Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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Bears Bounce Back Strong

Elizabethtown’s Nick Stoner came one out short of a complete game on Friday, but still managed to record the final out once stepping off the mound.

Throwing 102 pitches before facing the final batter, the senior swapped places with first baseman Chad Caley as Ephrata’s Ashton Sensenig stepped up to the plate. Sensenig connected on Caley’s fourth pitch of the game, lining a shot toward right field, but Stoner was there to make the grab.

The senior jumped up and reached across his body, snaring the ball to close out Elizabethtown’s 6-1 win over Ephrata in Section Two baseball.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for E-town, which started the season a perfect 10-0 before dropping a 12-7 game at Mc-Caskey and a 4-3 decision against Cedar Crest.

“All year, we’ve just been talking about the next game,” coach Bill Templin said of Elizabethtown’s mentality. “We talked a lot about how we put ourselves in a position where we stubbed our toe twice and it didn’t kill us.”

Despite the recent skid, Elizabethtown (10-2, 11-2) still sits in first place in the section ahead of Lampeter-Strasburg with six games left to play.

“This was a must win,” said Stoner. “Luckily, L-S dropped too and they kept us up two games. If it weren’t for that, we’d be in some trouble right now.”

“We needed to win this one to stay atop the section — hopefully we’re still playing for that section title,” he continued. “We just want to keep that going as long as we can, keep winning, get back on a winning streak.”

Stoner was a big factor in Elizabethtown getting back to its winning ways at home on Friday.

The senior struck out 10 and scattered three hits across 6 2/3 innings, while going 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs.

No hit proved bigger than his second double of the day, a two-out shot over the head of the left fielder that drove in three runs in the sixth inning.

“The whole game I know they were throwing that two-strike fastball, trying to get you chase, and then they were coming right back with the curve ball,” Stoner said of the at bat. “So I was just sitting on both of those pitches and, I don’t remember which one I hit, but I knew it was coming.”

The three runs put Etown ahead 6-1, but the Bears took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, capitalizing on three Ephrata errors. E-town then added another in the third as Justin Shelly dropped a base hit into center field to drive in Stoner.

Ephrata (6-6, 8-7) cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth thanks to the speed and heads up base running of Adam Schwartz.

The junior drew a oneout walk before taking second base on a wild pitch and advancing to third on a ground ball off the bat of Ricky Bromirski.

Before Zac McGillan could single into rightcenter field, the second pitch of the at bat got away from E-town catcher Cayden Livingston. Schwartz took off from third and slid in just under Livingston’s diving tag to break up the shutout.