Power outage cuts game short as Mounts drop two in-a-row

By on April 8, 2015
Ephrata’s Brian Wentz (left) slides safely into second base during the Mounts 2-1 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg this past week. (Photo by Dwight Palm)

Ephrata’s Brian Wentz (left) slides safely into second base during the Mounts 2-1 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg this past week. (Photo by Dwight Palm)

Ephrata has made a habit over the years of winning games in its last at bat. It’s a knack that has served the Mounts well in helping them win three-straight Section Two titles and eight out of the last 12.

However, trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh Monday night vs. E-town at War Memorial Field, the Mounts never got the chance to perform late game heroics.

With Joey Lunardi at the plate facing Ephrata’s Austin Lowrey with two on and one out, a power outage occurred to one of the main lightpoles behind home plate.

The game was delayed for 30 minutes while workers attempted to fix the problem. However, after that time elapsed without successfully restoring power, the game was called. Since, they played at least five innings, the game was ruled official and E-town was declared a 4-3 winner.

With the loss, Ephrata (2-2 section, 3-2 overall), which started the season with three straight wins has now dropped two in-a-row and suddenly trails Garden Spot (4-0, 4-1) by two games heading into Wednesday’s game at Conestoga Valley.

“The game reverts back to the last full frame,” Ephrata Coach Adrian Shelley said when asked of the official ruling.

While Ephrata never got its final chance to tie the game, one could point to the second inning when the Mounts gave away three runs which put them in that predicament in the first place.

The Mounts scored three runs in the bottom of the first and seemingly were in command. Chase Weik, who had a pair of hits and reached base all four times, led off with a single. Ephrata eventually loaded the bases with two outs on a pair of walks before left-fielder Zach Roberts laced a drive to the gap in right-center for a three-run triple.

But the Bears took advantage of some Ephrata miscues to draw even in the top of the second. Ryan Caley led off with a walk but a good move to first by Lowrey left the E-town runner in no-man’s land. Caley immediately broke for second and somehow avoided the tag of Mount shortstop Nate Fassnacht at second.

That turned out to be an important play because E-town rightfielder Tyler Rosepink followed with a two-run home run to left to cut the deficit to 3-2. Hunter Thomas then reached second base on an infield hit and an Ephrata throwing error. He would later come around to score the tying run with two outs when Weik’s throw to first after Nick Sweigart’s grounder eluded first baseman Dillon Good.

“We just didn’t execute,” Shelley said of the fateful second inning. “That will cost you when you get in these tight games. Hopefully we can learn from it but we made enough mistakes defensively…we didn’t execute a rundown properly and the next guy hits the home run. Then we don’t finish the inning with a play that didn’t get made. That definitely catapulted them back into the game.”

E-town took the lead for good in the top of the third when Sam Epps singled with one out before Caley doubled him home.

Lowrey seemed to settle down from there, and cruised through six. However, Ephrata, which had runners on base in all but one inning, couldn’t come up with the big hit.

For the game, the Mounts stranded seven base runners.

“We are not doing a very good job with runners in scoring position,” Shelley said. ‘We’re not getting many quality at bats in that situation and that’s something we got to work on. We are a little inexperienced at the plate.”

Offense has been a struggle all season long for Ephrata, which has scored just 15 runs in five games.

“Pitching and defense can take you so far but if your bats never come around you are going to be playing in games like this all year,” Shelley said. “In baseball there are so many things beyond hitting, pitching, fielding, throwing…there are so many little dynamics that are often glossed over. None of these things are minor and you are playing in one-run games. In fact, those things are magnified. We can’t afford to do anything mediocre right now.”

Lowrey went six-and-a-third before the lights went out, finishing with six strikeouts and just two walks. He did allow 11 hits in taking the eventual loss.

Sweigart led the Bears with four hits while Stoner and Brady Lefever each had two apiece.

Offensively, Ephrata had just five total hits on the night against E-town pitchers Thomas and Rosepink, who relieved Thomas in the sixth. In addition to Weik, catcher Justin Carvell added a pair of singles in the loss.

Ephrata is currently in a three-way tie with Solanco and E-town for second place behind Garden Spot in what appears to be a race that will remain tight throughout the season.

“We’ll have to battle our way through it and see how quickly we can grow up,” Shelley said when asked about the two-game hole his team finds itself in at the moment.

Last Thursday at Garden Spot, the host Spartans’ Nick Lehman knocked in four runs with a home run and a double to ignite his team to a 5-4 victory over Ephrata.

Ephrata trailed 5-1 before scoring three runs in the top of the sixth. However, the Mounts couldn’t come up with the equalizer as the Spartans held on.

Fassnacht led the 10-hit Ephrata attack with a perfect 3-for-3 performance which included a triple and an RBI. Weik also launched a solo home run in the loss.

Ephrata starter Matt McGillan went three innings and was tagged with the loss.

The Mounts did get a victory last Wednesday at home vs. L-S as Gavilan Fogarty-Harnish went the distance on the mound to secure a 2-1 Ephrata victory.

Fogarty-Harnish allowed just four hits while striking out four and walking just two in his seven-inning gem.

Offensively, Ephrata managed just four hits off L-S ace Cameron Enck, but Roberts and Fassnacht both delivered key RBI hits to provide the difference.

In addition to Wednesday’s game at CV, Ephrata will host Manheim Township Thursday (7 p.m.), face South Western Saturday (6:15 p.m.) at home before heading to Warwick next Monday at 4 p.m.

«««

Cocalico dropped a key Section Three slugfest at home Monday, falling to Elco by a 13-11 decision.

Elco jumped out to an 11-0 lead with five in the first and six in the third only to see the Eagles claw back.

Cocalico posted six runs of its own in the third, and after the Raiders plated one more run in the fourth, Cocalico hung a five spot in the bottom of the inning to draw to within one at 12-11.

It then stayed that way until the top of the sixth when the Raiders scored a key insurance run before holding on.

Michael Dueck carried the big stick for the Eagles with a home run and a double and four RBI. Brett Geib added a pair of doubles to the nine hit Eagle attack.

With the loss, Cocalico dropped to 1-3 in Section Three play (2-3 overall) heading into Wednesday’s home game vs. Manheim Central.

Last Thursday, Cocalico broke open a tight game late to secure a 5-2 victory over Lebanon. Marshall ripped a key home run in the game while Brady Sawyer, Tyler Keppley and Mark Anthony also drove in runs for the Eagles.

Tyler Stricker struck out two and walked two in five innings to earn the victory on the mound for Cocalico.

The Eagles also were in action last Wednesday at Northern Lebanon where the host Vikings scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to earn a 4-3 victory over Cocalico.

Nate Baxter struck out three in six innings of work but took the loss. Anthony led the Cocalico offense with a pair of doubles while Keppley added a triple.

In addition to Wednesday’s game vs. the Barons, the Eagles also are in action Friday at Pequea Valley (4:15 p.m.), Saturday at Muhlenberg (11 a.m.), and Monday at home vs. Columbia (4 p.m.).

About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *