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IMG_4149BY JEFF FALK

FEDERICKSBURG – Substance versus style.

Cohesiveness versus talent.

Finding a way to win versus expecting to win.

Causing players to want to show up versus compelling them to.

More than just one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Lebanon County American Legion Baseball League, this year’s Warren ‘Lefty Grumbine’ championship series evolved into a contrast in ideologies. beliefs and approaches to doing business.

On Wednesday night at Earl Wenger Memorial Field, Annville upset Fredericksburg 1-0 in the decisive Game Three of the final set, to capture the circuit’s championship, two games to one. Annville received another incredible pitching performance on short rest – this one from Alec ‘Gator’ Barr – and scratched out the game’s only run in the top of the sixth inning.

IMG_4120In short, tenacious Annville found a way to win. After Fredericksburg had opened the best-of-three series with a 6-3 triumph on Monday, Annville responded with a pair of intense, scrappy, heart-stopping one-run victories in Games Two and Three.

Now 13-7 overall, second-seeded Annville had entered the championship series as a decided underdog. Fredericksburg, the top seed, the regular-season champion and prohibitive favorite, concluded its campaign at 13-4.

The two clubs split their six overall meetings this summer. It was Annville’s first Lebanon County American Legion championship since 2011, and its eighth overall.

So it is Annville which will represent Lebanon County at the eight-team, double-elimination Region Four tournament, which gets underway on Saturday in Fayetteville.

Additionally, Barr earned the Warren ‘Lefty’ Grumbine memorial award as the title series’ best pitcher, only because the Lebanon County American Legion League doesn’t recognize the best player on the field overall. Barr’s teammate and battery mate, Hunter Long, garnered the Jack Bicher hitting award, given to the championship set’s top batter.

“It could be one of the biggest upsets in this league,” said Ken Sauley, Annville’s first-year head coach. “It just shows that anything can happen in baseball. I don’t think they’re (Fredericksburg) any more talented than us. They played hard. We just matched their intensity. That’s what did it.

IMG_4165“It (Fredericksburg’s approach to the game) wouldn’t work in Annville,” continued Sauley. “We wouldn’t have a team. That goes back to Marlin Spangler. It’s the players. It’s how you play the game. We play the game hard. We’re just limited in our pitching.”

“They (Annville) scrapped harder than we did,” said Tim Schaeffer, Fredericksburg’s first-year head coach. “They fought tooth and nail. But after the fourth inning of the first game, we didn’t hit the ball.

“They have a good team,” Schaeffer continued. “Talent doesn’t mean anything if you don’t play together as a team. They have some very talented players.”

IMG_4109Working on two days rest, Barr got through seven innings with just 58 pitches. The fiery right-hander surrendered four hits – but never more than one in any inning – struck out two, walked none and pitched to contact. And his defense made just about every play behind him.

But while he enjoyed only two one-two-three innings, Barr only allowed a Fredericksburg runner to advance as far as second base just twice – in the bottoms of the sixth and seventh innings. But each time, Barr rose the occasion.

IMG_4113“He’s a gamer that kid,” said Sauley of Barr. “He gets upset, but he doesn’t let anything rattle him. He had plenty of gas left. He was hitting his spots, hitting the outside corners. It doesn’t matter how hard you throw, as long as you hit your spots.

“No one would’ve ever thought it,” added Sauley. “After the way Mitch pitched (on Tuesday night), I thought anything was possible. Unbelievable. I guess we should go on two days rest more often. We only gave up one run in the last 14 innings on two days rest.”

“I thought I did really well, pitching-wise,” said Barr. “I’m not throwing as much as I did in high school ball, and I think it affected me. But 58 pitches in seven innings, that’s the lowest I’ve ever thrown. I was just throwing strikes.

“I’m just really excited,” continued Barr. “Everybody knows Fredericksburg is a good team. There’s always sparks flying when we play them.”



“Fifty-eight pitches? I find it real hard to believe that,” said Schaeffer of Barr’s pitch count. “We were swinging at a lot of early-count pitches. We didn’t do our jobs. Our base-running was terrible.

“It’s a baseball game,” Schaeffer added. “It sucks. We played well all season. We just did not hit the baseball.”

IMG_4096Annville didn’t exactly rip the cover off the ball against Fredericksburg starter Jordan Nichols, either. And the game was score-less through five innings of play.

But Annville lead-off hitter Eli Setlock opened the sixth frame with a double. M. Long moved Setlock to third with a grounder to first base, before H. Long plated him with a ground-out to second, for the game’s only run.

“After the fourth inning, with the way the pitch count was, I thought if we scored one run, we win the game,” said Sauley. “These kids don’t quit. They would run through a wall for me. I told them before the game, ‘We beat them twice, we can do it again.’ I figured we could do it, as long as we could play defense.

“They’re (Fredericksburg) very talented,” added Sauley. “But I think we’re just as good. They’ve got a lot of talent over there. We beat two college pitchers (Nichols and Wyatt Beakler)”.

“They were expecting to come in here and win two games and be done with it,” said Barr of Fredericksburg. “I think that was their approach. After Game One, we didn’t drop our heads. Yeah, this was an upset. I think so.

IMG_4084“I think we played better in the playoffs than we did during the regular season,” Barr added. “During the regular season, we had one day up and one day down. In the playoffs, we played really good baseball.”

” I was very confident,” said Schaeffer. “All my team had to do was play their game and follow through. That’s (Annville) not the team I saw during the regular season. They played better as a team.

“If you want an honest answer, it was a lack of hitting,” Schaeffer continued. “We didn’t see anything overpowering. We just didn’t hit.”

Nichols retired the first six Annville batters he faced and carried a no-hitter into the top of the fourth, before Setlock broke it up with a lead-off single. Nichols finished with a five-hitter, four strikeouts and two walks.

“I don’t always have that many (10 or 11 players),” said Sauley, who was without regular Noah Connor. “It’s about mixing and matching. I had to put Eli in left field tonight. We had to switch things around. But as long as you make contact and get the other team to play defense, you’re going to win games.

IMG_4159“Our pitching was phenomenal, except for the second game against Fifth Ward (in the semifinals),” continued Sauley. “But you can’t always count on that stuff.”

“He pitched great,” said Schaeffer of Nichols. “He pitched great all year. He only gave up two earned runs all year.

“It’s always a success if the team learns something,” concluded Schaeffer. “If you start on Day One, and you gain some knowledge along the way, it was a success. The pitchers learned a lot, and the kids learned a lot as a whole. It’s not all about wins and losses. We just didn’t finish the way we would’ve liked. It is what it is. It’s been a long summer.”

 

 

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IMG_4076To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-11/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_41282016 Annville Results 

Date Status Score
6/30/2016 W Annville  Campbelltown 0
6/29/2016 W Annville 6  Richland 2
6/28/2016 PPD Annville  Campbelltown 0
6/26/2016 W Annville 10  Myerstown 3
6/23/2016 L 5th Ward  Annville 4
6/22/2016 W Annville 10  Campbelltown 0
6/21/2016 W Annville 4  Fredericksburg 3
6/19/2016 L Richland  Annville 2
6/14/2016 W Annville 17  Myerstown 6
6/12/2016 L 5th Ward  Annville 3
6/9/2016 L Fredericksburg 8  Annville 1  
6/6/2016 W Annville  Richland 2  
6/1/2016 W Annville  Myerstown 3  
5/31/2016 W Annville 9  5th Ward 0
5/29/2016 L Fredericksburg  Annville 1

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IMG_41122016 Fredericksburg Results

Date Status Score
7/1/2016 W Fredericksburg 10  Campbelltown 0
6/27/2016 L Myerstown  Fredericksburg 2
6/26/2016 W Fredericksburg 5  5th Ward 2
6/23/2016 W Fredericksburg  Richland 0
6/22/2016 W Fredericksburg  Myerstown 4
6/21/2016 L Annville 4  Fredericksburg 3
6/19/2016 W Fredericksburg  Campbelltown 3
6/15/2016 W Fredericksburg  Campbelltown 0  
6/13/2016 W Fredericksburg  5th Ward 4
6/12/2016 W Fredericksburg  Richland 0
6/9/2016 W Fredericksburg 8  Annville 1  
6/8/2016 W Fredericksburg  Myerstown 1
6/1/2016 W Fredericksburg 13  5th Ward 0
5/31/2016 W Fredericksburg 7  Richland 0
5/29/2016 W Fredericksburg  Annville 1

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IMG_4122Lebanon County American Legion Baseball League

   Final Regular Season Stadnings

Team Won Lost Tied Pct. GB
Fredericksburg 13 2 0 .867
Annville 9 5 0 .643 3.5
5th Ward 7 8 0 .467 6.0
Campbelltown 6 8 0 .429 6.5
Myerstown 5 10 0 .333 8.0
Richland 4 11 0 .267 9.0
IMG_4132
IMG_4145Lebanon County American Legion League
Past Champions
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
2001 — Fredericksburg
2000 — Fredericksburg
1999 — Fredericksburg
1998 — Palmyra
1997 — Fredericksburg
IMG_41681996 — Fredericksburg
1995 — Fredericksburg
1994 — Fredericksburg
1993 — Fredericksburg*
1992 — Palmyra
1991 — Palmyra
1990 — Fredericksburg
1989 — Fredericksburg
1988 — Palmyra
1987 — Fredericksburg
1986 — Fredericksburg*
1985 — Myerstown
1984 — Richland
1983 — Lebanon
1982 — Lebanon
1981 — Fredericksburg*
1980 — Richland
1979 — Fredericksburg
IMG_40751978 — Myerstown
1977 — Fredericksburg
1976 — Fredericksburg
1975 — Myerstown
1974 — Lebanon
1973 — Fredericksburg
1972 — Myerstown*
1971 — Myerstown*
1970 — Annville*
1969 — Annville*
1968 — Myerstown
1967 — Myerstown
1966 — Myerstown
1965 — Myerstown
1964 — Richland
1963 — Lebanon
1962 — Richland
1961 — Richland*
1960 — Not Contested
IMG_41561959 — Fredericksburg
1958 — Fredericksburg
1957 — Fredericksburg
1956 — Lebanon
1955 — Myerstown
1954 — Jonestown*
1953 — Myerstown
1952 — Palmyra*
1951 — Palmyra
1950 — 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
1932 — 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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