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Ebersole delivers in Lancaster County Christian's district title

HARRISBURG >> For the second straight year, Lancaster County Christian sent Kyle Ebersole to the mound with a chance to win the District 3 Class A baseball championship. And for the second straight year, Ebersole delivered.

After defeating York Catholic in 2014, the Lions took down Millersburg, 4-0, Thursday at Metro Bank Park to take home district gold for the second straight year and third time in the past four years.

Ebersole, a junior, went the distance on 91 pitches, 67 of them strikes, and faced a three-ball count just twice. He allowed five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

"My curveball has always been my best pitch," Ebersole said. "I struggled with my fastball control, but being able to throw my curveball for strikes in any count was big."

LCC (19-4) gave Ebersole a 1-0 lead before he even took the mound. The Lions took advantage of a Millersburg error that allowed Jensen King to come around from second base to score.

Millersburg (17-6) looked to be off to a positive start in the bottom of the first when Austin Lehman ripped a line drive only to have Lion first baseman Cory Eavenson flag it down before it could get down the right-field line. Ebersole then retired the next two hitters on a groundout and a strikeout.

The winners tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth when Chandler Petersheim tripled home Eavenson with two down, and Blake Petersheim followed with a single to plate his brother, Chandler. Eavenson had started the inning with a single before moving up on a sac bunt.

Millersburg received a promising start to its half of the fourth as Connor Keim and Christian Wingard began the inning with back-to-back singles, but a pair of strikeouts and a groundout snuffed out the Indians' best chance to score.

"We failed to execute every chance that we had, and we didn't have many of them," Millersburg head coach Corey Keim said. "Their pitcher threw an excellent game."

LCC added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Jeremy Brubaker scampered home from third on a wild pitch after singling with one out to start the rally.

Ebersole retired 11 of the last 12 Indian hitters of the game, including three groundouts to end it in the bottom of the seventh.

"These guys have worked hard everyday to get here," LCC head coach Chris Burns said. "It's a huge lift to send the pitcher to the mound with a lead, and Kyle has experience pitching in big games. That helps a lot."

LCC will face District 12 champion GAMP in the opening round of the PIAA Class A tournament on Monday at time and site to be announced. Meanwhile, Millersburg will face District 5 champion Southern Fulton on Monday at a time and site to be announced.

Brubaker and Chandler Petersheim paced the Lions' 10-hit attack with two knocks apiece with Petersheim hitting a double and triple, the only extra base hits of the contest.

Lancaster County Christian 5, Millersburg 0

Lanc. Co. Christian1002001—5100Millersburg0000000—052

LCC, Kyle Ebersole and Hunter Smucker. Mb, Christian Wingard, Kolten Latshaw (5), Ethan Troutman (6) and Cole Shomper.

SO-BB — Ebersole 6-0. Wingard 4-3, Latshaw 2-0, Troutman 0-1; W — Ebersole; L — Wingard; 2B — LCC, Chandler Petersheim; 3B — LCC, Petersheim.