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Lady Raiders Top Milton Hershey, Camp Hill May 22, 2017

The phrase 'too little, too late' could apply to the Middletown softball team's late season surge. The Lady Raiders, with wins over Milton Hershey and Camp Hill, picked up a quarter of their wins over the final six days of the 2017 regular season. That puts Middletown at 8-12 overall and 5-7 in Mid-Penn Capital Division play.

The final victory of 2017 came on May 16th with a 10-6 win over Milton Hershey. Hayli Akakpo-Martin and Riley Elhajj led the way at the plate while Maddie Sweigert limited the Lady Spartans enough to collect the win.

Sweigert covered five of the seven innings and allowed all six of the Lady Spartan runs on six hits and three walks to go along with three strikeouts. Hayley Baxter pitched a scoreless final two innings, allowing just one hit and no walks with one punch-out.

Akakpo-Martin collected two of Middletown's six hits, driving in two runs with two singles. Elhajj had just one single but inflicted just as much damage to finish with two RBI. Hailey Hockenberry and Gabby Krupilis drove in the final two Lady Raider runs with Hockenberry getting the job done with a double while Krupilis picked up a RBI without collecting a single hit.

Middletown's second to last win came on May 12th with a 13-2 victory over Camp Hill. Noelle Zimmerman earned the win after pitching all seven innings. She closed the game with four scoreless innings after allowing first and third inning runs to the Lady Lions. Zimmerman added three walks and three strikeouts to the six hits allowed.

Elhajj and Kayla Warhola provided the pop at the plate, accounting for four of Middletown's 19 hits plus six RBI. They split everything down the middle, each pushing three runs across with matching singles and doubles. Jordyn Dupes rapped out four singles leading to one RBI while Veronica Miller's three singles and Kylee Nester's two base hits gave each player a RBI of their own. Kate Fitzpatrick and Akakpo-Martin also enjoyed three hit days with Fitzpatrick picking up a RBI on two singles and a double.

In between the two victories was a 10-4 loss to Central Dauphin East. Zimmerman took the loss, pitching all six innings. She finished with four strikeouts and two walks to go along with six hits and five earned runs. The Lady Raiders managed nine hits with Nester picking up three of them. Those hits, all singles allowed Nester to score one run and drive in another. Dupes and Krupilis each recorded two singles. Elhajj managed just one single but matched Dupes' RBI total while Akakpo-Martin picked up the final Middletown hit.

The season came to a close on May 17th with a 3-0 loss to Trinity. Zimmerman took another six-inning loss after allowing single runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings. She allowed just four hits to the Lady Shamrocks but those hits, coupled with four walks, resulted in three earned runs and were countered with just two strikeouts. Trinity's Erin Pfeffer picked up the shutout victory, allowing only singles to Akakpo-Martin and Sweigert while striking out 10 and issuing no walks.

BASEBALL

In their final week of the 2017 season, the baseball team dropped games against Central Dauphin East and East Pennsboro to finish 9-11 overall and 6-8 in the Mid-Penn Capital Division.

May 15th saw Middletown drop a 3-0 final to Central Dauphin East. The Panthers used a stellar outing from Hunter Paul to collect the win. Paul issued no walks to go with nine strikeouts and allowed only a second inning double to Richard Castagna to post the shutout victory. Michael Mattes pitched well in the loss with none of the Panther runs falling on the earned side of the ledger. Mattes struck out 11 and walked none while scattering six hits.

The Blue Raiders closed out the season one day later with a 10-0 loss to East Pennsboro. Middletown managed just four hits while absorbing their fifth shutout loss of the season. Blake Jacoby picked up two of those four singles while David Alcock and Jimmy Fitzpatrick split the remaining two base hits.

Noah Zimmerman took the loss after allowing six of the 10 Panther runs over the game's first four innings. Fitzpatrick pitched the final inning and two-thirds, surrendering the final four East Penn runs. Only four of those 10 runs were earned as the Middletown defense committed five errors. Together Zimmerman and Fitzpatrick combined for five strikeouts and three walks.

TRACK

The track and field team also finished their 2017 season last week with a trip to Shippensburg University for the District 3 Championship meet.

Despite an undefeated regular season the boys sent only three individuals and one relay team to Shippensburg. Hunter Landis and Tyrelle Gallatin each qualified for two events with Gallatin also taking part of Middletown's 15th place finish in the 400m relay. Antonio Gamble, Malik Noon and Jose Lopez joined Gallatin in that relay.

Lopez also joined Gallatin in the 100m but the freshman did not advance out of the preliminary round. The same cannot be said for Gallatin who ultimately finished eighth in the event thanks to a 11.27 in the finals. Gallatin worked his way to the championship race with a 11.30 in the prelims and a 11.09 in the semifinals, both earning the junior the final slot in the next round. With all of Gallatin's work in the 100m and 400m relay he bowed out of the 200m competition.

Landis had a mixed weekend, finishing ninth in the 3A shotput and 16th in the discus. Landis entered the shotput competition seeded 15th but bettered that seeded mark of 48' 8" by nearly two feet with his top throw of 50' ", taking ninth in the 16-person field. Things did not go as well in the discus competition with Landis taking 16th place with his best toss of 126' 3" which was almost 20' off his seeded throw.

The Lady Raiders had nine girls qualify in 10 events resulting in five podium finishes. Rowan Sessa and Morgan Noon captured the top finishes with each earning a bronze medal. Noon slipped to third in the 2A discus competition with a top throw of 110' 1" after entering the day seeded second. Lily Fager qualified but did not throw.

Sessa highlighted her busy weekend with a third-place finish in the 300mH, clocking a 48.14. She missed out on the 110mH finals after finishing 11th in the semifinals with a time of 17.52. She earned that semifinal slot with the 10th fastest preliminary time, 17.34.

Sessa's teammate, Jocilyn Koser, was even busier as she took part in three events that required six races. She opened her busy weekend on Friday with runs in the 100m and 200m prelims and semifinals. Koser dropped out of the 100m competition after finishing 14th in the semifinals. She earned that semifinal spot with a 13.33 in the preliminary round. Koser's 26.78 in the 200m prelims was the fifth fastest time while her 27.29 in the semifinals was only the eighth quickest. She posted a 27.48 in Saturday's finals to finish eighth. Koser capped her crazy weekend with a disqualification in the 400m.

Courtney Shaffer was the final Lady Raider to qualify on the track but the senior did not compete in the 800m final.

Ashley Barni picked up a surprise sixth place finish in the javelin with her toss of 103' 5" jumping all the way up from her 12th place seed. Keely Lombardi held up her 11th place seed by finishing 11th with a throw of 90'.

Bianca Jasper managed a seventh-place finish in the high jump despite entering the competition seeded third. Her top jump of 4' 8" was just two inches off the winning height from Delone Catholic's Julianna Malesky.

Jessica Knisely was the final Lady Raider to take part in the district meet, finishing in a tie for 10th in the pole vault. Knisely cleared 7' 6" along with three other athletes.

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Middletown Track Wraps Up Perfect Season May 15, 2017

The boys' track and field team finished up a perfect regular season with a win over Cedar Cliff last Tuesday while the Lady Raiders suffered their sixth loss. Both squads sent their contingent to Chambersburg on Saturday, May 13th for the Mid-Penn Championship meet. The two sides tallied seven top 10 finishes led by Hunter Landis who collected two of them. Landis took fifth in the shotput with a toss of 48' 8.25" and sixth in the discus with a heave of 144' 1". Devin Agramonte added a sixth-place finish in the long jump while Tyrelle Gallatin claimed the final individual medal, picking up the bronze for an 11.17 in the 100m. Middletown also came home with a sixth-place finish in the 400m relay. Lily Fager posted the top finish for the Lady Raiders, taking fifth in the discus with a throw of 99' 10". Bianca Jasper picked up the only other top 10 finish, settling for a four-way tie for 10th in the high jump with a best of 4' 8".

BASEBALL

Despite Mother Nature extending the baseball season by another week, it appears like the Blue Raiders will run out of games in their attempt to qualify for the District 3-4A playoffs. Middletown improved to 9-9 on the season but that is only good enough for 12th in the 4A power rankings, putting the Blue Raiders two spots out of the 10-team field.

Middletown got their worst game out of the way early last week, taking a 4-1 loss when they faced off against Palmyra. Michael Mattes and Jimmy Fitzpatrick spilt the six-inning affair down the middle with each pitcher tossing three. Mattes absorbed the loss, allowing six of the nine Cougar hits and all four of their runs with just one earned run. Fitzpatrick issued four walks to go with the three hits he allowed. He also accounted for one of the four Middletown hits on offense, smacking a double while Blake Jacoby, Noah Zimmerman and John Sanchez-Padilla chipped in with singles. Sanchez-Padilla picked up Middletown's lone RBI with a first inning fielder's choice.

Middletown rebounded nicely with a 15-4, five inning win over Steel-High on Tuesday. Tristan Maxwell covered the first three innings to earn the win while Richard Castagna and Sanchez-Padilla covered the final two innings. Maxwell surrendered two hits and one earned run, adding four strikeouts and three walks to his day. Castagna's time on the hill was short, surviving just two-thirds of an inning after allowing the final three Roller runs. Sanchez-Padilla closed things out, striking out three and walking one in a hitless final inning and a third.

Zimmerman, with three singles, and Matt Schopf, with two base hits, provided the big pop at the plate with each driving in three runs. Castagna and Joe Brady each enjoyed two RBI days despite just two singles between them.

The Blue Raiders closed out the week on Thursday with a 4-3 walk-off win over Trinity. Sanchez-Padilla played the hero with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to steal the win from the Shamrocks. Sanchez-Padilla accounted for another Middletown hit with a fourth inning single. Maxwell, Castagna and Fitzpatrick picked up the three remaining hits for the Blue Raiders with Maxwell adding a sac fly in the third.

Zimmerman got the start but ended up with no decision as Mattes earned the win for covering the final inning. Zimmerman scattered four hits over his six innings and allowed all three Trinity runs although just two were earned. He added five strikeouts and four walks while Mattes allowed one hit and had two strikeouts.

SOFTBALL

The softball team appears destined for the same postseason fate as their baseball counterparts, just outside the cutoff. After a 1-1 week, the Lady Raiders are 6-10 and two spots out of the District 3-3A postseason field.

It may have taken nine innings but a win is still a win and the Lady Raiders will gladly take their 8-7 victory over Palmyra. Noelle Zimmerman pitched all nine innings, outdueling Palmyra's Abbey Krahling in the process. Zimmerman allowed nine hits and seven runs but only three were earned as Middletown committed four errors. Zimmerman added four walks and one strikeout to her pitching line.

Veronica Miller managed just one hit, a triple, but still scored three runs to go with one RBI. Hayli Akakpo-Martin, Gabby Krupilis and Jordyn Dupes all posted the same one hit, one RBI day while Kate Fitzpatrick added a two hit, one RBI game.

The week did a complete flip-flop with a 15-0 loss to Kennard-Dale on Wednesday. Krupilis picked up two of Middletown's five hits while Dupes, Fitzpatrick and Riley Elhajj accounted for one hit apiece. Maddie Sweigert took the loss for covering the first four innings and allowing 13 of the 15 Lady Ram runs. Hayley Baxter pitched the final inning, surrendering the final two Kennard-Dale runs on one hit and one walk.

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Middletown Baseball Falls to 7-8 Overall May 8, 2017

The Middletown baseball team struggled through the first week of May, dropping all three games they played last week, falling to 7-8 overall and 4-7 in the Mid-Penn Capital Division. The former dropped Middletown out of the 10 team District 3-4A playoff field while the latter pushed them further from the top of the Capital Division standings.

The Blue Raiders kicked off the week by finishing out their March slate, hosting West Perry in a game that had been scheduled to take place back on March 28th. The Mustangs left with a 3-0 victory. Jimmy Fitzpatrick took the loss, allowing five hits, two runs while striking out two and walking one, during his six innings of work. Johan Sanchez-Padilla covered the final inning, surrendering the final run on one hit and one walk.

Sanchez-Padilla also accounted for two of the four Middletown hits, rapping out two singles. Blake Jacoby and Kyle Truesdale joined the hit club with one single each.

The Blue Raiders closed the week on Thursday with an 8-4 loss to Camp Hill. In between was a May 2nd tilt opposite East Pennsboro. The two sides needed a full nine innings to decide a winner with East Penn coming out on top 8-7.

Middletown sent the game to extras with a crazy bottom of the seventh rally that saw runs scored via a fielder's choice, passed ball and a wild pitch. The game got away from the Blue Raiders in the top of the ninth when the Panthers produced their own three run rally. Jacoby nearly knotted the game a second time in the bottom of the ninth when his contact resulted in a two-run error but this rally fell short. Noah Zimmerman and David Alcock were the only other two Blue Raiders to manage a hit with Zimmerman finishing with two of the team's four base knocks.

Zimmerman took the loss for two innings of relief of starter Michael Mattes. Together the pair combined for 11 strikeouts and four walks to go with eight hits and five earned runs.

SOFTBALL

The softball team also went 0-3 last week with an odd schedule quirk leading to two of those losses coming at the hands of East Pennsboro. The teams squared off on May 2nd in what was supposed to be their second meeting of the season but it ended up being their first.

The result was a 13-1 Lady Panther victory. East Penn used a seven run fourth to push their lead past 10-runs. Middletown countered with a lone run in the top of the fifth but it was not enough to stave off the 10-run rule.

Maddie Sweigert took the loss, surrendering all 13 East Pennsboro runs on 12 hits and two walks to go with two strikeouts in four and one-third innings. Hayley Baxter induced the final two outs in relief of Sweigert. Jordyn Dupes, Gabby Krupilis and Kayla Warhola split the three Lady Raiders hits with Dupes' double being the only extra base hit.

One day later the Lady Panthers traveled to Middletown but the result did not change. East Pennsboro won in five innings, this time 11-0. Noelle Zimmerman pitched all five innings and absorbed the loss. She yielded seven hits and four walks with just one strikeout, leading to eight of the 11 runs being earned. Riley Elhajj accounted for both Middletown hits, a pair of singles.

The Lady Raiders opened the week on Monday with another five-inning loss, this one by a 12-0 final to West Perry. Zimmerman covered three and two thirds innings, allowing all the Lady Mustang runs, with only seven counting as earned. She added two strikeouts and three walks to the 11 hits allowed. Baxter finished the game by recording the final out in the bottom of the fourth. The Lady Raiders managed just three singles on the day, one each by Warhola, Kylee Nester and Hailey Hockenberry.

TRACK

The highlight of the week came on the track where the boy's 90-59 victory over Trinity secured the team's first division crown since 1990. Tyrelle Gallatin and Matt Frehse spearheaded the win with two victories apiece. Gallatin swept the sprints, taking the 100m in 11.0 and the 200m in 23.2. Frehse enjoyed a hurdle sweep, posting a 16.6 to take the 110mH while topping the 300mH field with a 43.8. The Blue Raiders posted a 45.0 to take the 400m relay, their lone relay victory.

Middletown did even better in the field, winning four of the seven events. Hunter Landis led the charge with a heave of 46' 4.5" in the shot put while Chris Plummer locked up the triple jump with a top distance of 38' 2". Devin Agramonte covered 20' 0.5" to win the long jump while Grayson Meyer cleared 10' to take the pole vault.

The Lady Raiders were not as fortunate, falling to Trinity by an 85-65 final, with just six event wins as a team. Morgan Noon picked up two of those wins, taking the shot put with a throw of 30' 2.5" and the discus with a toss of 102'. The other four victories came on the track with just one coming from a relay team. The 400m relay clocked a 54.1 to top the Lady Shamrock squad. Rowan Sessa picked up a win in the 100mH with a 17.5. Courtney Shaffer added a mid-distance win with a 2:38.5 in the 800m while Angela Hernandez claimed the 3200m in 14:21.6.

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Middletown Baseball Blanks Milton Hershey May 1, 2017

The Middletown baseball team found themselves on the opposite end of similar games last week. The Blue Raiders opened the week with a 10-0 win over Milton Hershey on Wednesday but closed with a 10-1 loss to Northern York on Thursday.

Middletown wrapped up their win over the Spartans strong, scoring eight of their 10 runs in the sixth and final inning. One day later the Blue Raiders were unable to get their bats going in the nine-run loss to the Polar Bears.

TENNIS

The final week of April brought a close to the 2017 boys' tennis season at Middletown Area High School. The Blue Raiders wrapped up their regular season with losses to Bishop McDevitt and Susquehanna Township to finish 2-11.

Middletown dropped the McDevitt match by a 5-0 final on the 24th and the Township match by a 3-2 count on the 26th. Both team points against the Indians came in doubles play. Connor Gambini and Blake Gill topped Brian Sayre and Trey Trkula in number one doubles while Steven Mosher and Jacob Idowu took out Anuj Ghimirey and Amory Sestlugres in three sets at number two.

Both duos entered the Mid-Penn Conference tournament seeded in their respective flights, Gambini and Gill earning the second seed in flight one while Mosher and Idowu earned the fourth seed in the flight two draw.

Gambini and Gill used their victory over Sayre and Trkula on Wednesday as a spring board to a quarterfinal win over the pair in the Mid-Penn Conference tournament. The season came to a close with a three-set semifinal loss to Camp Hill's Max Dethloff and Andrew Zully.

Mosher and Idowu also had their season end with a semifinal loss to a Camp Hill pair. The Blue Raider pair fell to the topped seeded Ben Brodie and Tristan Moten in two sets. Mosher and Idowu earned that semifinal showdown by topping Trinity's Kyle Carson and Nikolos Higgins, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Middletown had one other doubles team in Mid-Penn action, Jacob Spear and Tommy Lee in the DQ Doubles bracket. The pair dropped their only match to Bishop McDevitt's Noah Nacionales and Josh Lapitan.

The Blue Raiders were unable to replicate their doubles success in singles action with all three players dropping their opening round match. Spear and Lee both fell to foes from James Buchanan while Jarod Frekot dropped his match with Camp Hill's Tyler Myers. Spear fell to Isaac Shenton at number one singles while Lee dropped his number two match with Micah Wise.

SOFTBALL

Despite the wet weather that has pushed back numerous games this season, the softball team was in action just once last week, falling to Northern York by a 6-2 count on Thursday. The Lady Polar Bears balanced a three run first with another three runs over the fifth and sixth innings. Middletown managed a two-run burst in the top of the third but nothing more.

Noelle Zimmerman pitched all six innings for Middletown, finishing with one strikeout and three walks to go with seven hits and six runs allowed.

Kylee Nester and Kayla Warhola accounted for half of the Lady Raiders four hits with each picking up one RBI for their efforts. Kate Fitzpatrick and Hayli Akakpo-Martin picked up the two remaining hits for Middletown.

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ET Boys' Tracksters Remain Undefeated April 24, 2017

The boys track team remained undefeated on the season with an 85-65 win over East Pennsboro last Tuesday. Matthew Frehse and Tyrelle Gallatin led the way with two wins apiece. Frehse swept the hurdle events, taking the 110mH in 15.7 and the 300mH in 42.9. Gallatin enjoyed a sprint sweep thanks to a 11.2 in the 100m and a 23.1 in the 200m. Jose Lopez-Quinones (400m), Aiden Sessa (800m) and Justin Shaffer (1600m) accounted for the remaining wins on the track. Hunter Landis, Brendan Douglass and Chris Plummer split the three wins in the field. Landis claimed the shot put, Douglass the discus and Plummer the high jump.

The Lady Raiders dropped their head-to-head with East Pennsboro by a 95-55 final. Rowan Sessa picked up the only two wins on the track, posting a 17.2 in the 100mH and a 49.9 in the 300mH. Middletown's four remaining wins all came in the field starting with Morgan Noon's discus victory. Ashley Barni claimed the top spot in the javelin while Bianca Jasper (high jump) and Jessica Knisely (pole vault) collected the final two wins.

TENNIS

The boys' tennis team hit the courts twice last week and dropped both outings. They opened the week with a 4-1 loss to Camp Hill in a make-up from March 16th and 31st. Connor Gambini and Blake Gill accounted for the lone victory, topping Max Dethloff and Andrew Zolly in number one doubles.

The pair were also responsible for earning the 0.5 points in a 4.5-0.5 loss to James Buchanan on April 20th. Gambini and Gill won the opening set against Noah Shank and Oscar Erkes at number one doubles by a 6-2 count but were trailing 4-5 in the second set when the match was called due to an approaching storm.

SOFTBALL

The baseball and softball teams enjoyed 2-1 weeks. The Lady Raiders opened with a 17-5, five inning, win over Susquehanna Township on April 17th. Maddie Sweigert pitched the first three innings to collect the win. She held the Lady Indians hitless, walked two, and struck out one with only one of her three runs allowed falling in the earned category. Hayley Baxter covered the final two innings, allowing the final two Township runs on three hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts.

Hayli Akakpo-Martin, Kate Fitzpatrick and Gabby Krupilis all drove in three runs on two hits to power the offense. Veronica Miller added another two RBIs on her lone hit of the day.

The Lady Raiders picked up their fifth win of the season one day later with a 4-3 victory over Trinity. Both squads scored three first inning runs to keep the score tied but Middletown was able to plate the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Noelle Zimmerman tossed all seven innings to earn the win finishing with five strikeouts and one walk to go along with five hits and three earned runs. Kylee Nester picked up the only RBI for Middletown with a triple. Kate Fitzpatrick tallied the only other extra base hit with a double. Riley Elhajj, Krupilis and Akakpo-Martin all finished with base hits.

The Lady Raiders closed the week with a 16-4 loss to West Perry on Thursday. The Lady Mustangs rapped out 22 hits with Baxter and Krupilis getting hit for 11 apiece. Baxter spread her hits allowed over four and one third innings while Krupilis surrendered her 11 hits in two and two-thirds innings.

Elhajj smacked two triples in her three at-bats, finishing with one RBI and one run scored. Fitzpatrick matched everything but the two triples, settling for one triple instead. Miller and Akakpo-Martin drove in the remaining two runs while Nester, Krupilis and Jordyn Dupes accounted for the remaining three Middletown hits.

BASEBALL

The baseball team followed the same script last week, wins over Susquehanna Township and Trinity followed by a loss to West Perry.

The Blue Raiders opened the week with a 7-5 win over Township on the 17th. Michael Mattes picked up the win for his four innings of work. He counted seven hits and three earned runs with nine strikeouts and just one walk to his day. Blake Jacoby and Jimmy Fitzpatrick covered the final three innings on the mound. Jacoby surrendered two runs on one hit and one walk while Fitzpatrick pitched a perfect seventh to close out the win.

Middletown plated five of their seven runs in the bottom of the third inning with only two hits. The Blue Raiders opened the inning with three straight walks followed by two straight hit batsmen, leading to a 2-1 lead. Tristan Maxwell and Richard Castagna connected on the only two hits to make it 4-1 while a fielder's choice put Middletown up 5-1. David Alcock picked up his only hit of the game with a run producing single in the fifth.

One day later Middletown outlasted Trinity 10-9 for their second win in as many days. Fitzpatrick got the start and the win for four innings of work. Maxwell, Alcock and Noah Zimmerman covered the final three innings. The quartet combined to strike out five, walk two and gave up five earned runs.

Fitzpatrick and Jacoby drove in two runs each with Fitzpatrick smacking a one run single to center in the sixth to go with a run producing walk in the fourth. Jacoby drove in one run with a first inning double and a second run with a fourth inning single.

The Blue Raiders traveled to West Perry on Thursday and returned with an 8-5 loss. Zimmerman took the loss after pitching the first five and one third innings. Jacoby pitched the final two-thirds of an inning, allowing no hits, runs or walks.

Castagna and Joe Brady each finished with two hits and one RBI while Maxwell also drove in one run but did so on just one hit. Castagna picked up a RBI with a sixth inning double while Brady pushed a run across with a first inning single. Maxwell also enjoyed a single on the day but his RBI came from a sixth inning fielder's choice.

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Lady Raiders Top Camp Hill, 8-3 April 17, 2017

Despite the best efforts from Mother Nature, the Middletown softball team has completed roughly one-third of their 2017 slate. The weather did push two games from early April into early May but the Lady Raiders have still played seven of their 20 games, and sit at 3-4 overall.

Middletown earned that third win on April 11th using a five run fifth to overtake Camp Hill on their way to an 8-3 victory. Kayla Worhola carried the big bat for the day, adding a single to her fifth inning blast. Gabby Krupilis, Veronica Miller and Kylee Nester provided back-up with Krupilis matching Warhola's two hits while all three enjoyed a single RBI. Noelle Zimmerman scattered seven hits and allowed three fourth inning runs on her way to the win. She added two strikeouts and two walks.

Middletown's second game last week ended with the Lady Raiders on the wrong end of a 14-2 final. Eastern York used a 10-run second inning to propel them to the five-inning win. Nester took the loss after getting the start. Hayley Baxter tossed the final two and two-thirds innings with the pair combining for four walks and no strikeouts. The pair also provided both Middletown runs courtesy of their matching RBI totals. Miller, Jordyn Dupes and Hayli Akakpo-Martin tallied the three remaining Middletown hits.

BASEBALL

The baseball team was in action three times last week, picking up wins over Bishop McDevitt and Steel-High sandwiched around a loss to Camp Hill. The 2-1 week pushes Middletown to 4-3 overall.

Michael Mattes earned Monday's win over McDevitt by scattering four hits and two runs while picking up two strikeouts and issuing one walk. Jimmy Fitzpatrick secured the win by pitching a scoreless seventh in relief of Mattes.

Aaron McDevitt provided the big hit of the day with a three-run double in the sixth. David Alcock picked up his lone hit of the game to push across the final Middletown run, giving the Blue Raiders a 5-1 cushion. Richard Castagna put Middletown up 1-0 with his first inning single only to see the Crusaders answer by tying the game in the third. McDevitt picked up their second run in the bottom half of the sixth but it did little to dent Middletown's four run lead.

The week ended on Wednesday with a 15-0, four inning, thrashing of Steel-High. Noah Zimmerman allowed just one hit over the four-shutout innings to earn the win. Ten of the 12 Roller outs came via strikeouts with Zimmerman issuing just two walks to counter those 10 strikeouts.

Zimmerman and Blake Jacoby both smacked two-run doubles and Johan Sanchez-Padilla connected on a two-run blast as part of a five run second inning for Middletown. That outburst stretched the Blue Raider lead to 8-0 after two innings. Middletown finished the game with a seven run fourth that was highlighted by a three-run homerun by Matt Schopf.

In between the two wins was a 3-0 loss to Camp Hill on Tuesday. Fitzpatrick took the loss despite pitching a solid game. He scattered six hits and allowed just three runs to go with three strikeouts and one walk. Unfortunately for Fitzpatrick and the rest of the Blue Raiders, Lion hurler, Wyatt Beddow, had better stuff. He struck out 14 and walked just two while allowing two hits on the way to the shutout win. Zimmerman and Joe Brady accounted for those two hits, singles in the third and fifth innings.

TENNIS

The boy's tennis team picked up their second win of the season on April 13th but not before losses to East Pennsboro and Trinity earlier in the week. The Panthers posted a 5-0 win on Monday while Middletown fell to Trinity by a 4-1 final on Wednesday. Steven Mosher and Jacob Idowu earned the lone win against the Shamrocks, topping Kyle Carson and Nikolos Higgins in number two doubles.

The Blue Raiders were able to claim the win over Harrisburg Academy on Thursday thanks to singles sweeps by Jacob Spear, Tommy Lee and Jarod Frekot to go along with doubles wins by Blake Gill and Connor Gambini and the Mosher-Idowu duo.

TRACK

The track and field teams took a trip to Elliottsburg last Tuesday to face off against West Perry. The boys came home with a 90-60 victory while the Lady Raiders fell 77-73.

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Blue Raiders' Baseball Crushes Milton Hershey April 3, 2017

The baseball team experienced mixed results as their 2017 campaign got underway. They took a loss from Hershey to open the season and added a win over Milton Hershey a few days later.

Against the Trojans, Middletown managed just four hits. The biggest was Johan Sanchez-Padilla's two run blast in the fourth that accounted for both of the Blue Raider runs. Blake Jacoby, Noah Zimmerman and Jimmy Fitzpatrick split the remaining three hits.

Fitzpatrick and Zimmerman both spent time on the hill in relief of starter Michael Mattes. They registered one inning each with Fitzpatrick tallying one strikeout and one walk to Zimmerman's two strikeouts and two walks. Zimmerman was also responsible for three of Hershey's six runs. Mattes was on the hook for the remaining three runs, surrendering four hits and one walk to go with seven strikeouts over five innings.

The Blue Raiders evened their record to 1-1 on March 30th with a 15-0 shellacking of Milton Hershey. Zimmerman was the beneficiary of the scoring outburst, picking up five strikeouts on his way to collecting the three-inning victory. Fitzpatrick, Tristan Maxwell and Joe Brady did the bulk of the damage at the plate. Brady and Fitzpatrick connected on two singles each to drive in a pair of runs apiece while Maxwell plated two runs despite a hitless day.

SOFTBALL

The softball team also dropped their season opener to Hershey on the 24th, falling by an 11-6 count. Hayli Akakpo-Martin managed three hits in her four trips to the plate, collecting a single, double and a triple to go with one RBI. Kayla Warhola also enjoyed a multi-hit day, smacking a triple and a single to push one run across. Jordyn Dupes and Kylee Nester each managed just one hit but Nester's double pushed one run across with Dupes accounting for two scores thanks to her single.

TRACK

As season openers go you can't ask for much better than the boys' track team's 82-68 victory over Bishop McDevitt on March 28th. Justin Shaffer led the way, taking part in four different wins while Matt Frehse and Hunter Landis added two wins each. Shaffer posted three of his four wins in solo events, taking the 800m (2:16), 1600m (5:02.7) and the 3200m (11:21.6). He also played a part in the 3200m relay team's winning time of 9:14.1 with Daniel Brenner, Cameron Parkhill and Aiden Sessa accounting for the other three legs. Frehse did his work in the hurdle events, taking the 110 highs in 16.2 and the 300's in 43.2. Landis earned his two individual wins with throws of 44' 1" in the shot put and 140' 1" in the discus while Malik Noon claimed his lone victory in the triple jump. Middletown's final victory came in the 1600m relay where Tre Leach, Grayson Meyer, Jose Lopez-Quinones and Donovan Brady combined to post a time of 3:49.9.

The Lady Raiders were not as fortunate in their battle with McDevitt, falling 111-39. Rowan Sessa accounted for two of Middletown's three wins, taking the 100 hurdles in 17.6 and the 300's in 51.2. The Lady Raiders remaining win came in the field with Ashley Barni tossing the javelin 100' 2".

TENNIS

The tennis team has managed to avoid the rainy weather that has troubled a lot of other sports, playing three of their scheduled four matches. Unfortunately, the results have been less than desirable with the Blue Raiders dropping all three. Middletown kicked off the season on March 21st with a 5-0 loss to East Pennsboro. A 3-2 loss to Trinity followed two days later with a 4-1 defeat to James Buchanan completing the three-match stretch.

All of Middletown's wins came in doubles action with Connor Gambini and Blake Gill picking up the lone win against the Rockets. Gill was also part of one of the victories against Trinity, teaming with Steven Mosher to take out Kenneth Kannampully and Michael Brown in number one doubles. Jacob Idowu and Aaron Fischer teamed up to post the second victory topping Kyle Carson and Nikolas Higgins in number two doubles.

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Raiders Reach State Quarterfinals March 20, 2017

For the Middletown boys' basketball team the saying 'all good things must end' played out over 32 minutes in Altoona last Saturday. The Blue Raiders, making their deepest run into the PIAA playoffs since the 1980's, bowed out of this year's PIAA-4A championship battle with a 77-66 loss to Quaker Valley.

The 4A quarterfinal tilt went sideways for Middletown early in the second when foul trouble sent junior Ryan Hughes to the bench.

"I believe Ryan picking up that third foul really hurt us," said head coach Chris Sattele. "My philosophy coaching wise is when you get three you are done for the half so we couldn't put him back in."

Up until that point the Blue Raiders were matching the Quakers blow for blow. After, the District 7 runner-up was able to close out the half on a 16-8 run and enter the break with a 10-point, 37-27, cushion. Quaker Valley's Coletrane Washington sparked that rally, scoring the first five points sandwiched around a Tre Leach free throw. From there Washington's teammates took over to finish off the run. Leach picked up three more of his 17 points over the course of the run, helping to counter the Quaker push. A Luke Mrakovich jumper was the only other Middletown points during the spurt.

The third quarter started well for Middletown with Michael Mattes (five points) and Hughes draining free throws that trimmed the deficit down to six points. The Quakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to push their lead to 17 with 2:31 remaining in the frame. Fortunately, the Blue Raiders were able to close out the quarter on a 6-0 run to keep the Quakers within striking distance at 50-39.

Striking distance would be as close as Middletown would get despite 16 fourth quarter points from Hughes, pushing him to a game high 24. Quaker Valley managed to maintain their cushion thanks to Danny Conlan, who scored 12 of his team high 20 in the frame, including an eight of 10 showing at the line.

The three remaining Quaker starters also scored in double figures with Ricky Guss collecting 13 points while both Amis Luptak and Wolfie Moser chipped in 12 points.

"Credit to Quaker Valley, they did a tremendous job, they were great," said Sattele. "They're just a special group, they have five very, very good players."

The remaining two Middletown starters, Mrakovich and Chris Plummer, combined for 16 points with Plummer taking credit for nine and Mrakovich five. David Alcock and Tyreer Mills split the remaining four Blue Raider points down the middle.

Middletown earned that quarterfinal date courtesy of a 59-53 victory over Greater Johnstown Area two days prior. The Blue Raiders overcame a sluggish start that saw them down five midway through the opening frame to take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter. Hughes netted five of his team high 19 during the 12-3 run that flipped the game as well as assisting on Plummer's bucket that kicked off the spurt. A Mills three pointer and a Mattes putback accounted for the remaining five points of the run.

Hughes, despite many missed opportunities, picked up another seven points in what proved to be the decisive second quarter. Middletown's only other points in the frame came from a Plummer three pointer just before the buzzer and two Kyle Truesdale free throws a few minutes prior.

Even with Middletown only scoring 12 points in the frame they were able to turn their four-point cushion into a cozier 12-point advantage at the midway point of the game thanks to a dominating defensive effort.

"It was great that we held them to four points in the second quarter. That was huge," said Sattele. "That really put the clamps on them."

A 9-2 run on the other side of the break pushed the Blue Raider lead to an eye popping 19 points with just over 12 minutes of game time remaining. The Trojans began their slow climb back from that hole on the back of Tavis Price. The senior guard scored six straight to kick off a 13-5 Johnstown run and added a three ball on the back end to account for eight of the 13 points. Mrakovich scored four of Middletown's five points in that run while Leach accounted for the remaining point via a free throw with 1:32 remaining in the frame.

Johnstown continued their push as the fourth quarter progressed thanks largely to the work of Price and Jemel Gause. The pair of seniors combined to score 13 of the Trojans 22 fourth-quarter points, shrinking the Blue Raider cushion to a measly six points. Excellent free throw shooting by Middletown kept Johnstown at bay just enough for the Blue Raiders to slip out of Chambersburg with the 59-53 victory. Mrakovich was key to that free throw shooting, draining all six of his attempts in the frame to finish with 12 points in the game. Truesdale was perfect on his two attempts to finish with four points while Leach and Mills added a combined three makes on five attempts. That gave Mills four points and Leach five for the game.

Plummer joined Hughes and Mrakovich in double figures with 11 points while Mattes tallied the four remaining Middletown points. Johnstown's Price led all scorers with 20 points while Gause tacked on 14 in the loss.

The win over Johnstown coupled with the loss to Quaker Valley leaves the Blue Raiders with a stellar 22-6 record for their magical 2016-2017 season.

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Raiders Reach State Quarterfinals March 20, 2017

For the Middletown boys' basketball team the saying 'all good things must end' played out over 32 minutes in Altoona last Saturday. The Blue Raiders, making their deepest run into the PIAA playoffs since the 1980's, bowed out of this year's PIAA-4A championship battle with a 77-66 loss to Quaker Valley.

The 4A quarterfinal tilt went sideways for Middletown early in the second when foul trouble sent junior Ryan Hughes to the bench.

"I believe Ryan picking up that third foul really hurt us," said head coach Chris Sattele. "My philosophy coaching wise is when you get three you are done for the half so we couldn't put him back in."

Up until that point the Blue Raiders were matching the Quakers blow for blow. After, the District 7 runner-up was able to close out the half on a 16-8 run and enter the break with a 10-point, 37-27, cushion. Quaker Valley's Coletrane Washington sparked that rally, scoring the first five points sandwiched around a Tre Leach free throw. From there Washington's teammates took over to finish off the run. Leach picked up three more of his 17 points over the course of the run, helping to counter the Quaker push. A Luke Mrakovich jumper was the only other Middletown points during the spurt.

The third quarter started well for Middletown with Michael Mattes (five points) and Hughes draining free throws that trimmed the deficit down to six points. The Quakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to push their lead to 17 with 2:31 remaining in the frame. Fortunately, the Blue Raiders were able to close out the quarter on a 6-0 run to keep the Quakers within striking distance at 50-39.

Striking distance would be as close as Middletown would get despite 16 fourth quarter points from Hughes, pushing him to a game high 24. Quaker Valley managed to maintain their cushion thanks to Danny Conlan, who scored 12 of his team high 20 in the frame, including an eight of 10 showing at the line.

The three remaining Quaker starters also scored in double figures with Ricky Guss collecting 13 points while both Amis Luptak and Wolfie Moser chipped in 12 points.

"Credit to Quaker Valley, they did a tremendous job, they were great," said Sattele. "They're just a special group, they have five very, very good players."

The remaining two Middletown starters, Mrakovich and Chris Plummer, combined for 16 points with Plummer taking credit for nine and Mrakovich five. David Alcock and Tyreer Mills split the remaining four Blue Raider points down the middle.

Middletown earned that quarterfinal date courtesy of a 59-53 victory over Greater Johnstown Area two days prior. The Blue Raiders overcame a sluggish start that saw them down five midway through the opening frame to take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter. Hughes netted five of his team high 19 during the 12-3 run that flipped the game as well as assisting on Plummer's bucket that kicked off the spurt. A Mills three pointer and a Mattes putback accounted for the remaining five points of the run.

Hughes, despite many missed opportunities, picked up another seven points in what proved to be the decisive second quarter. Middletown's only other points in the frame came from a Plummer three pointer just before the buzzer and two Kyle Truesdale free throws a few minutes prior.

Even with Middletown only scoring 12 points in the frame they were able to turn their four-point cushion into a cozier 12-point advantage at the midway point of the game thanks to a dominating defensive effort.

"It was great that we held them to four points in the second quarter. That was huge," said Sattele. "That really put the clamps on them."

A 9-2 run on the other side of the break pushed the Blue Raider lead to an eye popping 19 points with just over 12 minutes of game time remaining. The Trojans began their slow climb back from that hole on the back of Tavis Price. The senior guard scored six straight to kick off a 13-5 Johnstown run and added a three ball on the back end to account for eight of the 13 points. Mrakovich scored four of Middletown's five points in that run while Leach accounted for the remaining point via a free throw with 1:32 remaining in the frame.

Johnstown continued their push as the fourth quarter progressed thanks largely to the work of Price and Jemel Gause. The pair of seniors combined to score 13 of the Trojans 22 fourth-quarter points, shrinking the Blue Raider cushion to a measly six points. Excellent free throw shooting by Middletown kept Johnstown at bay just enough for the Blue Raiders to slip out of Chambersburg with the 59-53 victory. Mrakovich was key to that free throw shooting, draining all six of his attempts in the frame to finish with 12 points in the game. Truesdale was perfect on his two attempts to finish with four points while Leach and Mills added a combined three makes on five attempts. That gave Mills four points and Leach five for the game.

Plummer joined Hughes and Mrakovich in double figures with 11 points while Mattes tallied the four remaining Middletown points. Johnstown's Price led all scorers with 20 points while Gause tacked on 14 in the loss.

The win over Johnstown coupled with the loss to Quaker Valley leaves the Blue Raiders with a stellar 22-6 record for their magical 2016-2017 season.

0

Raiders Reach State Quarterfinals March 20, 2017

For the Middletown boys' basketball team the saying 'all good things must end' played out over 32 minutes in Altoona last Saturday. The Blue Raiders, making their deepest run into the PIAA playoffs since the 1980's, bowed out of this year's PIAA-4A championship battle with a 77-66 loss to Quaker Valley.

The 4A quarterfinal tilt went sideways for Middletown early in the second when foul trouble sent junior Ryan Hughes to the bench.

"I believe Ryan picking up that third foul really hurt us," said head coach Chris Sattele. "My philosophy coaching wise is when you get three you are done for the half so we couldn't put him back in."

Up until that point the Blue Raiders were matching the Quakers blow for blow. After, the District 7 runner-up was able to close out the half on a 16-8 run and enter the break with a 10-point, 37-27, cushion. Quaker Valley's Coletrane Washington sparked that rally, scoring the first five points sandwiched around a Tre Leach free throw. From there Washington's teammates took over to finish off the run. Leach picked up three more of his 17 points over the course of the run, helping to counter the Quaker push. A Luke Mrakovich jumper was the only other Middletown points during the spurt.

The third quarter started well for Middletown with Michael Mattes (five points) and Hughes draining free throws that trimmed the deficit down to six points. The Quakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to push their lead to 17 with 2:31 remaining in the frame. Fortunately, the Blue Raiders were able to close out the quarter on a 6-0 run to keep the Quakers within striking distance at 50-39.

Striking distance would be as close as Middletown would get despite 16 fourth quarter points from Hughes, pushing him to a game high 24. Quaker Valley managed to maintain their cushion thanks to Danny Conlan, who scored 12 of his team high 20 in the frame, including an eight of 10 showing at the line.

The three remaining Quaker starters also scored in double figures with Ricky Guss collecting 13 points while both Amis Luptak and Wolfie Moser chipped in 12 points.

"Credit to Quaker Valley, they did a tremendous job, they were great," said Sattele. "They're just a special group, they have five very, very good players."

The remaining two Middletown starters, Mrakovich and Chris Plummer, combined for 16 points with Plummer taking credit for nine and Mrakovich five. David Alcock and Tyreer Mills split the remaining four Blue Raider points down the middle.

Middletown earned that quarterfinal date courtesy of a 59-53 victory over Greater Johnstown Area two days prior. The Blue Raiders overcame a sluggish start that saw them down five midway through the opening frame to take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter. Hughes netted five of his team high 19 during the 12-3 run that flipped the game as well as assisting on Plummer's bucket that kicked off the spurt. A Mills three pointer and a Mattes putback accounted for the remaining five points of the run.

Hughes, despite many missed opportunities, picked up another seven points in what proved to be the decisive second quarter. Middletown's only other points in the frame came from a Plummer three pointer just before the buzzer and two Kyle Truesdale free throws a few minutes prior.

Even with Middletown only scoring 12 points in the frame they were able to turn their four-point cushion into a cozier 12-point advantage at the midway point of the game thanks to a dominating defensive effort.

"It was great that we held them to four points in the second quarter. That was huge," said Sattele. "That really put the clamps on them."

A 9-2 run on the other side of the break pushed the Blue Raider lead to an eye popping 19 points with just over 12 minutes of game time remaining. The Trojans began their slow climb back from that hole on the back of Tavis Price. The senior guard scored six straight to kick off a 13-5 Johnstown run and added a three ball on the back end to account for eight of the 13 points. Mrakovich scored four of Middletown's five points in that run while Leach accounted for the remaining point via a free throw with 1:32 remaining in the frame.

Johnstown continued their push as the fourth quarter progressed thanks largely to the work of Price and Jemel Gause. The pair of seniors combined to score 13 of the Trojans 22 fourth-quarter points, shrinking the Blue Raider cushion to a measly six points. Excellent free throw shooting by Middletown kept Johnstown at bay just enough for the Blue Raiders to slip out of Chambersburg with the 59-53 victory. Mrakovich was key to that free throw shooting, draining all six of his attempts in the frame to finish with 12 points in the game. Truesdale was perfect on his two attempts to finish with four points while Leach and Mills added a combined three makes on five attempts. That gave Mills four points and Leach five for the game.

Plummer joined Hughes and Mrakovich in double figures with 11 points while Mattes tallied the four remaining Middletown points. Johnstown's Price led all scorers with 20 points while Gause tacked on 14 in the loss.

The win over Johnstown coupled with the loss to Quaker Valley leaves the Blue Raiders with a stellar 22-6 record for their magical 2016-2017 season.

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