The summer season is more than halfway through for the Lancaster County Midget Baseball League, and Bears Blue is right in the thick of things, despite a recent twogame losing streak. Granted, both of the teams they lost to are currently in the top five in the league standings, and the team recovered in their next game with an impressive win.
Elizabethtown hosted Manheim VFW of Manheim Central on Wednesday, June 20, falling 11-0. VFW struck early, scoring three runs in the top of the first off an RBI single from Colton Book and a double from Hunter Hess that brought in two more runs. Bears Blue pitcher Larry Locker held firm in the second and third innings but allowed two more runs on a hit from Garrett Bruckhart in the fourth. Locker exited before the fifth, allowing 6 hits and striking out the same number of batters.
Tyler Souders took over afterward, letting up four runs in his sole inning of work off RBIs from Bruckhart, Curt Kroesen and Camryn Eberly. Kyle Welch would pitch the last two innings, giving up the final two runs. Eberly nailed an RBI triple and later came home on a sacrifice fly from Drew Mummau.
Bruckhart, Hess and Eberly each had 2 RBIs. All three players had 2 hits as well, along with Kroesen. Eberly shared the team lead in runs with Mummau at 2.
Meanwhile, Bears Blue struggled to stay consistent on offense. Mummau was very effective on the mound for Manheim VFW, allowing just 4 hits and getting 5 strikeouts in six innings before being replaced for the final inning by Isaiah Reiner. The 5 Bears Blue hits came from Welch, Jake Black, Justin Black, Aidan Masters and Westin Kolaric, the latter two hitting doubles.
Bears Blue traveled for an away game on Thursday, June 21, at Solanco Gray. They struck early in the first, with Welch batting in Tyler Masters on a fielder’s choice. Solanco answered immediately with a bases loaded single from Mike May that brought in two runs, later extending their lead to 5-1 in the second when John Murray hit a 2-RBI double and came home on an infield single from Zach Fritz.
In the fourth, Bears Blue briefly narrowed the gap to 5-2 when Zach Malone hit a sharp single off the third baseman’s glove to score courtesy runner Souders. Solanco Gray once again responded with a run of their own, with May scoring on an RBI single from Grady Unger. Murray brought in two more runs in the sixth, this time on a triple. May then hit another RBI single to bring him in, later scoring on a single from pinch hitter Corey Stively.
With the score at 10-2, Bears Blue fought back, scoring three runs on an error and two wild pitches before a double from Michael Baker brought in Nick Kreider. They ran out of gas afterward, however, ultimately losing by a final score of 10-6.
Nick Kreider led Bears Blue with 3 hits in 5 at-bats. Welch and Baker had the lone RBIs for the team. The latter started the game on the mound, going 3? innings and allowing 5 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks and 3 hit-by-pitches. He did have 4 strikeouts though. Malone went the rest of the way, yielding the same number of runs and hits.
Murray was amazing at the plate for Solanco Gray, hitting two doubles and a triple in addition to 4 RBIs and 2 runs. May wasn’t far behind, getting 3 RBIs on 2 hits. Jed McGuire led the team with 3 runs. Hayden Fox did well at pitcher, lasting 6? innings, striking out 7 batters and allowing 5 hits before Dawson Kreider came in to get the final two outs in the seventh.
The losing streak ended for Bears Blue at home on Monday, June 25, against the Lancaster Catholic Outlaws. The game stayed scoreless through three innings before Elizabethtown broke things open in the fourth. A throwing error allowed courtesy runner Cael Brandt to score with two outs. Outlaws pitcher Anthony Sivillo then tried to pick off Baker at second, launching a throw into the outfield and allowing him to score as well. Josh Kreider drew a walk and came home on a Tyler Masters groundrule double that squeezed under the fence in right field. Masters finally scored on an RBI double from Hunter Stewart.
Bears Blue added an extra run in the following inning on an RBI single from Welch that brought in Malone. The Outlaws mounted a comeback in the top of the seventh, with Nick Pisano hitting an RBI triple to score Bryce Behmer and then coming in after Gavin Harnisch got a hit past the shortstop. With two runners in scoring position, however, Nick Kreider got a final strikeout to end the game and give his team a 5-2 victory.
The team had 8 hits shared by eight different players. Both Aidan and Tyler Masters had doubles. The latter had an RBI, as did Welch and Stewart. Nick Kreider was outstanding on the mound, reaching double-digit strikeouts with 10 and allowing 6 hits and one earned run in a complete game.
Luis Correa led the Outlaws with 2 hits, while Pisano had the team’s lone RBI. Sivillo was solid at pitcher before the fourth, ultimately allowing 5 runs (3 of them earned) and 8 hits in five innings of work, though he did strike out 4 batters. Devon Atkinson came in for the final frame of the sixth.
Bears Blue was ranked sixth in the league with a 7-5 record ahead of their game on Wednesday,June 27, against the Ephrata Lions. The team was scheduled for a bye on Thursday, June 28, and Monday, July 2, before returning to the field on Monday, June 9, at Donegal.