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Baron Tracksters Battle Eagles, Raiders, Spartans

The week started off with track & field, baseball and softball playing in snow showers and ended with sunshine and the temperatures in the low 80s. Oh, and several Manheim Central athletes played as many as six games.

In boys track, the Barons fell to Cocalico, 89-61 last Monday.

Central started off strong, getting wins by Tyler Flick and Beni Esposito in the high hurdles (16.0) and 100 meters (11.5), respectively.

The Barons took a 28-27 lead after Ryan Reed (42.8 seconds) and Flick (42.9) finished one and two in the high hurdles. This would be their last lead, though.

Bright spots for the Barons included William Rivers winning the long and triple jumps. Ryan Carter won the high jump (5-6) and pole vault (13-6).

The result was brighter for the Baron girls, who secured an 81-68 victory over Cocalico.

Senior BJ Bollinger was the big winner for Central, winning the high hurdles and 300 hurdles and was a member of the 4x800 relay team with Kiana Haldeman, Marianne Fitzkee and Mallory Sunderland.

Senior Maddie Nelson earned victories in the pole vault (7-6) and shot put (31-3 3/4).

The Manheim boys fared a lot better next time out against ELCO, posting a 95-55 triumph in Manheim.

Multiple winners included Esposito (100, 200), Carter (pole vault, high jump) and Preston Martin (shot put, discus).

The Barons actually trailed 21-20 after five events, but Esposito, Flick, Reed and Rivers won the 4x100 relay and Manheim pulled away and never looked back.

Other winners included Rivers in the triple jump (42-11 fl), David Merkey secured the 3200 (10:39.6), Zach Reed in the high hurdles (41:8), Klade Kagarise in the 400 meters (56:9) and Flick in the high hurdles (15:2).

The girls were not as fortunate, losing to Elco, 80-69.

The Barons dominated the track events and the Raiders did well in the field events. Central coach Russ White said meet was lopsided in all areas with no real turning point, saying the meet "was decided early in every area."

Despite the loss, many Barons performed well. Bollinger took first in the high hurdles (15.4) and 300 hurdles (47:6).

The Central track teams ended the week with lopsided wins against Garden Spot. The boys won 124-26 and the girls 113-36.

White said a beautiful day on the track brought out some of the best the Barons had to offer.

White has emphasized to his team to not worry about the final score, but worry more about getting better as the season progresses. The Baron boys did that against the Spartans, winning won 17 of 18 events.

Martin was a double winner in the shot (40-5.5) and discus (123-2) and Carter won the pole vault (12-0) and the high jump (5-10). Reed, Esposito, and Merkey were all double winners in the rout.

The outstanding performance of the meet was Rivers as he triple jumped 44-6.25, which puts him on top of the honor roll for the Lancaster-Lebanon league, White said.

The Baron girls only had 20 athletes in uniform, but were spaced out to win 16 of 18 events. The Barons were led by seniors Bollinger (both hurdle races) and Nelson (pole vault, shot, javelin) and sophomore Laura Good who won four events (100, 200 and long and triple jumps). Sunderland chipped in with two victories (1600 and 3200).

Outstanding performance of the meet was Bollinger's 100 meter high hurdle win as she is on top of the L-L League honor roll in that event, White said.

BASEBALL

The Barons made up for lost time on the baseball field by playing six games last week. They finished the week 4-2. Baseball coach Matt Huber said long-time athletic director George Derbyshire told him he believes it may be the first time in program history that the Barons played six games on consecutive days.

Huber said last Monday's 8-1 triumph against a tough ELCO squad was the first game he remembers where it snowed the entire game.

"We had a gritty performance as a team and beat a great pitcher," he said.

Jake Novak and Taylor Rohrer each had two hits. The Barons broke the game open with three-run innings in both the fifth and sixth innings to cap off a nice win. Senior pitcher Tyler Simon earned the win, striking out five and walking three.

On Tuesday, Manheim only had four hits against Northern Lebanon, but managed a 3-1 win behind great pitching and solid defense.

The Barons had another great performance on the mound. Junior Drew Mummau struck out nine batters and also had a key 2 RBI single in the third inning.

Manheim lost 6-3 in a tough game Wednesday against Cocalico. The Barons were plagued by errors and were missing timely hitting, Huber said.

"It's never a great sign when you have more errors than hits," Huber said. "We had five errors and only four hits. The few hits can make it very challenging."

Thursday at home against Garden Spot, Dawson Good had a home run and 5 RBIs and Hunter Hess earned his first varsity win on the hill, as the Barons routed the Spartans, 15-5. Hess struck out a batter and walked three.

Manheim broke the game open with an eight-run second inning, after scoring five in the first.

The Barons kept the good times rolling Friday with timely hitting and strong pitching in a 12-7 victory at Pequea Valley.

Nate Loser and Taylor Rohrer homered for the Barons. Junior Isaiah Reiner earned his first varsity win on the mound.

Manheim finished the week at Lampeter-Strasburg Saturday with a 17-5 loss.

"The result was drastically different than last year's district game," Huber said about the loss to the Pioneers. "We took some lumps, giving up five home runs. I appreciate everything our pitching staff and players did this week under the conditions."

BOYS' VOLLEYBALL

The Barons remained undefeated with two impressive performances last week, topping Ephrata 25-18, 25-11, 25-19 Tuesday and Garden Spot Thursday.

Ben Lehman came off the bench in the third set against Ephrata and provided the Barons with a nice serve, Central coach Craig Dietrich said. Lehman's serve kept the Mountaineers out of sorts on offense and provided the Barons a spark, Dietrich said.

Senior Ben Burkhart had 26 assists, Junior Mason Nissley collected three assists and nine kills and Senior Josiah Zimmerman posted two blocks.

Junior Brandyn Musser provided strong defense with five digs. Also strong up front with kills were seniors Isaac Shenk (8) and Tanner Stauffer (7).

Manheim also cruised to an easy win against Garden Spot, winning 25-9, 25-16, 25-18.

Burkhart led the way with 25 assists, seven digs and two aces. Nissley added 16 kills and two blocks.

The Barons ended the week with another impressive showing, winning the Warwick Invitational on Saturday.

Manheim went 12-0 in the tourney and won the championship for the second consecutive year. They beat state-ranked Palmyra (sixth in state) in pool-play two times and in the finals, 25-21.

Dietrich said the team stepped up the entire day and Nissley led the charge in the finals on offense.

SOFTBALL

The Barons started the week at cold, snowy ELCO. Manheim hit the ball well and played strong defense, finishing the game early after five innings.

Junior third baseman Codi Bollinger and sophomore Maddie Barbush (3-for-3) hit home runs for Manheim.

Pitchers Maddie Walter (senior) and Jordan Walter (sophomore) combined for the win.

The Barons were not as fortunate in their next game, a difficult 14-4 loss at Lampeter-Strasburg. The Pioneer bats exploded in the first for eight runs, making it challenging for the Barons to find their offensive groove, coach Gary Lever said.

Maddie Walter pitched the entire game in the loss. Barbush and senior, leftfielder BJ Bollinger each had 2 RBIs to cap the offensive momentum.

Wednesday the Barons returned home and scored 12 runs on nine hits in 4  innings to beat Cocalico 12-0.

Even more impressive than the offensive output was the pitching of sophomore Jordan Walter, who threw a no hitter. She struck out nine and walked only one batter.

Shortstop Tayler Lauver hit a home run and had two RBIs to highlight the hit brigade for the Barons.

Maddie Walter had a successful end of the week, gaining two wins. First she

pitched a one-hitter Thursday at Northern Lebanon, shutting out the Vikings for a 6-0 Baron victory. She struck out nine.

She followed this up with a 3-hitter as the Barons beat Pequea Valley 6-1 under the lights in Manheim. She did not give up an earned run and struck out 10 batters and walked none.

Lefever said Lauver, a senior, provided the winning hit, sparking a two-run fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie with a two-run double.

TENNIS

Pequea Valley beat Manheim 6-1. In the loss, Silas Eldeen, the No. 2 singles player for the Barons, notched their only win, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

Manheim bounced back with a 4-3 win against Donegal. The Barons won the top three singles spots behind Trent Martin (6-1, 6-0), Eldeen (7-5, 6-4) and Andrew Rajaratnam (6-4, 6-3) and in No. 1 doubles with Martin and Eldeen, 8-2.

Coach Ryan Jeckel changed his doubles teams against Central York, moving junior Hunter Winters to the top court and teaming him with No. 1 player Martin for an 8-0 win at No.1 doubles.

Eldeen and Rajaratnam teamed up at No. 2 doubles for an 8-5 win that helped the Barons gain a 5-2 triumph against Central York.

"We just needed to look at something different," Jeckel said. "We were only winning one of top two doubles. We needed to find a style, a pair that worked."

This winning combination worked again Saturday in a 5-2 win against Wilson. The top three singles - Martin, Eldeen and Rajaratnam won again, as did the top two doubles.

Jeckel said Martin continues to play well as the team's leader and top player

"He is just consistent day in and day out," he said. "He sets the tone."

The coach said Winters had a great day against Wilson, even if he did not win. Winters was filling in at No. 4 for Jacob Hess, who missed the last two matches because of a family vacation.

"Hunter, at No.4, didn't get the win, but he hasn't played a lot of singles," Jeckel said. "He is still learning about his game. Moving him up in doubles with Trent was a big help and allowed the three guys ahead of him to just do what they do in singles."

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