Prep Baseball Report

Game Recap: Lower Dauphin at Mechanicsburg

By Mark Chimel
PA Area Scout

The Mid-Penn Keystone schedule could not have been drawn up any better with the top two teams in the division, Mechanicsburg and Lower Dauphin, facing off in their final divisional game with the conference crown on the line.  As if that wasn't enough, the game was played under the lights at Metro Bank Park, home of the Harrisburg Senators, and featured a pitching matchup of two unbeaten aces.  All that made for a playoff atmosphere and the match-up definitely delivered on its promise with Mechanicsburg pulling out a tightly contested 2-0 victory fueled by four LD errors.

Jeff AllenWith IUP signee Jeff Allen (7-0, left) on the mound for the Wildcats and Pitt signee Blair Lewis (6-0) throwing for the Falcons it was all pitching in the first three innings of action as neither hurler allowed a single baserunner the first time through the order.  Lower Dauphin second baseman Timmy Townsend would quickly change that in the top of the fourth inning with a lead-off single.  Townsend then advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Geesaman and to third after tagging up on a deep fly ball to center field by Ty Friedrich putting him ninety feet away from the first run of the contest.  Allen then issued his only walk of the game to set up a first and third situation before inducing a fly ball to end the threat.  Mechanicsburg answered by putting a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the inning after Josh Herring drew a lead off walk and advanced to second on a bunt by Allen.  Lewis, then responded with by striking out Mechanicsburg's third and fourth hitters to end the inning.

Allen fired back in a big way by striking out the side in order in the top of the fifth to preserve the scoreless tie.  The Mechanicsburg offense, aided by two key errors by Lower Dauphin, would then push across the deciding two runs in the bottom of the inning.  After striking out the first batter of the inning, Lewis surrendered his first hit of the game off the bat of Matthew Cody (right). Catcher Kodi Shatzer then reached on an infield single, but an ill advised errant throw by the shortstop advanced the runners.  Jon Bonner then proceeded to bring in the first run of the game on a line drive single to right field.  Following a walk that loaded the basese, Herring hit what seemed like a routine fly ball to right field but the ball was dropped allowing the second run of the inning to score.

A two run cushion was more than enough for Allen.  The righty struck out the first two batters of the sixth inning bringing his strikeout streak to five straight before fielding a well hitMatthew Cody comebacker from Geesaman to end the inning.  Lower Dauphin did threaten in the seventh inning, but an outstanding catch by Cody on a foul ball that traveled all the way to the end of the visitors dugout and a good play up the middle by shortstop Eric Herbein ended the affair in style.

Both aces lived up to their reputations and were impressive throughout the game.  Allen, who collected the three-hit shutout victory, also struck out eleven batters on the night.  Lewis, the hard luck loser, allowed only one earned run on three hits and struck out three.  The Mechanicsburg hits came from Cody, Shatzer, and Bonner while LD's offense was paced by Townsend, Friedrich, and Adam Domovich. 

By winning the division Mechanicsburg (16-2, 15-1) will now get a chance to compete for the Mid-Penn Conference Championship, which will start on Monday.  Before that they will finish their regular season with a Mid-Penn crossover battle against local rival Cedar Cliff on Friday.  Meanwhile, Lower Dauphin (15-5, 13-3) will be waiting to find out their match-up for the first round of District 3 playoffs as this was their last game of their regular season. 

Today's Pennsylvania Scout Blog contains notes and measurable data on Allen, Lewis and Cody.

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