Chambersburg baseball off to solid start
It wasn't perfect, but it was enough to put a smile on Scott Folmar's face.
Chambersburg opened its baseball season on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Greene Twp. Park and earned a 4-0 victory over Hamburg - a PIAA Class 3A semifinalist last year - by showing a lot of the traits that its coach, Folmar, is looking for.
"That was what we want," Folmar said. "We did all the little things that we need to do."
Pitching, hitting, bunting, stealing and defense - especially defense - all played a big role.
"It was a good start, from everybody on the team," winning pitcher Kaden Hoover said. "We fielded the ball well."
Sophomore third baseman Max Armstrong made two diving stops, including one with two men on in the top of the seventh for the final out. On Armstrong's first play, first baseman Luke Wetzel snagged a tough one-hopper for the putout. Hoover made a nice running catch in rightfield after he moved there, and Sean Vessah held onto a fly ball to left after he and centerfielder Kevin Carbaugh collided.
Hamburg coach Nick Evangelista said, "We just needed to get a big hit, and didn't, but they did play great defense."
The Hawks had seven hits and had runners on in every inning. But Hoover (4 innings, 4 hits allowed), Josiah Picard (2, 2) and Spencer Seaman (1, 1) were able to keep them off the scoreboard.
Folmar said, "The pitchers were around the plate all day - we only walked two and hit a batter - and that's what we want. And the defense made the plays. That play by Max at the end saved a double down the line."
Folmar also wanted to see an improvement in the offense, and he did ... for the most part.
The Trojans had seven hits and several other well-hit balls for outs. The situational hitting was better, too.
In the bottom of the first inning, Hayden Kissel and Austin Kopp led off with singles and moved to second and third on the throw. A wild pitch by Hunter Epting gave Chambersburg the lead.
In the third, Kissel reached on an error and Kopp bunted perfectly for a hit. Armstrong singled to load the bases, then three runs came in on another wild pitch, a sacrifice fly by Bryce Kendall and a two-out RBI single by Hoover for a 4-0 advantage.
Folmar said, "We were aggressive at the plate; the guys did a nice job with that. And we didn't chase bad pitches (only two strikeouts). We did make some mental errors, though - I think we missed the signs six times - but physically we did well."
NOTES: Hamburg, which returns just two starters, spent five days in Myrtle Beach, and was able to get on its turf field to practice, despite getting two feet of snow in early March ... Evangelista (pitcher) and Folmar (second base) were teammates at Pitt ... Kopp and Vessah each had two hits for the Trojans; Stephen Wenner was 3-for-3 for the Hawks.