SCOTLAND — Both teams had a bases-loaded situation in the first inning. The way each team handled that scenario went a long way toward determining the game’s outcome.
Cedar Cliff produced four runs in that first inning and Chambersburg did not score, a big factor in the Colts’ 11-5 Mid Penn Commonwealth baseball game Tuesday afternoon at Greene Township Park.
Trojan starter Bryce Folmar walked the first two batters, got an out, then an error loaded the bases. After another out, Folmar was almost out of the inning unscathed.
However, Brady Ward crushed a 1-0 fastball over the fence in left field for a rare GTP home run and the grand slam put the Colts ahead for good.
Chambersburg coach Scott Folmar said, “We walked the first two guys, then we almost had a line-drive double play, but instead made an error. Then they got the big hit.”
The Trojans came back in the bottom of the first against Ward, loading the bases with no outs on a walk by Braden Zeger, a single by Hunter Stevens and another walk, to Aaden Newman. But Wyatt Kissel’s bouncer back to the pitcher was turned into a 1-2-3 double play and another grounder ended the inning with no runs scored.
“We couldn’t get the big hit,” Folmar said, “and we have to figure that out. We out-hit them, but not enough of them were in the right situation.”
The other issue was defense. While Chambersburg (2-4, 0-4 MPC) made five errors, contributing to five unearned runs, Cedar Cliff (6-0, 4-0 MPC) showed why it is ranked in the top 10 in the state.
The Colts turned two double plays, made at least three outstanding plays, cut down a runner at the plate and made no errors.
“They were very good on defense and we kicked it five times,” Folmar said. “That made a difference in the game. They played a good game and we didn’t.”
The Colts scored single runs in the fourth and fifth on Folmar, then put up five in the top of the fifth off reliever Kyle Nolan. Nolan surrendered only two hits, but walked two, hit a batter and his team made two errors behind him.
That made it 11-0 and Cedar Cliff needed only three outs to end the game.
But Chambersburg got a long double to left-center by Greg Cunha to lead off the bottom of the fifth and, after an out, strung together five consecutive hits to score four times.
Pinch-hitter Evan Wagaman hit an RBI single, pinch-hitter Jaile Cabrera-Reyes singled and Aaden Newman dropped an RBI double into centerfield. Nate Mankoski entered in relief of Ward, and promptly gave up run-scoring base hits to Wyatt Kissel and Gavin Kissel.
But after he hit a batter to load the bases, he struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Chambersburg scored one more in the sixth on a single by Carter Fogal, a walk, a wild pitch and a grounder by Newman.
“We could have quit when it got to 11-0,” Folmar said, “but we battled back. After we gave up those five runs we played well. But we need to do that from inning one to inning seven.”
NOTES: Stevens and Wyatt Kissel each had 2 hits for the Trojans … Brandt Cook and Nick Skokowski each had 2 hits for the Colts … Chambersburg had more hits (10-8), but walked five Cliff batters, hit another and had the five errors.