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YORK >> This time, a six-run deficit proved to be just a touch too much for the Chambersburg baseball team.

The Trojans fell behind Hempfield 5-0 after one inning and 6-0 after two, then nearly came all the way back before coming up just short, 6-5, in the District 3 Class AAAA championship game at Santander Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Chambersburg (15-9) will play in a first-round game of the PIAA Tournament on Monday, with pairings yet to be announced.

"We knew we could come back; after Lower Dauphin (when they erased a 7-1 LD lead) we thought we could do it again," Chambersburg first baseman Hunter Brindle said.

And they almost did.

After the second inning, the Trojans out-hit Hempfield 11-1. A four-run third inning got them back in the game and another run in the fifth made it a one-run score. But in the end, 12 runners left on base came back to haunt Chambersburg.

"Early in the season we weren't bringing the runners in," said Trojan coach Bob Thomas, who is now 11-5 in District 3 finals. "We did have some good at-bats with runners on (today) and we did well with two outs in the third inning. But we needed a couple more hits at the right time."

Black Knight coach Jeremy Morrison said, "We expected Chambersburg to come back and get some hits ... they've been doing that all season. We have a lot of respect for their coach and his staff."

The game was all Hempfield early.

The Black Knights (23-3) caught starter Austin Suders with uncharacteristic control issues and roughed him up for five runs in the bottom of the first inning.

"The ball seemed to be a little slippy and I fought for my control until the second inning," Suders said.

A single, a hit batter and a four-pitch walk loaded the bases. Jon Beck hit a fly ball to leftfield and Manning Brookens made a perfect throw to home ahead of runner Grant Oberholtzer. But catcher Trent Ebersole was not able to come up with the ball and it was 1-0.

Chase Gilbert then hit a two-run double to right-center and later, Andrew Corso laced a ball into right for a single and two more runs, making it 5-0.

Morrison said, "It was great to get off to such a great start and bat around. I knew we'd need everything we could get."

The eventual winning run scored in the second. With two outs, Derek Manning singled and courtesy runner Ryan Drager stole second. He scored when shortstop Carlin Christian made an error on a throw to first base.

To that point, Manning had held the Trojans to just one hit. But in the third, the bats awakened.

Brindle said, "After the first couple of innings we settled down and saw the ball better. We made better contact all through the lineup."

It all started with two outs when Drew Betz walked. Tristan Daywalt dribbled a grounder to third for an infield hit and when the throw sailed away at first base, Betz flew around to score. Brindle then looped a triple down the rightfield line for an RBI and he scored when Bryce Fiegl ripped a single to right.

After a base hit to left by Suders, who was 3-for-4, Manning Brookens bounced a hit off the second baseman's glove to score the fourth run.

Manning said, "We knew from our scouting report that I couldn't throw all fastballs against them. But I couldn't get my curveball over and that's what got me in trouble. They were jumping on the fastball."

Manning had stranded two runners in the second and two more in the fourth. In the fifth. Suders singled and courtesy runner Hayden Kissel scored on a fielder's choice and an RBI single flared to right by Ebersole to make it 6-5.

In the sixth, Chambersburg got two on against reliever Alec Miller when Betz walked and Brindle singled, but Kyle Arganbright came on to get a strikeout to end the threat.

In the seventh, Suders singled and Brookens got aboard on an error to lead off the inning. But Arganbright got a pop-up, ground ball out and a comebacker to end the game. Matt Stonesifer's hard grounder went right into Arganbright's glove.

Thomas said, "That's at least the third time this year when we've had that exact same situation – the tying run on third and we ended the game on a hard grounder back to the pitcher. If it ricochets off his glove of something, we're going to score."

"That's a big moment, when you find out what kids are made of," Morrison said. "Arganbright really battled."

Suders pitched well after the first inning. He threw 11 balls in that inning and only 14 more in the next five innings combined.

Hempfield 6, Chambersburg 5

ChambersburgHempfieldabrhbabrhbChrstian ss5010Obrhlzr cf4110Stonsfr cf5010Petersn rf3110Betz 2b2100Manning p2010Daywalt dh4120Drager cr0200Carbgh rf0000Beck c4000Brindle 1b3121Gilbert lf2122Fiegl 3b4111Lukwsk 3b3000Suders p4030Corso dh3012Kissel cr0100Noel 2b0000Brookns lf4011Wrkmn 1b2000Ebersole c4011Miller p0000Argnbrt p0000Totals355125Totals26674
Chambersburg0040100—5Hempfield510000x—6

E: Chbg 3, Hemp 2; DP: Chbg 1; LOB: Chbg 12, Hemp 7; 2B: Gilbert; 3B: Brindle; SB: Christian, Oberholtzer, Drager.

Chambersburg Pitching

Hempfield Pitching

Manning (W) 4.295513Miller110011Arganbright (S)1.110001

Suders had 1 intentional walk.

HBP: by Suders (Peterson, Miller), by Manning (Brindle); WP: Suders 2; PB: Chbg 1.

T: 1:53.

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