Ephrata edges Lititz in legion baseball, awaits league playoffs

By on July 5, 2017

Nate Young (File Photo)

Lititz Post 56 coach Glen Martin was forced into the high-risk, high-reward decision to draw in his infielders with hopes of getting a force out at the plate. The score was deadlocked at 3-3 with first place Ephrata Post 429. His pitching staff had just walked the bases loaded with nobody out in the top of the sixth inning.

Lititz reliever Ryan Brown coaxed a short pop fly to center field off the bat of Ephrata first baseman Tim Beever. When Travis Kraft’s throw reached catcher Ryan Aukamp on the fly, the runners had to hold. Dangerous moment number one averted.

But left-handed hitting Nate Young drove a one-hopper down the third base line, just inside the line. When the ball caromed off the glove of diving Lititz third baseman Tyler Martin, it created just enough time for the runners to advance. Chryslers’ starting pitcher Dillon Good would cross the plate with the lead run.

Brown delivered a force at the plate via another ground ball to Martin. When leadoff hitter Brian Downey popped out to second, the threat ended, but the damage was done.

Young relieved Good on the mound and retired the Post 56ers in order in both the sixth and seventh to wrap up the save and the final 4-3 margin. The lefty struck out three and produced three ground outs in the two perfect frames. Good also had success by the strikeout route, whiffing 10 over the first five innings to pick up the win.

When the two teams met two weeks ago, it was another one run contest, that time it was Lititz on top 1-0, scoring a run in the seventh inning. Was revenge on the minds of the Ephrata Chryslers?

“Oh yeah,” responded Ephrata assistant coach Ethan Sipe. “That was something I said to the guys. It was a little too close for comfort, but at least we got it this time.”

Martin was realistic going into the game, knowing that his pitching staff was worn thin.

“We’ve had a five or six game stretch in nine days,” he said. “Overall, with that situation we did a fine job. The game could have gone either way. One hit here or there. It was a good game.”

Ephrata took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning when right fielder Adam Maser started things off with a bunt single. Back to back doubles by shortstop Brock Kauffman and center fielder Adam Schwartz plated two runs. An RBI single by catcher Ricky Bromirski was Ephrata’s fifth hit of the inning.

Lititz answered in their half of the third. Martin’s RBI double was one of only two hits for the home club, but it drove home shortstop Bryce Zimmerman, who had walked. When the relay throw from Kauffman sailed over Bromirski’s head, Martin advanced to third. When the throw after the next ground ball was off line, Martin scored, closing the gap to 3-2.

Lititz evened things up in the fourth when second baseman Reed Martin walked, stole second and third before dashing home on a wild pitch.

“We didn’t hit the ball real well,” added Glenn Martin. “We manufactured a couple. That’s kind of been our M.O. the last couple of games. Just try to get them on and push them across.”

Ephrata (12-1 District 10) had already clinched the overall number one seed for this weekend’s playoffs. Warwick fell to 6-7 in league play but had also qualified for the post season.

Is another one run thriller destined to be?

The double-elimination District 10 League playoffs begin Thursday and will run through either next Tuesday or Wednesday with all games played at Ephrata’s War Memorial Field.

Ephrata and the second place team (not yet determined) will both receive first round byes.

While individual match-ups were not available as of press time, the times for each day are as follows: Thursday- 5 and 7:30 p.m.; Friday- no games; Saturday- 5:30 and 8 p.m.; Sunday- 5:30 and 8 p.m.; Monday- 7 p.m.; Tuesday- 7 p.m.; and Wednesday (if necessary)- 7 p.m.

The winner of the District 10 championship will advance to the Region Four Tournament held July 15-19 at Fredericksburg.

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