BY JEFF FALK
EPHRATA – This notion of revenge is probably a little overstated. What’s more logical is the idea of the law of averages – especially in baseball.
On a sweltering Saturday night at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field, during the second day of the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four baseball tournament, Lebanon County champion Campbelltown endured its most lopsided loss of the season, a 16-3, five-inning, mercy-rule drubbing at the hands of host Post 429. In opening a 16-0 cushion, Ephrata scored in each of its four at-bats, including an eight-run rally in the bottom of the first inning that set the stage for the rout.
Ephrata, now 21-4, certainly had cause for revenge, given its 7-6 loss to Campbelltown in the Lebanon County American Legion championship game five days earlier. During the regular season, the two clubs had split a pair of meetings, each winning on the other team’s home diamond.
But with the outcome, Campbelltown, now 19-3 overall and 1-1 in the tournament, fell into the loser’s bracket. C-town will try to keep its summer alive on Sunday at 4 p.m. when it takes on Franklin County champion Waynesboro, back at ‘The War’.
Right-hander Cameron Dubbs is expected to toe the rubber, when Campbelltown ‘goes blue’.
“No, I don’t see it that way,” said Campbelltown head coach Tim Morgan of the ‘payback’ explanation. “My starter (Austin Baal) just had a hard time of it. Austin is either on or he’s off. It’s just what you get. You never know.
“I told our guys, we’re flushing this one down the toilet,” continued Morgan. “We’re going to show up tomorrow, or we’re done. Things like that never happened to me. It’s just the way it goes.”
Down 16 and staring down the mercy rule, Campbelltown posted three runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Thomas Zeigler blasted a two-out, two-run double, one that followed Jake Kern’s bases-loaded walk. The frame had begun with a walk to Kasey Shughart and singles from Frank Erichetti and Braeden Drescher.
“I asked (Ephrata head coach Sipe) Derek, ‘Do you have a surrender flag for me?,’ ” said Morgan. “It was good to lose like that, instead of having a close one come down to the last inning.