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Rough week drops Middletown American Legion baseball to 3-6

By Larry Etter

Press & Journal Staff

717-944-4628
Posted 6/27/18

The Middletown American Legion baseball team was dealt four straight losses last week and fell under .500 with a disappointing 3-6 record in summer diamond action.

After falling to Dauphin, 7-2; …

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Rough week drops Middletown American Legion baseball to 3-6

Posted

The Middletown American Legion baseball team was dealt four straight losses last week and fell under .500 with a disappointing 3-6 record in summer diamond action.

After falling to Dauphin, 7-2; Linglestown, 7-4; and Hershey, 2-1 during the week, the team played host to Penbrook on Friday and came out on the short end of a 17-11 score.

But the game, played in a light rain and called after five innings because of darkness, was nonetheless exciting and fun to watch. Ten hits and six walks produced 11 runs for Post 594 in the game but not enough for a win as Penbrook batters punched out 13 hits against three Middletown pitchers in the slugfest.

Avery Williams, Brady Keyser and Tryston Housman led the way on offense with two hits each, and Housman and David Alcock shared 6 RBIs in the loss. Blake Jacoby took the pitching loss.

The action started right away as Penbrook scored two runs in the top of the first inning. An RBI single by Dustin Sites and a Middletown error produced the two runs. Post 594 answered with a pair of runs of its own in the home half. With one out, Housman was safe on an error and Jacoby was hit by a pitch, setting up Williams’ run-scoring single. A sacrifice fly by Cam Peters allowed Jacoby to score the equalizer before Penbrook pitcher Jacob Deibert ended it with a strikeout.

But Penbrook’s offense, hot with the bats throughout the game, scored 6 runs in the top of the second stanza to take an 8-2 lead. Five hits, a walk and a Middletown error keyed the barrage of runs.

Post 594 picked up two more runs in the bottom of the second to cut Post 730’s lead in half, 8-4. Stephen Kleinfelter led off the inning with a double to left center and scored on Keyser’s one-out single to left. With two outs, Alcock’s double to center drove in Keyser for the second run. But Alcock was left stranded denying further scoring.

Alcock took over on the mound for Post 594 to start the third and held Penbrook to a single run after the visitors had loaded the bases on a single, an error and a base on balls.

Middletown went scoreless in the home half of the third, limited to one hit by Deibert, and Post 730 took a 9-4 advantage into the top of the fourth. That lead grew to 12-4 as Penbrook used a hit batsman, a walk and two hits to plate three runs. Middletown had some answers in the bottom of the frame, however.

With one out Collin Heffner and Keyser hit back-to-back singles before Brendan Schaffner walked to load the bases. Alcock drew a walk to force in one run and Housman singled to center to plate Keyser for the second run. Jacoby’s fielder’s choice groundout allowed Schaffner to score the third run.

But the rally ended after Williams had walked on four pitches to again load the bases, when relief pitcher Josh Dougher got Peters on a soft grounder back to the mound. The rally did pull the Middletown squad to within five, 12-7, to start the fifth.

Penbrook, however, was not finished smacking the ball around the park and picked up four more runs to jump up to a 16-7 lead. Two walks, an error and a pair of RBI singles produced three of the runs and a late error with two outs led to the other. With darkness coming quickly, the Middletown team tried to rally once again and did manage to collect 4 runs to make things interesting.

With two outs, Heffner drew a walk from Penbrook’s third pitcher, Grant Hopp, to start the rally. Post 594 loaded the bases when Keyser was safe on an error and Schaffner tapped an infield single.

Alcock drew his second base on balls with the bags full to push in Heffner for the first run. With Housman up, a passed ball allowed Keyser to score the second run.

With a 3-1 count, Housman crushed a two-run double to left that drove in Schaffner and Alcock for runs 10 and 11. But, after intentionally walking Jacoby, Hopp ended the Middletown batting session with a strikeout and the game was called early due to darkness.