Monday, January 22, 2018
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Central stuns Mounts


For Manheim Central's baseball team, it was a case of late-innings lightning.
 
Central, 16-5 and the Section Three runner-up, scored seven runs over its final two at-bats to stun Section Two champion Ephrata, 7-2, in the first game of a doubleheader at Township.
 
The Barons meet Section Four champ Lancaster Catholic (18-3) tonight at 7 at Ephrata's War Memorial Field. In the opening game of a playoff doubleheader in Ephrata, the Crusaders beat Section One runner-up Warwick 7-2.
 
For five innings Monday, it looked as if the Mountaineers (15-6) had matters well in hand. Starter Brandon Miller (4-2) was working on a three-hit shutout and had helped his own cause with a solo home run in the fourth to make it 2-0.
 
"(Miller) is a tough pitcher, we knew it would take awhile to get to him," Barons boss Jason Thompson said. "We hung in there and battled."
 
Central's comeback began in the sixth with consecutive RBI doubles from Colin Fry and Andrew Bucher. The latter plated Blake Reiff for the Barons' third run and proved to be the eventual game-winning hit.
 
"I was pretty upset with my first two at-bats," Bucher said of his back-to-back strikeouts. "I tried to clear my mind."
 
He almost cleared the fences, pulling an off-speed offering to the base of the 371-foot sign in left-center field.
 
"It felt good when I hit it," Bucher added. "I just ran as fast as I could."
 
He had another RBI in the midst of a four-run rally in the seventh. Ben Bomberger and Chad Zunich added RBIs as Central sealed the deal.
 
Trey Eberly (2-0) went the distance for the win, his second complete-game victory since being moved from his role as closer into the starting rotation.
 
He surrendered just five hits and one walk while striking out 10.
 
"It's still the same mentality as closing," said Eberly, who was perfect in five save opportunities prior to leaving the pen.
 
"I just try to get through the inning, help the team."