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DILLSBURG >> As Murphy's Law states, "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."

That's probably exactly how Southern Fulton's baseball team felt after its PIAA Class A baseball semifinal against Lancaster County Christian on Tuesday.

When the game was suspended with the Indians trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth Monday afternoon, SF felt the baseball gods had given it a chance to make a comeback. But the errors and miscues continued for the Indians, and the Lions captured a 5-2 victory.

"It seemed like everything we did was just off," SF's Zach Clark said. "We didn't field the ball well. They bunted a lot, and we struggled with that because we haven't seen that much this year. They just kept putting baserunners on and getting runs, so it was hard for us to come back."

With the win, LCC (23-4) advances to its first-ever PIAA championship, to be played at Penn State on Friday against Eisenhower. Southern Fulton finishes 24-3.

"We had a lot of out-of-body experiences out there," SF coach Dustin Fischer said. "We just couldn't catch a break. Literally, if you wanted to see something fluky happen, it happened in the last 24 hours. It sucks that it happened in this important of a game."

The Indians, who had committed a total of just 20 errors in their first 26 games, racked up six, and the duo of Connor Litton and Trent Rider, who have combined to walk only 15 batters, issued a total of four free passes and hit two batters.

"Honestly, the man behind the plate dictated this game," Fischer said. "Our pitchers had to throw fastballs down the middle to get a strike called; he wouldn't call breaking balls consistently; and our hitters had to swing at stuff that were balls. We had to change our batting and pitching approaches."

The trouble started early for the Indians. With one out in the top of the first, Jensen King walked and stole second and third. Kyle Ebersole then laid down a bunt, and Litton tried to throw King out at home. But the throw was high, and King slid under the tag.

LCC added another run in the top of the third. With two on, Luke Dixon attempted to bunt, but it popped back up to Litton, who tried to drop the ball and turn a double play. But it was deemed an intentional drop, and only the batter was called out. Cory Eavenson then reached first on an error that gave Andy Rohrbaugh time to score.

"They came to play small ball, and we just weren't prepared for that, really," SF senior Tristan Douglas said. "We practiced it, but when it comes down to it, it's hard to get somebody out when they're bunting on you. The field had really hard dirt, so they were taking some hops and coming up at us. It was just not something we're used to."

LCC's Chandler Petersheim said, "We just came in aggressive. We knew their pitchers would be a little faster than what we've faced previously. But we were putting things in play and being aggressive, and we were successful with that."

When the game resumed Tuesday, things immediately went from bad to worse for Southern Fulton.

The Lions scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fifth – one on an error in bunt coverage and one via catcher's interference with the bases loaded.

"The reality is the bunting was a big part of what we did," LCC coach Chris Burns said. "When they had to make the plays, the bunting is what helped us create offense. If you look at the size of our kids, we're not going to come out here and hit a bunch of home runs. We have to find a way to score runs."

King also kept the Indians off the board for the most part.

"Well, having the break was rough, but I was just thinking about it like it was a 0-0 game," King said. "We had the three extra runs, which helped, but I knew I had to hold them to zero. I did give up those two runs, but I held them down enough."

Tanner Elbin scored after reaching on an error, followed by a sac bunt and sac fly from Carl Potter and Robbie McCusker, respectively. Douglas added the Indians' final run. He led off the sixth with a single, was moved along by a Litton grounder and scored after a passed ball and a wild pitch.

Southern Fulton totaled just four hits, but had several big swings that were snagged by the Lions' impressive outfielders.

"One of the greatest pictures I have in my mind is our leftfielder (Ben Glessner) turning and sprinting away, then turning and locating the ball on the warning track," Burns said. "We have a lot of speed out there. Our outfield has been critical for us."

Fischer said, "They have the best outfield that we've played, hands down. We've never played on a field this big, and they made some great plays. But we had some hits that were home runs or extra-base hits on any other field we've played this year."

Lancaster Co. Christian 5 Southern Fulton 2

Lancaster CCSo. FultonabrhbabrhbCPtrshm cf4110Gordon ss4010King 2b3100Douglas 2b3110BPtrshm ss3001Litton p3000Ebersole p4110Lashley cf3010Rohrbgh cr0000Rider 1b2000Brubakr 3b3000Mellott cr0000Dixon rf4110Elbin c3100Eavensn 1b4010Potter dh2000Glessner lf3100Grove lf0000Smucker c4021McCusker2001Clark rf2010Totals32562Totals24241
Lancaster CC1011200—5So. Fulton0000110—2

E: LCC 1, SF 6; LOB: LCC 13, SF 5; 3B: C.Petersheim; SAC: B.Petersheim, Potter; SF: McCusker; SB: King 3.

Lancaster CC pitching

Ebersole (W, 9-2)3.220002King (S)3.122122

So. Fulton pitching

Litton (L,5-2)43137Rider332014

HBP: by Litton (King, Ebersole).

WP: Ebersole 1, King 1; PB: LCC 2, SF 2.

T: 2:00.

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