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IMG_2045BY JEFF FALK

FREDERICKSBURG – Gotta like the grit.

Gotta love the heart.

Gotta admire the determination.

But in many ways, the Northern Lebanon baseball team is battling itself.

On an overcast Wednesday evening at Northern Lebanon High School, try as they may, the Vikings couldn’t overcome themselves, in a wild 13-11 setback at the hands of Lancaster Mennonite. Northern Lebanon rallied from two different deficits, but in the end was done in by three errors, three walks and a handful of wild pitches.

IMG_2087After the Vikings had forged two leads of their own, the Blazers carried a 13-9 advantage into the bottom of the seventh inning. Northern Lebanon plated a pair in its final at-bat, thanks in part to singles from Seth Daubert and Austin Barry, before the game ended with the bases loaded and the potential tying run stranded at second.

Following a 3-0 start to the season, Northern Lebanon now finds itself 6-6 overall and 3-5 in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. The Vikings were situated 11th in the latest District Three Class AAAA power rankings.

With the win, Lancaster Mennonite improved to 5-5 on the year and 4-4 in Section Four of the L-L.

IMG_2051“I liked the way we battled,” said Northern Lebanon skipper Daryl Hess. “We got down a couple of times and we came back. Right now, we’re giving away too many outs in an inning, which is leading to too many runs.

“We’ve got to stop giving away four or five outs an inning, which leads to three or four runs, which ends up being the difference in the game,” Hess continued. “We need to stop that. We need to sharpen things. I think it’s as easy as that. Those runs are going to come back to haunt you.”

Down 8-5, Northern Lebanon put on a power display in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Hayden Johnson slammed a one-out solo shot, ahead of Michigan Daub’s two-run blast over the same left field fence. Later in the frame, singles by Barry and Zach Seltzer, and a wild pitch, produced the Viking run that gave them a 9-8 edge.

But then, on the strength of a couple of hits, the Blazers tallied a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to take a 10-9 lead they would not relinquish. With its first three batters reaching, Lancaster Mennonite tallied three more in the sixth to extend its advantage to 13-9.

“These kids have been doing it all year,” said Hess, of his club’s never-day-die spirit. “That’s never been a question for these kids. That’s one positive we can take from this. We kept getting after it. But we can’t put ourselves in those spots. We always battle.

“It’s a section game,” continued Hess. “You want to try to do your best in section games. After losing a tough one at Annville-Cleona on Monday, we wanted to come back and get a win. We’ve got to try to keep getting victories in the section.”

IMG_2127The Vikings spotted the Blazers a two-run head start, before getting busy in the home half of the first inning.

The key blow was struck by Cody Ream, a triple which chased Johnson home. Ream scored on an error to tie the game at two.

In the bottom of the second, Northern Lebanon assumed a 3-2 edge courtesy of another Blazer misplay. With two outs and nobody on, Vikings Jose Cuadras had walked and Daubert had singled.

IMG_2030“They have the majority of their team back,” said Hess of the Blazers. “They have a good offense. (Starter) Seth (Walmer) was on a little bit of a roller coaster. He struggled with his location at times. It was a little like he couldn’t get into a groove.

“It just seems like we have an inning or two where we give up some runs,” added Hess. “It’s been a problem this year. We have that one inning or two innings where we can’t take control of it, and then we find ourselves down.”

The Vikings pushed their advantage to 5-2 with a two-spot in the bottom of the third. Daub singled and stole second ahead of Walmer’s RBI-ground out, and Barry, who doubled, scored on a wild pitch.

But Lancaster Mennonite shifted the momentum to the visitors’ side by stringing together six straight hits to open the top of the fourth. All six came around to score, as the Blazers opened an 8-5 advantage.

IMG_2094“That’s why we play the games,” said Hess. “Going into a year, you try to evaluate what kind of team you have. Our goal and my goal was to be the best we can be. No one wants to be .500 or less. No one starts the season saying, ‘We want to be .500.’ We’re going to keep battling. That’s where we are right now.

“I don’t think if we lose one or two more games the season is over,” Hess added. “But we’ve got to start getting wins. I don’t think it’s at the point of must-wins. We had a stretch where we played well. We’re capable of doing it. We’ve just got to do it.”

 

 

 

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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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 2017 Northern Lebanon Baseball Results
DATE OPPONENT TIME OUTCOMES
03/24
@McCaskey
4:15 PM W 4-1
03/29
Cedar Crest
4:15 PM W 10-4
03/30
Hamburg
4:15 PM W 5-4
04/03 *
Manheim Central
4:15 PM L 4-11
04/05 *
Elco
4:15 PM L 5-14
04/08
@Palmyra
4:00 PM L 0-8
04/10 *
@Lebanon
4:15 PM W 5-4
04/11 *
@Cocalico
4:15 PM L 8-18
04/12
@Garden Spot
4:15 PM W 5-3
04/17
@Annville-Cleona
4:15 PM L 4-9
DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
04/19
Lancaster Mennonite
4:15 PM Northern Lebanon High School
04/26
@Lancaster Catholic
4:15 PM Lancaster Catholic High School
04/27 *
@Manheim Central
4:15 PM Manheim Central High School
05/01 *
@Elco
4:15 PM Elco High School
05/03 *
Cocalico
4:15 PM Northern Lebanon High School
05/08
Garden Spot
4:15 PM Northern Lebanon High School

 

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IMG_2109PIAA District Three

 Class AAAA Power Rankings

AAAA School  W  L  T  Rating    
1 Susquehannock 9- 1- 0  0.730793
2 West Perry 7- 1- 0  0.720411
3 James Buchanan 7- 2- 0  0.680564
4 Kennard Dale 8- 2- 0  0.651134
5 Bishop McDevitt 5- 3- 0  0.633325
6 Eastern Lebanon County 7- 3- 0  0.620326
7 Berks Catholic 6- 2- 0  0.615341
8 Middletown 5- 3- 0  0.604341
9 East Pennsboro 4- 3- 0  0.589433
10 Big Spring 5- 4- 0  0.581973
11 Northern Lebanon 6- 5- 0  0.569996
12 West York 4- 6- 0  0.540689
13 Bermudian Springs 3- 4- 1  0.494688
14 Littlestown 3- 5- 0  0.461153
15 Eastern York 3- 6- 0  0.439026
16 Boiling Springs 1- 4- 0  0.423978
17 Susquehanna Township 2- 6- 0  0.422765
18 Hamburg 3- 7- 0  0.417435
19 Wyomissing 3- 5- 0  0.395494
20 Shippensburg 1- 5- 0  0.377548
21 York Suburban 1- 7- 0  0.359828
22 Conrad Weiser 1- 8- 0  0.341617

 

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IMG_2120Lancaster-Lebanon League

 Section Three Standings

League Overall
W L W L
Manheim Central 7 1 8 1
Garden Spot 6 2 7 4
Elco 4 3 7 3
Cocalico 4 3 6 4
Northern Lebanon 4 4 6 6
Lebanon 1 7 2 8

 

 

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