Monday, January 22, 2018
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Mounts rally past Central York

Ephrata fought off a tough Central York club to notch a come-from-behind 7-5 victory Monday night in the opening round of the District Three Class AAAA playoffs.

Ephrata entered the contest with a 17-5 record, but knew they were up against a talented ball club from across the Susquehanna.

“We talked a lot before the game, especially with the seniors, that win or lose, this would be the last game on this field,” said Mountaineers coach Adrian Shelley.

The starting pitcher for the Panthers was Dan Sepic, (5-1, 1.85 ERA) who consistently registered 85 to 87 miles per hour on the speed gun and seemed to have Ephrata’s number in the early going. The tall righthander fanned the first two Mountaineers and got Chase Weik to ground out to short to end Ephrata’s first inning.

Meanwhile, Shelly countered with Austin Lowrey (4-1, 1.64 ERA) who gave up a two-out double in the top of the first before getting Walker Manteith to fly out to right.

The Panthers drew first blood in the top of the second when Tyler Wagner was hit by Lowrey and Ryan Crum followed with a booming triple to plate Wagner. Joe Kroeger hit a fly ball to right for a sacrifice to make the score 2-0. Ephrata came right back. With one out Bobby Nye reached on the first of five Central York errors, but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Josh Gehman. Charlie Warden followed with the first hit of the game for Ephrata and Gehman scored on the second error of the inning by the Panthers when third baseman Manteith threw the ball away, allowing Gehman so score making the score 2-1.

Ephrata would take the lead in the bottom of the third when Nate Fassnacht singled and went to second on an error by second baseman Conner St. Pierre. Brady Sipe walked to put runners at first and second with only one out. Colin Albright singled two outs later to plate both teammates to put the Mounts up 3-2.

The Panthers came back in the fourth when they scored three runs.

Ryan Crum led off the inning with a double and then with two outs, Zane Knaub walked and St. Pierre followed with a single as did Adam Reed and Manteith to score Knaub and St. Pierre to make it 5-3.

That was all the scoring for the Panthers as Shelley went to his bullpen for Matt McGillian, who gave up three hits, but no runs and finally gave the ball to Gavilan Fogarty-Harnish, who finished the final 11- e to earn the win.

Ephrata put the game away in the fifth and sixth when they scored two runs in each inning.

In the sixth Weik was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Albright followed with a single. Nye sacrificed both runners with a perfect bunt and Gehman walked to load the bases. Warden reached on an error that allowed both runners to score knotting the game at 5 after five full innings.

The Mounts scored two in the sixth when Fassnacht was hit by a pitch and Sipe walked. Weik had the big blow with a two run single to put his team up 7-5.

It was all up to Fogarty-Harnish, who got Crum to fly out to center and Kroeger to look at a call third strike. Dylan Shue ground out to short to end the game.

“It was a full seven-inning effort,” said Shelley. “We used every bit of experience we gained this season to get this win.”