescher a little room with which to work by posting an insurance tally in the bottom of the fourth. Lefever stroked a lead-off double, then after Gage Miller’s hit, Wagner knocked Lefever home with an RBI-single.

 The Cougars totaled six hits.

 “Any coach wants to extend it,” said Weber of his side’s advantage. “The name of the game is getting runs across home plate. We left some guys out there. I thought we hit a couple of balls pretty good. But getting two or three more runs would’ve been ideal.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Palmyra Baseball Results

Date Opponents Outcomes
3/264:15p
Location: Susquehanna Township High School
(W) 1 – 0
3/284:00p
Location: Lower Dauphin High School
(W) 6 – 3
4/1TBA (W) 9 – 2
4/34:15p (W) 19 – 5
4/54:15p
Location: Red Land High School
(L) 11 – 1
4/94:15p (W) 12 – 0
4/114:15p
Location: Hershey High School
(W) 12 – 0
4/13TBA
Location: Palmyra High School
 
4/154:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(L) 8 – 6
4/174:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 10 – 0
4/184:15p
Location: Cumberland Valley High School
(W) 2 – 0
4/194:30p
Location: Big Spring High School
(W) 7 – 5
4/234:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(L) 8 – 7 (8)
4/254:15p
Location: Mechanicsburg High School
(W) 15 – 4
4/294:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 13 – 0
5/14:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 9 – 0
5/24:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 2 – 1
5/64:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 5 – 2
5/74:15p
Location: Palmyra High School
(W) 5 – 4 (8)
5/94:15p
Location: Bishop McDevitt High School
(W) 7 – 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Penn Conference

 Keystone Division Standings

 

School Name *W-L *Pct. *RF *RA W-L Pct. RF RA Strk
Palmyra 12-2 0.857 131 35 16-3 0.842 148 54 7 W
Lower Dauphin 11-3 0.786 117 50 14-6 0.700 152 81 5 W
Bishop McDevitt 9-5 0.643 100 62 11-8 0.579 129 88 1 W
Mechanicsburg 7-5 0.583 83 71 13-7 0.650 134 93 2 L
Hershey 6-8 0.429 86 76 8-12 0.400 111 126 2 W
Susquehanna Township 5-9 0.357 44 100 8-12 0.400 76 129 1 W
Harrisburg 3-11 0.214 29 128 4-12 0.250 43 150 1 L
Central Dauphin East 1-11 0.083 41 109 3-16 0.158 66 160 1 W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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