Elco baseball jumps Lebanon early in 6-2 win
MYERSTOWN - Elco junior Tyler Price will go farther than most to make a point.
His coach, 18-year Raiders skipper Chris Weidner, can certainly attest. And now so too can the Lebanon baseball team.
After missing a chunk of his team's preseason, Price proved himself perfectly healthy with a complete-game effort that founded Elco's 6-2 win Wednesday over the Cedars. Price punched out 11 Lebanon hitters in his 2016 debut, the highest single-game total for an Elco pitcher in nearly 10 seasons.
"I'm going to go with the headline and clichè here — that was priceless," Weidner said. "We knew coming in what Tyler was capable of, having played for us last year. But he missed a little bit of time early on and it's why we pushed him back a little bit.
"Man, he stepped up today. Can't say enough about that."
The Raiders (2-1, 2-0 Section Three) have now allowed six total runs to opponents this spring, one fewer than they plated immediately against the Cedars (3-3, 1-1). Battering Lebanon starter Danny Caricabeur with a mix of patience and timely hits, every Elco hitter reached the plate during the bottom of the first and four recorded RBIs.
That kind of early offense mirrored the Raiders' approach Tuesday in their home opener against Manheim Central, when they jumped to a 3-0 lead after one. The key, according to Elco catcher Cole Miller, who scored and knocked in his team's final run Wednesday during the second inning, has been simple.
"We just come out and make sure we're always on top of our game," Miller said. "You've always got to have confidence."
The confidence the Cedars carried upon entering Lyle Krall Field was quickly tested with two first-inning errors and another pair of drops that later followed. While the team's outfield made two spectacular catches over the middle frames, no Lebanon hitter could muster much at the dish while Caricabeur eventually settled down on the rubber.
"(Caricabeur) was making some of the same mistakes mechanically and then started making some adjustments as the game went on. He's a different pitcher when he's in a rhythm," Lebanon coach Mike Toomey said. "And their pitcher did a great job of keeping us off balance. I don't think our approaches were very good today."
Not that it may have even mattered. After all, Price had a point to make.
"I just wanted to prove something to (coach)," he said. "And I think I got my point across today."