by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
Despite losing two games last week, Lancaster High’s varsity baseball team entered this week’s Conference #43 as the top seed with a first-round bye.
The Red Devils were scheduled to play Colonial Beach in a semifinal game and second-seed Northumberland was supposed to play Essex. The winners meet at 7 p.m. Friday, May 26, in the conference championship.
The Indians helped secure the second place spot last Tuesday with a 6-2 win over Lancaster at Dream Fields.
Northumberland scored two in the first on singles by Collin Saunders and Blake Edwards and a Lancaster fielding error, then went up 3-0 in the third after Saunders was hit by a pitch, pushed around with a single by Brian Harris and scored on a pass ball.
The Devils answered in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs after Adam Wilmore drew a lead-off walk then stole second and advanced to third on a single by Matthew Kleinfelter. Spencer Crittenden recorded two RBIs, scoring both of them.
Back-to-back hits by Jackson Rogers and Tyler Dietz and one-out hits by Saunders and Harris scored two for NHS in the fourth
Lancaster left 16 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded three times in the third, fifth and seventh innings.
Crittenden went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI and Kleinfelter was 1-for-1 with a run scored and three walks.
Kleinfelter struck out 11, walked one and gave up six hits in six innings.
Crittenden pitched six innings with four hits, three strikeouts and two walks last Thursday in a 5-4 loss to Washington & Lee.
The Devils took a two-run lead in the top of the first off a walk, bunt and single loaded the bases. Nick Wohleking hit a one-out single to score Wilmore and Hunter Koonce stole on a pass ball.
Lancaster got a Kleinfelter single and drew two walks in the top of the third and pushed across a run on a fielder’s choice by Wohleking for a 3-1 lead.
The Devils opened the gap to 4-1 in the fifth on a couple of singles by Crittenden and Wohleking and a pass ball.
But the Eagles put together a two-run sixth inning and scored another two with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
“Once again we left a large number of runners on base, stranding nine during the game with eight in scoring position,” said LHS coach Welby Saunders. “If we can just start getting some key hits I think we can produce a lot more runs.”
Kleinfelter was 2-for-2 at the plate and Koonce and Wohleking were both 2-for-4.