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BASEBALL: Lebanon's Camryn Shaak blanks Beavers with 10-0 perfect game

LEBANON >> Camryn Shaak had never pitched a perfect game before Monday. In fact, the Lebanon sophomore had never even seen one.

Joking with his battery mate, Cody Kissinger, 45 minutes before their game with Lebanon Catholic, Shaak threw out the possibility he might change both of those facts in his upcoming first career varsity start. Six innings later, those laughs had turned to shocked smiles, and those claims of never were no longer.

Shaak allowed zero baserunners in a 10-0, mercy-rule shortened win over the Beavers at Coleman Memorial Park and struck out a hitter in every inning. By the end, he had totaled nine punch-outs to go with seven ground-ball outs, allowing the Cedars (2-6, 1-5 Lancaster-Lebanon) to match their season win total from last year not yet halfway through their current campaign.

"I know my defense will back me up when I pitch," Shaak said, naming the source of his success, while also crediting pitch placement. "I'm really worried about getting ground balls mostly."

Junior second baseman Logan Blouch went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs, and his co-captain, Austyn Yerger, knocked out a game-high three hits and scored twice. The two are helping both oversee and enact a rebuilding process under first-year coach Mike Toomey, who was happy to see his club play its first error-free game of the season.

"Our defense played exceptional. And that feels good," Toomey aid. "These kids need this feeling. It's something they haven't had in a while, and I'm hoping that we can take it and move forward. Just keep progressing game by game."

In addition to their struggles at the dish, the Beavers (0-7, 0-7) suffered from four errors in the field behind starter Noah Marinkov. Featuring a heavy diet of breaking balls, Marinkov managed to keep his earned run count to three, until the Cedars converted a 7-0 lead into a walk-off victory in the final frame. Lebanon Catholic, fielding six players with zero previous baseball experience, was two outs away of accomplishing its goal, according to co-head coach Glenn Meck.

"We're shooting to play seven innings," Meck said. "We know what we're up against. For us, it's just to get better and not make the mistakes. We're basically starting at scratch."

As Shaak continued to deny Beaver hitters access to the diamond beyond the batter's box, striking out two in the third, fifth and sixth, the Cedars treated the bases like starting blocks.

They swiped a total of eight bags, regularly executed hit-and-run plays and dropped in occasional sacrifices, all at Toomey's direction. Yerger opened the scoring in the first, after smacking a single to left and taking two bags on the same passed ball. Shaak and William Scaturro then knocked back-to-back base hits in the second and maneuvered the base paths with ease en route to crossing home.

Blouch said Lebanon's key to plating later runs was an adjustment to Marinkov's curveball dedication, a change that yielded two doubles, a fourth-inning RBI single from Yerger and three straight hits to close the game.

"He's a different pitcher than we've seen all year. Once we picked up on it, we finally started hitting and brought runners around," Blouch said. "And it feels good. We've got a big week ahead of us. This is a good lift for us for the rest of the week. And I think we can win all these games this next week."

Next up for the Cedars is a date with Annville-Cleona today at 4:15 p.m., while the Beavers host Manheim Central on Wednesday.

L. Catholic000300 — 004 Lebanon120

W — Camryn Shaak; L — Noah Marinkov.

SO-BB — LC: Marinkov 3-1. L: Shaak 9-0.

2B — L: Blouch 2.