Nothing feels better in sports than a string of wins, and the Elizabethtown Area High School baseball team is experiencing that right now after four straight victories over Section Two opponents.
They topped Ephrata 8-4 at home on Thursday, March 5. While Ephrata got a run early in the first inning, Elizabethtown was able to put up all their runs in the second and third to coast to a relatively easy win, though the Mounts did sneak in three more runs in the last frame.
Senior Ryan Rupp and junior Cole Livingston both had 2 RBIs to lead the team. The latter made it on base in each of his four at-bats. Seniors Richie Hart and Solen Clark both batted in runners as well.
Senior Chad Caley drew the start on the mound fo Elizabethtown, going 5 innings and striking out 5 batters while allowing just 1 run. Rupp and junior Larry Locker split the rest of the game.
Senior Adam Schwartz supplied most of the offense for Ephrata, hitting a double and a home run for 2 RBIs. He also started at pitcher, though he only lasted two innings before being replaced by juniors Hunter Johns and Zac McGillian for the remainder of the game. The latter allowed no runs in three innings.
The team would go to Solanco on Friday, April 6, winning 5-2. It was fairly close through the first three innings, with Elizabethtown holding a 2-1 advantage. They gradually pulled away, however, adding two runs in the fourth and another in the sixth. with the 11-10 win.
Caley had a whopping 6 RBIs on the day. Rupp led the team with 3 hits, while Hart and both Livingstons had 2 runs each. Every starting player on offense for Elizabethtown scored a run.
In addition to his batting numbers, Caley went 5 innings on the mound as well, allowing just 2 runs while picking up 4 strikeouts. Kreider was shaky during the final two innings, but he was able to get the save. He also had 3 strikeouts. Both pitchers threw 5 walks, however.
Senior Dale Houser was a key part of Donegal’s comeback, batting in 5 runs. Beaudoin, senior Kyle Hess, senior Dawson Mager, junior Joey Piatt and junior Kyle Burger all had RBIs as well.
Senior pitcher Ryan Buckius started for Donegal, going just three innings before exiting early in the fourth. He walked 4 batters. Junior Bailey Crager went 1? innings, getting replaced by senior Cameron Kurtz, who ended up allowing the seven-run outburst. Senior Andrew Erb held down the fort late in the game.
Finally, Elizabethtown went on the road to take on Conestoga Valley on Tuesday, April 10. They did not wait around this time, opening the top of the first inning with eight runs. Junior pitcher Nathan Scheid was gone after one full trip around the lineup, having walked in three runners with the bases loaded and nailing two different batters with a pitch.
Rupp did have a 2 RBI double, while Cole Livingston had an RBI single in his second at-bat of the inning. Eight of Elizabethtown’s nine offensive starters had runs in the first.
Junior Jarett Immler came in to try and fix things, though it took a bit of time to slow Elizabethtown down. He did hold them to three scoreless innings before being replaced by junior D.J. Giles in the sixth. A sacrifice fly from Clark in the fourth was the team’s only offense in the middle innings.
Conestoga Valley picked up 3 runs in the fourth and fifth on an RBI triple from senior Jagger Blough and a 2 RBI single from junior Nolan Rishell. They were able to get two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on a throwing error and a sacrifice fly, though Rupp scored on a Kreider double in the top of the inning. That made the score 10-5 heading into the last inning.
The offense wasn’t quite done for Elizabethtown, however. They scored five more runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead. Sophomore Cole Hitz stole home in his first varsity action of the season, while Denlinger and Rupp added RBI singles. Conestoga Valley put up two more runs in the bottom frame, but it wasn’t enough, putting the final score at 15-7.
Rupp had a game-high 4 RBIs. Caley led the team with 3 runs. A whopping ten players had at least one RBI for Elizabethtown.
Locker got his first start of the season on the mound. While he allowed four runs and struck out just 2 batters, Caley hit an RBI double to bring in Cole Livingston and senior Austin Denlinger in the fourth. Rupp also brought home Denlinger on a single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the sixth. In addition to his three runs, Denlinger also drew a walk to plate Hart in the second.
Junior pitcher Cole Patrick tossed a complete game, getting six strikeouts while allowing just the 2 runs.
Juniors Hunter Shaw and Tim Fetterman had the two RBIs for Solanco. Senior Gabe Horn was replaced at pitcher by junior Corey Stively in the second. The latter would strike out 5 batters before bowing out to senior Coleman Dow in the final inning.
Elizabethtown hosted Donegal on Monday, April 9, in snowy conditions. Both teams struggled at the plate early on due to the weather, but the Bears were able to pull out to a 4-0 lead after the fourth inning, thanks to a sacrifice fly from Denlinger and three RBIs from Caley.
Donegal narrowed the gap to 4-2 in the top of the fifth, but Elizabethtown responded with a seven-run assault, highlighted by an RBI single from senior Cayden Livingston, along with a bases-clearing double from Caley with the bases loaded.
However, Elizabethtown couldn’t get another run to force the mercy rule. That left enough wiggle room for Donegal to mount a comeback. They scored four runs in the sixth and equaled that amount in the final inning, getting the go-ahead run to the plate before junior Nick Kreider struck out senior Patrick Beaudoin looking, allowing he also held Conestoga Valley to just a single hit in the first three innings and 5 hits overall. Junior Michael Baker had 1? innings of work, while Rupp came in for the final batter.
Blough and Rissell had 2 RBIs each to lead Conestoga Valley. Giles allowed 4 runs in his inning of work before giving way to junior Alex Umble, who let 2 in.
With their record now at 5-1 on the year, Elizabethtown had the highest win total in the Lancaster-Lebanon League entering Wednesday, April 11, where they were scheduled to visit Lampeter-Strasburg. They’ll also have an away game on Monday, April 16, against Manheim Township. In between, they’ll host Hempfield on Friday, April 13.