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Cedar Crest earns 10-9 walk-off over Palmyra

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After being on the wrong end of a walk-off win the night before, the Cedar Crest baseball team was looking for redemption less than 24 hours later.

And as a back-and-forth, yet sloppy game continued to unfold against intra-county rival Palmyra, the drama was set up again for the Falcons to re-write that script.

Thanks to a game-tying RBI single from Kyle Poorman, followed by Ethan Stickler reeling in Poorman off a fielder’s choice, Cedar Crest finished this time with a 10-9 walk-off victory Saturday at Cedar Crest High School.

Trailing 9-8 into the bottom of the seventh, the two-run rally started with Logan Horn working a walk and getting to second base on a passed ball, followed by Poorman coming through to tie the game at nine.

Then after back-to-back singles from Joseph Carpenter and Nate Cavic, Stickler did his part by forcing the fielder’s choice with a grounder to short, and Poorman beat the throw home.

“I just wanted to put the ball in play,” Stickler said about his approach to the plate. “Coach says if we put the ball in play, things happen, and that’s what we did at the end. It was a tough game last night (Friday), so it was time to redeem ourselves.”

And it was a similar approach for Poorman in just trying to put the ball in play.

“I just wanted to advance the runner,” Poorman said. “We had a guy on second with one out I believe, and I was looking right side to get him over. This year we’re getting around to moving on in getting past our mistakes, and keeping each other up.”

It turned out to be the right approach for Cedar Crest (2-3, 1-2), taking advantage of five Palmyra (2-4, 2-2) errors which led to five unearned Falcons runs. Cedar Crest’s first four runs came without a hit in the first three innings.

The Falcons had their fair share of mistakes too however, especially early, while also committing two errors.

One of those errors nearly cost them the game, coming in the sixth, which led to the Cougars’ taking that 9-8 lead.

But the fact his team was able to overcome a flat start, Cedar Crest coach Josh Brown says mental toughness was critical.

“It just goes to show today they kept battling back,” Brown said. “The first couple of innings we boot balls around and give up unearned runs. They came right back. They didn’t get down on themselves, and if they did, it was only for a little bit. We were really patient at the plate today, which I like to see. It allowed for them to see each pitcher. That allowed us to get runners on base and we finally started hitting the ball at the end.”

Pulling out a win like this certainly raises the Falcons’ confidence level, but Brown says his team is hoping this can be the turning point of their season – and even for the program’s history.

“They deserved it. They’ve been working really hard. They’re a positive team,” Brown said. “They had a nice team breakfast this morning without me. It’s the second time they’ve done that. Our goal here is to change the culture of Cedar Crest baseball. This year, we’re on a good start to do that. Each game, we’re doing something better. Once we put it all together, and hopefully it’s soon, we’re going to be contenders.”