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Richland-Campbelltown baseball 064BY JEFF FALK

PALMYRA – It’s always much easier to play downhill than uphill.

Campbelltown almost got over the summit. But in the end, Richland’s slope was too steep.

On a warm Tuesday night at Palmyra High School, Richland built a big lead and then held off Campbelltow for a wild 9-8 triumph, on the second day of the Lebanon County American Legion Baseball League’s six-team, double-elimination playoff tournament. After enjoying leads of 8-0 and 9-1, Richland barely short-circuited a frantic comeback bid by Campbelltown.

Richland-Campbelltown baseball 086With the potential tying and winning runs on third and first base with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, R-land reliever Jude Anthony retired the heart of the Campbelltown order on fly balls to preserve the triumph. Campbelltown had entered its final at-bat trailing 9-7, before two-hole hitter Sean Carter’s RBI-single had put the outcome in jeopardy.

Richland’s second postseason win in as many days lifted the fifth-seed to 9-8 overall, and sent a tremor through the Lebanon County American Legion League’s playoff bracket. Richland will now play in Thursday’s undefeated game at  7 p.m. at Fredericksburg’s Earl Wenger Memorial Field. Fredericksburg shut out Annnville 5-0 on Tuesday evening.

Richland-Campbelltown baseball 054Campbelltown, the circuit’s regular season champion, slipped to 10-6 and into the loser’s bracket of the event. Campbelltown will host number-six seed Conrad Weiser on Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in an elimination contest.

The winner of the local postseason will represent Lebanon County at the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four tournament.

Richland has now beaten Campbelltown in three of their four overall meetings this summer.

“We wanted to keep going,” said Richland head coach Travis Thome of his club’s early advantage. “Pitch counts affect your thinking. When we got up 9-1, I’m thinking maybe we can ten-run them and save some pitching.

“But their (relief) pitchers did well,” continued Thome. “They kept us off balance. We jumped out to a big lead and got a little comfortable. I don’t know if we relaxed at the plate.”

“I had to keep them extremely positive,” said Campbelltown head coach Tim Morgan of his players. “Slowly but surely, we started coming back. We could’ve thrown it in the tank. But that would’ve been a great comeback. Tomorrow’s another day. The sun’s going to shine again.

“It certainly wasn’t a good thing, giving them six runs in the first inning,” added Morgan. “That killed us. It was just a bad start tonight. That was awful.”

Six runs in the top of the first inning had Richland looking good.

Richland-Campbelltown baseball 043The big blow was Jonathan LaBarbera’s three-run triple, but what set it up with walks to Deklan Bressler, Joey Ginder and Travis Weaver, and Clay Hain being hit by a pitch. Weaver was credited with an RBI, as was Hunter Bojanic, who later laced a single.

Post 880 added on in the top of the second, as LaBarbera and Bojanic collected two-out RBIs to make it 8-0.

“We had very good at-bats,” said Thome of his team’s half of the first inning. “We were taking pitches. We were making their guy (starter Sam Ziegler) throw strikes. Any time you can get out to a lead it gives you momentum. But a good team’s going to recover. It was just the first inning.

Richland-Campbelltown baseball 045“We came out on top,” Thome continued. “Obviously jumping out to an early lead was the difference. We got just enough to hold them off.”

“All I can say is that we had the perfect scenario to win that game,” said Morgan of the home half of the seventh. “We had two good lefties (hitters) against a righty (Anthony). One good hit and we win. We had an opportunity the inning before. Key hits and we win.

“We had home field, every other day off and we had our starters set up (coming into the tournament),” Morgan added. “But you can’t give up six runs in the first inning. Trevor (Binner) came in and did decent. But we left runners on base again. In the last inning, I thought we were going to win it. A ground ball anywhere would’ve tied it.”

Richland-Campbelltown baseball 078Campbelltown broke through in the bottom of the third inning when Carter singled and Christian Kreiser followed with an RBI-double. But Richland matched that run in the top of the fifth, thanks to singles from Pat Gibble, Bressler and Hain.

“He threw well,” said Thome of Bressler, who started and went four strong. “He mixed up his pitches. He kept his pitch count low. We were even fine going into that fifth inning. But we threw the ball around and we didn’t help him at all. But we came out of the inning with the lead.

“Obviously this is a big deal,” Thome added. “It gives us an extra day of rest. If we lost, we would’ve had to play three straight games. And if we were  going to get to the championship game, we would’ve had to play (a total of) five straight days.”

“They’re good,” said Morgan of Richland. “That team flat-out hits. Every time I face them, I see their good stuff. I can’t beat them. But we had our chances. That’s just the way baseball goes.”

Richland-Campbelltown baseball 013Campbelltown made things extremely interesting by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull to within 9-7. In all 12 Post 831 hitters came to the dish, after the first five batters in the frame reached base.

Binner smoked a two-run double, while Kreiser, S. Ziegler and Carter all collected C-town RBIs.

“Our goal is to win,” said Thome. “We played solid baseball last night (in a 6-2 victory over Fifth Ward). We were putting together good at-bats. We’re playing good defense. If we get good pitching, we’ll be fine. We knew we were going to have to score some runs.

Richland-Campbelltown baseball 025“We had nine guys show up and nine guys played,” continued Thome. “We can’t drag the kids here. We can’t decide who makes it a priority. The guys who were here did enough to win.”

“We’ve got pitchers,” said Morgan. “We’ve got (Brian) Coburn ready to throw.

“We’ve got our team,” Morgan continued. “There’s no reason we can’t win. I think we’re the best team, without a doubt. But sometimes it doesn’t go that way.”





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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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Lebanon County American Legion League

 Final Regular Season Standings


Team Won Lost Tied Pct. GB
Campbelltown 10 5 0 .667
Annville 8 7 0 .533 2.0
Fredericksburg 8 7 0 .533 2.0
5th Ward 7 7 1 .500 2.5
Richland 7 8 0 .467 3.0
Conrad Weiser 4 10 1 .286 5.5
Myerstown 0 0 0 .000 2.5

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Lebanon County American Legion League
Past Champions
 2017 – Fredericksburg
 2016 – Annville
2015 – Myerstown
2014 – Myerstown
2013 – Campbelltown
2012 – Campbelltown
2011 – Annville
2010 – Campbelltown
2009 — Fredericksburg
2008 — Fredericksburg
2007 — Richland
2006 — Richland
2005 — Richland
2004 — Annville
2003 — Fredericksburg
2002 — Richland
Richland-Campbelltown baseball 0262001 — Fredericksburg
2000 — Fredericksburg
1999 — Fredericksburg
1998 — Palmyra
1997 — Fredericksburg
1996 — Fredericksburg
1995 — Fredericksburg
1994 — Fredericksburg
1993 — Fredericksburg*
1992 — Palmyra
1991 — Palmyra
1990 — Fredericksburg
1989 — Fredericksburg
1988 — Palmyra
1987 — Fredericksburg
1986 — Fredericksburg*
1985 — Myerstown
Richland-Campbelltown baseball 0221984 — Richland
1983 — Lebanon
1982 — Lebanon
1981 — Fredericksburg*
1980 — Richland
1979 — Fredericksburg
1978 — Myerstown
1977 — Fredericksburg
1976 — Fredericksburg
1975 — Myerstown
1974 — Lebanon
1973 — Fredericksburg
1972 — Myerstown*
1971 — Myerstown*
1970 — Annville*
1969 — Annville*
Richland-Campbelltown baseball 0971968 — Myerstown
1967 — Myerstown
1966 — Myerstown
1965 — Myerstown
1964 — Richland
1963 — Lebanon
1962 — Richland
1961 — Richland*
1960 — Not Contested
1959 — Fredericksburg
1958 — Fredericksburg
1957 — Fredericksburg
1956 — Lebanon
1955 — Myerstown
1954 — Jonestown*
1953 — Myerstown
1952 — Palmyra*
1951 — Palmyra
Richland-Campbelltown baseball 0521950 — Palmyra
1949 — Annville
1948 — Myerstown*
1947 — Lebanon
1946 — Myerstown
1945 — Not Contested (World War II)
1944 — Not Contested (World War II)
1943 — Not Contested (World War II)
1942 — Not Contested (World War II)
1941 — Lebanon*
1940 — Myerstown
1939 — Myerstown
1938 — Myerstown*
1937 — Lebanon*
1936 — Lebanon
1935 — Annville
1934 — Annville
1933 — Myerstown
Richland-Campbelltown baseball 0421932 — Lebanon*
1931 — Orioles*
1930 — Fifth Ward
1929 — Progressive
* Denotes regional champions
Note — The 1937 Lebanon squad was the only team from the county to win a state title. The 1981 Fredericksburg, the
1948 Myerstown and the 1938 Myerstown clubs were all state runners-up.




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