Game Recaps: District 3 Playoffs at Ephrata High School

By Kevin Leitzel
PA Area Scout

District 3 AAA: Twin valley 7, Middletown 1

Colby HiddemanThursday's game between Twin Valley and Middletown looked like it was going to be a pitcher's duel early as neither team scored through three innings and each team only had one hit apiece. Shippensburg commit, Zack Sims struck out five in the first three innings for Middletown but only managed one more the rest of the game.

Twin Valley struck first in the bottom of the 4th after sophomore Colby Hiddeman (2-for-3, BB, 2 runs, pictured right) singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then came around to score on a single by Twin Valley's starting pitcher Casey Fitzsimmons.

Middletown wasted no time answering as they tied the score in the top of the 5th. Junior Brandon Harper laced a double down the left field line and then scored after a Bubba Finsterbush (2-for-3, 2B, RBI) single with two outs.

Twin Valley broke the game open in the 6th. The inning started with two walks and a bunt down the third base line that no one could field to load the bases. Fitzsimmons then cemented himself as the game's star as he blasted a bases clearing double. Twin Valley tacked on two more runs following two additional walks and an error.

Fitzsimmons dazzled on the mound for Twin Valley with a final line of seven innings pitched, two walks, three strikeouts, and just three hits allowed. He was able to pitch to contact all day and his defense backed him up by making every play. His counterpart Sims threw six innings, striking out six but walked five.

Twin Valley advances to play Spring Grove, a 3-2 winner over Greencastle-Antrim, on Tuesday in the District 3-AAA Semifinals.

District 3 AAA: Manheim Central 7, daniel boone 6

It was no surprise that offense was king in Thursday's doubleheader nightcap. Both teams came off wins in the first round of the District Tournament having each scored double-digit runs.

Daniel Boone opened the scoring in the 2nd inning when junior Bryce Stout led off the inning with a walk and later scored on a RBI single by sophomore Luke Heffner. Manheim Central escaped without allowing anymore runs as a strikeout and fly out left the bases loaded. The Blazers extended their lead to 2-0 after pushing another run across in the top of the 4th.

Manheim Central finally was able to get their offense going in the bottom of the 4th. The inning appeared to be looking bleak once again for the Barons as the first two batters of the inning grounded out. However the next six batters would all reach and five of them would come around to score before a fly out to center would finally end the inning.

The Blazers wasted no time answering as they took the lead back in the next half. Three straight singles would load the bases before a sac fly would score a run. Heffner would then deliver his second RBI single to push the score to 5-4. After a swinging bunt that led to the second out of the inning, a ground ball to second base looked like it would end the inning but a throwing error allowed two more runs to score giving Daniel Boone the lead 6-5.

Manheim Central wouldn't be down for long. Kevin Starner would lead off the bottom of the 5th with a single. Brendan Good followed with a perfect sacrifice bunt and the throw to first sailed down the right field line putting runners at 2nd and 3rd. After a fly out, pinch hitter Tyler Lyons delivered an RBI single to tie the game and Skylar Wilson would follow with an RBI single to give the Barons the lead for good.

With the win Manheim Central advances to face Donegal, a 3-2 winner over Palmyra, on Tuesday in the District 3-AAA Semifinals.

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