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Raiders top Susquehanna Township, Rollers; lose in shutout to Camp Hill

By Larry Etter Press & Journal Staff
Posted 4/18/17

Taking advantage of a bout of wild pitching from Susquehanna Township starter Ryan Jacobs in an eventful third inning, the Middletown baseball team overcame an early 1-0 deficit and went on to …

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Raiders top Susquehanna Township, Rollers; lose in shutout to Camp Hill

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Taking advantage of a bout of wild pitching from Susquehanna Township starter Ryan Jacobs in an eventful third inning, the Middletown baseball team overcame an early 1-0 deficit and went on to post a 7-5 victory on Monday afternoon.

The Blue Raiders stand at 5-3 on the season, after also beating Steelton-Highspire but losing to Camp Hill in the last week. The schedule this week is at Trinity on Tuesday, at West Perry on Thursday, and at home vs. CD East on Friday.

Against Susquehanna Township, even after jumping up to a 5-1 lead at the end of the third, the Blue Raiders had to fight right to the final frame as the Indians rallied in the late going.

Clinging to a 6-5 lead heading into the home half of the sixth inning, the Raiders picked up an insurance run and then turned the ball over to Jimmy Fitzpatrick, who had a 1-2-3 seventh to earn the save and secure Middletown’s fifth win of the season.

Starting pitcher Michael Mattes, who has been nearly unhittable this season, went four innings and recorded nine strikeouts for the win. But Mattes was touched for seven hits and three runs before giving way to Blake Jacoby to start the fifth. Jacoby gave up two hits, issued one walk and yielded a pair of runs in the top of the sixth.

For Susquehanna Township, Jacobs held the Raiders hitless through the first two innings and actually gave up just one hit, an infield single in the third by Richard Castagna following four walks and a hit batsman that led to three Middletown runs. An error and a sacrifice resulted in the other two runs for the Raiders in the pivotal third frame. The Raiders picked up another run in the bottom of the fifth and one more in the home half of the sixth that secured the victory.

Susquehanna’s Jacoby Pate led off the game with a bloop double, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on an RBI single by teammate Kenny Runkel to give the Indians the early lead. Tristen Maxwell walked in the bottom of the inning with two outs but was left stranded. Runkel doubled with two outs in the top of the third but Mattes got out of trouble with a ground ball out and the score stood at 1-0.

With one out in the home half of the third Joe Brady walked and went to second on a wild pitch. That short sequence started a slide for Jacobs, who quickly lost his control on the mound.

Noah Zimmerman and Fitzpatrick also drew walks to load the bases for Johan Sanchez-Padilla, who was hit by a pitch from Jacobs that pushed in the first run. After Zimmerman scored on a wild pitch, Jacoby also walked to again fill the bags with Middletown runners.

Up next was Castagna, whose dribbler down the third base line was misplayed by Jacobs. Fitzpatrick scored on the play and the bases were still loaded.

New Indians pitcher Jerry Feaster was victimized by a fielding error on a ground ball by Maxwell as Sanchez-Padilla scored run number four.

Aaron McDevitt’s sacrifice plated Jacoby for the fifth run before Feaster ended the inning with a strikeout. An infield single and walk led to Susquehanna’s second run of the game and an RBI single by Mark Bricker made it a 5-3 game in the middle of the fourth frame.

A two-out single by Fitzpatrick and a following walk to Sanchez-Padilla in the bottom of the inning went unrewarded, keeping the score set at 5-3.

Jacoby took over on the hill to start the fifth and set down the Indians in order with a strikeout, flyout and line-out. In the home half of the fifth, the Raiders picked up another run, this one on an RBI single to center by David Alcock that drove in Maxwell who was safe on an error. An error on a pickoff attempt allowed Maxwell to reach second prior to a walk to McDevitt.

The Indians’ defense got out of the inning after giving up just the lone run but still trailed their hosts 6-3. The Indians led off the top of the sixth with a walk and an RBI double by John Williamson before Jacoby picked up a pair of outs on a fielder’s choice and pop-up. Second baseman Kyle Truesdale kept a hard, low liner in the infield, but could not make the play at first allowing a second run to come home in the inning.

A dribbler in front of the plate allowed catcher Fitzpatrick to get the force at first to end the inning, but the Indians had closed to within a run, 6-5.

The Blue Raiders got an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth after Zimmerman led off with a single to right. After stealing second and moving to third on a fielder’s choice by Fitzpatrick, Zimmerman raced home when Jacoby was safe on an error. With the 7-5 lead to work with, Fitzpatrick took over on the mound in the top of the seventh.

Fitzpatrick got leadoff hitter Jacobs on a fly ball to Castagna in right for the first out, struck out Aaron McGaw swinging for the second out and got Andrew Seymour on a bouncer back to the mound and force at first to end the game for the winning Middletown nine.

Camp Hill 3, Middletown 0

Following a big victory at Bishop McDevitt on Monday, April 10, the Middletown varsity baseball team traveled to Camp Hill on Tuesday, April 11, and ran into one of the top pitchers in the Mid-Penn Conference, suffering a 3-0 loss to the Lions.

Camp Hill ace Wyatt Beddow, a Penn State commit, had his best stuff working for him on Tuesday at Fiala Field as he went the distance to pick up the win for the host Lions.

Beddow struck out 14 Middletown batters and gave up just two hits for the winning side in a commanding performance. His counterpart, Middletown’s Jimmy Fitzpatrick, pitched a good game as well, but the Blue Raiders were unable to give him run support against Beddow and the Camp Hill defense. Fitzpatrick gave up five hits and struck out two in the loss.

In the bottom of the second inning, Camp Hill’s Luke Newman led off with a single and scored on an RBI hit by Nick Perry that also plated Casey Fellinger, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead. In the top of the third the Raiders recorded their first hit off Beddow, a two-out single by Noah Zimmerman following a walk to Joe Brady. But both runners were stranded.

Brady recorded the only other hit by the Raiders, a two-out single in the top of the fifth. The Lions plated an insurance run with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and Beddow sat down the Blue Raiders in order in the top of the seventh to lock up the win.

Middletown 15, Steelton-Highspire 0

The Blue Raiders shut out the struggling Rollers at home on Thursday afternoon, April 13, in a mercy rule, four-inning outing on a warm, sunny day.

While the Middletown offense was pounding out 15 hits, including a pair of home runs, Noah Zimmerman shut out the Rollers, striking out 10 and giving up just one hit in the short game. Steel-High’s Donte’ Jones took the loss for the visitors.

In the bottom of the first frame, the Raiders scored three runs on just one hit. Zimmerman led off and was safe on an error, one of several by the Steel-High defense. After stealing second and reaching third on a passed ball, Zimmerman scored on a sacrifice by Blake Jacoby.

After Johan Sanchez-Padilla was hit by a pitch and Richard Castagna was safe on another error, both scored on Tristen Maxwell’s bloop single to right, giving the home team a 3-0 lead.

Zimmerman struck out the first two batters of the second inning before Ishmael Hodge ripped a double to deep center. But another strikeout by Zimmerman ended the threat. In the home half of the second stanza David Alcock was safe on another Roller miscue, making it to second on the overthrow.

Brady’s double to center put the first two batters on base and Zimmerman’s two-bagger drove both runners home to push the Middletown lead up to 5-0.

Yet another double, this one by Jacoby, knocked in Zimmerman for run No. 6. With Jacoby on third following a wild pitch, Sanchez-Padilla drilled a 3-2 pitch over the fence in straightaway center to push the Raiders’ advantage to 8-0 before Jones got out of the inning.

In the top of the third, Lameek Baker and Kendall Pryor drew back-to-back walks with two outs, giving the Rollers a chance to break their scoreless drought. But Zimmerman got Isaiah Lockette swinging for the third out as the opportunity faded away. Jones gave up a lone single in the bottom of the third but no runs to keep the score hanging at 8-0. The Rollers went down in order in the top of the fourth.

The floodgates really opened up in the home half of the inning and the Blue Raiders posted seven runs to end the game early. Sanchez-Padilla doubled, Fitzpatrick knuckled an infield single and Michael Mattes also singled in the infield to drive in the first run.

Back-to-back hits by Kyle Truesdale and Stephen Kleinfelter drove in two more as Raider coach Steve Shuleski sent pinch hitters to the plate.

Matt Schopf’s homer over the left field fence drove in three more runs to make it a 14-0 game. The Raiders needed just one more to end the game, but it took some time getting it done.

With the bases empty, Carlos Frias poked a bloop single and Scott Ash’s single to right moved Frias to third.

Jones finally got the first out of the inning on a strikeout but walked Jaxson Senior to load the bases. A flyout to short left kept the game going but it ended when Mattes was safe on an error that allowed Frias to dash home with the game-ending run.

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