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BASEBALL: Cedar Crest collects 18 hits in 12-3 win at Lebanon

LEBANON>> Every Falcon starter reached base, John Bailey owned the mound from start to finish and the Cedar Crest baseball team, mired in a season short on offense, broke through for 18 hits against rival Lebanon. All in all, it was a good day to don the white and blue.

The Falcons beat the Cedars Saturday in a rescheduled game, 12-3, for their second win of the season, scoring three runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings. Senior Chase Ocker brought home four runners and went 3-for-3 at the plate with a sacrifice fly. Cody Brewer and Joseph Carpenter both cranked out two RBIs, as Austin Douple reached base in all four of his at-bats.

"I thought the guys did a nice job of staying back in the box. Sometimes this year we've been out on the front side. And we hit the ball hard," Cedar Crest coach Ryan White said. "Our guys were patient, too. But when they got a pitch, they hit it."

Striking out six in a complete-game effort, Bailey earned the win and surrendering two earned runs, including one in the final frame to Daniel Caricabeur. Caricabeur led Lebanon with a pair of hits, the first registering in the fifth inning to end a stretch of 14 straight home batters gone by without a hit. The Cedars had opened at the plate with a pair of singles, en route to scoring a run in the first and third. But as Bailey settled in, Lebanon struggled to find its stroke again, and the Falcon bats took off.

"We just couldn't find holes out there. They hit the ball just as hard, if not harder, today, and found a way to score," Cedars coach Mike Toomey said. "Our pitchers also struggled to locate. They caught too much of the middle of the plate. And we paid for it."

Down 4-2 in the top of the fourth, Lebanon was forced to pull starter Camryn Shaak after he gave up three straight base hits. The last, rocketed off the bat of Carpenter, scored Douple and set up ensuing RBIs from Brewer and Ocker. Once Bailey picked us his second 1-2-3 frame of the day, Cedar Crest went back to work against Cedar reliever Justin Martin. Carpenter and Ocker teamed up with Wes Wentling for three straight run-scoring plate appearances that eventually yielded an eight-run lead.

"We're just trying to piece things together, get some runs in. Hitting's been a struggle for us all year," Ocker said. "(Moving forward) we can't go through the motions. We've got to be on top of everything every day."

Lebanon co-captain Austyn Yerger pitched the sixth and seventh and allowed two runs, one earned. He finished with an RBI, as did fellow captain Logan Blouch and Eddie Leger. Leger, entering off the bench in the last inning, fought through a lengthy at-bat to plate Caricabeur and epitomized the kind of play Toomey says has him as proud as can be of his young team.

"Our effort was outstanding. We're in every game. It's just taking that next step to winning. And that's where we are," Toomey said. "I couldn't say enough about our kids. They trust the process, and it's tough to trust the process when you're losing. It's easy to do well when you're winning. It takes a kid with real guts to fight through it when you're losing."

Cedar Crest is set next to travel to Elizabethtown Monday, while Lebanon will visit Pequea Valley for a 4:15 p.m. first pitch.

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W — John Bailey; L — Camryn Shaak.

SO-BB — CC: Bailey 6-1. L: Shaak 2-3, Justin Martin 0-1, Austyn Yerger 0-1.