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Ephrata legion team sweeps Township
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
The Ephrata American Legion team officially got itself back in the race Tuesday night at War Memorial Field.
Ephrata, which began the season 1-4, reached the .500 mark for the first time this year with a doubleheader sweep of Manheim Township.
Trailing 3-1 heading to the bottom of the fourth in the nightcap, Ephrata struck for six runs in the inning to key the eventual 8-6 victory. With its Game One 11-0 triumph, Ephrata improved to 4-4 on the season.
"We knew coming into today it was a big couple of games," Ephrata Coach Derek Sipe said. "We got the momentum back on our side with a big division win over New Holland on Sunday, and getting two wins tonight, especially to continue that momentum that we generated over the weekend was real important for us.
"In the first game, we came out and really hit the ball," he continued. "In the second game we did just enough and were able to scratch and claw and get the ‘W’ which is what matters. I feel the guys gained a lot of momentum with these two wins. We kind of got that excitement back. I think during the losing streak that’s kind of what we were lacking. We were able to get that back and hopefully that lights a little fire under us the rest of the way."
In the nightcap, Branden Rutt had two hits, including a key early double that got Ephrata back in gear. On the mound, Evan Young went the first four frames before Ryan Brubaker closed it out with three solid innings in relief.
In Game One Tuesday at the War, Ephrata rolled to a convincing 11-0 five-inning decision behind an 12-hit offensive attack and the one-hit pitching of starter Andre Hoover.
Offensively, third baseman Brok Martin and shortstop Mark Lowrie each had three hits to lead the way. Martin’s final hit was a two-run home run in the top of the fifth while Lowrie knocked in a pair of runs with two doubles.
Hoover got all he needed in the top of the first as "visiting" Ephrata posted a three spot. Dusten Rutt, Brok Martin and Branden Rutt all reached on singles before Lowrie’s infield hit scored the first run. Hoover then walked with the bases loaded to force in another run before Branden Rutt scored the final run of the inning on a passed ball.
Ephrata then added three more runs in the top of the sixth to take command. Brok Martin singled and took second on a bad throw. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an overthrow by the catcher. Then after Branden Rutt walked, Lowrie doubled to the gap in left-center to place runners at second and third. Parke Martin’s deep fly ball to the fence in left field plated Brandon Rutt before Hoover singled home Lowrie with the sixth Ephrata run.
Lowrie then doubled home Brok Martin in the top of the fourth to make it 7-0, before Ephrata piled it on with four runs in the fifth. Brubaker led off with a line single to center and later scored on Shane Cochran’s RBI hit. An error on Dusten Rutt’s ground ball later plated Cochran before Brok Martin’s bomb to left field completed the scoring.
Hoover was sharp on the mound, striking out eight while allowing just one Township hit in four innings pitched. Lowrie pitched the fifth and got two strikeouts to close out the win.
In addition to Tuesday’s twinbill, Ephrata added a solid 6-2 victory over New Holland Sunday afternoon at War Memorial.
Dusten Rutt went the distance on the mound, striking out six while allowing just three hits in the victory.
Ephrata, which pounded out seven hits, scored all six runs in the first as catcher Branden Rutt led the way with a pair of hits. New Holland tallied its only two runs in the top of the sixth off Rutt. More LEGION, page B-3