Hitting frustrates otherwise improved Trojan baseball squad
When you look at the Chambersburg baseball team piece by piece, you'll find a sold group of pitchers, which includes an ace that boasts a 1.62 ERA, and a consistent defense behind him - two parts of a three-piece puzzle for success.
But unfortunately for the Trojans, that third missing piece - a consistent and successful batting order - is nowhere to be found.
Now more than halfway through the season, the Chambersburg baseball team is still struggling to find that missing piece, evident in a 4-0 Mid Penn Commonwealth Division loss to Central Dauphin on Wednesday.
"We're now 15 games into the season and I think we've had the same batting order twice," Chambersburg coach Scott Folmar said. "Defensively, we play well, we just have to hit and that's our main focus."
Chambersburg (4-11, 1-8 MPC) got a solid performance out of ace Kaden Hoover, who struck out five batters and allowed just two hits through six innings. In the top of the seventh the Trojans intentionally walked Central Dauphin's top hitter, Braydon Parr, and loaded the bases for CD's No. 2 hitter Ben Snyder, who was 0-2. Snyder, however, hit a blooper to shallow right field to bring in two runs and deflated Chambersburg's chances at a comeback.
"On the mound we've thrown great," Folmar said. "Kaden tonight gives up three in the seventh inning, but he threw a tremendous game. It's tough to go back out on the mound every single inning when you don't score any runs, and you don't put any guys on base and you don't put any pressure on them."
"We just need to have more fun and relax," Hoover said. "Everyone is too tense right now and I just think we need to have some fun with it. We need to swing the bat and hit the ball. We've done a lot better in the field these last couple weeks so we just have to have fun and hit the ball now. "
Spencer Hockensmith led off for the Trojans in the final half inning and hit a hard ground ball to third base, which was bobbled on the scoop, and by the first baseman as Hockensmith avoided the tag. Spencer Seaman reached on a walk, and a long fly hit by Luke Wetzel moved the runners into scoring position. But that's where they stayed.
"It's a bit frustrating when we do get a good at bat and hit the ball hard on the ground, and make them make an error," Folmar said. "If we do that throughout the game we can be a lot more successful. We have too many three up, three down innings where we are hitting the lazy fly balls and it's too easy for the defense."
Chambersburg was retired in order four times and had 10 total fly outs. Central Dauphin's Dalton Oates pitched the shutout, giving up just four hits.