Following a two-week break from games, the Bears Blue baseball team returned to the field on Monday, July 9, to visit Donegal, coming away with a thrilling 3-2 victory. The win boosts their record on the summer to 9-5, right on the edge of the playoff race in the Lancaster County Midget Baseball League.
Bears Blue got on the board early, as leadoff batter Aidan Masters got to second on a throwing error and later came home on a sacrifice grounder from Nick Kreider. Both teams struggled at the plate afterward, combining for just four hits in the next five innings.
Donegal had a terrific chance to get some runs in the bottom of the third, loading the bases on a fielding error and two singles. However, Bears Blue pitcher Michael Baker escaped, forcing a groundout to third to get the lead runner and then snaring another grounder back to mound, leading to a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Bears Blue gave themselves a cushion, with Kreider and Cole Livingston both singling and coming home on a sacrifice fly from Kyle Welch and an RBI single from Baker, putting the score at 3-0 entering the final frame.
To its credit, Donegal did not give in. Drew Bechtold nailed a leadoff triple to the fence and then came in on an RBI single from Joel Grillo. After Grillo was thrown out at second on a grounder to second from Kyle Burger, Matt Wallace hit another triple to plate Burger. Nick Kreider came in for Baker on the mound
at this point and proceeded to strike out the last two batters, allowing Bears Blue to hold onto the win.
Bears Blue had 6 hits as a team. Hunter Murry and Justin Black both had doubles, with the rest coming via singles from Livingston, Baker, Nick Kreider and Josh Kreider. Pitching wise, Baker allowed 5 hits and the 2 earned runs, striking out 6 batters in the win. Nick Kreider earned a save for his late-game heroics.
Donegal’s 5 hits came from Bechtold, Wallace, Grillo, Zak Leid and Brandon Buckius, with the former two hitting triples. Noah Karichner started at pitcher and was surprisingly replaced after just one inning by Buckius, who went the rest of the way.
Bears Blue currently has just four scheduled games left to secure a playoff spot: at home against SWS (Wednesday, July 11), Octorara (Wednesday, July 18) and Lancaster (Monday, July 23) and away at Manheim Township (Monday, July 16). They are the seventh seed as of Tuesday, July 10.