Chargers Cap Season With Three Game Week May 15, 2017
"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." - Babe Ruth
With a collective effort to finish strong, the Mt. Calvary Chargers concluded their baseball season with a three-game week of mixed results. They started their week on the wrong end of a shutout, before reversing roles to claim a shutout victory of their own, and finally succumbed to a one-run loss in their closing contest.
Monday night, the Chargers hosted the High Point Baptist Eagles, and initially displayed a united defense, holding the Eagles to only a run in the first, but it was during an explosive third inning that the Eagles went on a nine-run scoring blitz and never looked back, running up the score 25-0.
"As a team we knew, coming off of a busy week with limited pitching options, that this game was going to be difficult," acknowledge head coach Jim Sintic. "High Point's depth and seniority showed as they handed us our worst defeat of the season. I encouraged my team after the game that tomorrow is a new day and we needed to be ready to play hard."
Despite the lopsided scoreboard, the Chargers collected themselves and honored their senior players after the contest. Seniors Jared Landis, Stephen Leed, Noah Hoffman, and Jack Lachance each added a unique dynamic to the club and will be missed both on and off the field.
Landis, a team captain has played for the team for four years. He added experience in several positions and developed into a leader on and off the field. Over his four-year career, he collected 61 hits and had an average of .374. He excelled at every new challenge.
Leed, also a four-year player, earned his spot as a team captain with marked improvement both offensively and defensively. He had a batting average of .270 and constantly put pressure on opposing pitchers by making contact and rarely striking out.
Hoffman played the game with an aggressive nature and showed the underclassmen how to work hard both in games and practice. He developed into a solid outfielder and hitter.
Lachance, a late-year addition, immediately boosted the team morale and was a notable encouragement to the team. Known for his hard work and good attitude, Lachance was willing to fill in anywhere he was needed and led through positive example.
Tuesday night the team took a trip to Harrisburg Christian to take on the Knights, and found a perfect balance connecting their offensive and defensive game, and were rewarded with a 15-0 triumph.
Though the team has had previous competitions with offensive highs and defensive improvement, they have at times struggled to excel at both simultaneously. That was not the case in Tuesday's match as they demonstrated confidence and secured a well-rounded victory.
"We never let up offensively and never let ourselves down defensively. This is the type of game we were working towards, and we can build off of for next season," encouraged Sintic.
Taiji Fukasawa claimed the win from the mound, throwing consistent strikes, and forcing the Knights to swing the bat. When the Knights managed to connect with the ball, Charger defense was ready and waiting to make the necessary plays to maintain a shutout.
Fukasawa threw four innings, striking out one, and gave up zero runs, zero walks, and only three hits.
Freshman Chip Stambaugh was a key part of the defensive effort, having a standout performance with two game-altering catches in right field to neutralize Knight offensive threats.
At the plate, young players displayed their up-and-coming potential to lead the team. Freshman, Dakota Lamb paved the way for the Chargers, driving in three runs with three hits, including two doubles. Tyler Masters, a sophomore, also went three-for-three and collected three RBIs.
Leed, Landis, and David Ellis each collected two hits in the effort. Lachance and Nathan Lerro each supplied one hit to bring the team total to 14.
"We felt great about our efforts. I was so encouraged by the way we came out and played hard after a difficult defeat," praised Sintic.
Thursday night, dodging rain showers, the Chargers squeezed in their final contest at the Christian School of York Crusaders. Despite holding the early lead and battling through the entirety of the duel, the Chargers slipped to a 5-4 defeat.
The Chargers got off to a strong start, capturing the early lead in the first as Fukasawa reached on a walk and advanced around the bases with heads up base running, and scored the first run on a ground out.
In the third, the Chargers went up 2-0, once again Fukasawa reached on a walk and this time was driven home by a double from Masters.
The Crusaders pushed their first runs across the plate in the bottom of the third to tie the game at two apiece. Both teams produced another run in the fifth to keep the score even at 3-3 heading into the sixth. The bottom of the sixth proved to be the decisive half inning as the Crusaders collected two additional runs.
In the seventh, the Chargers had a last chance to claim the contest as they loaded the bases and earned an additional run. With the tying run a mere 90 feet away from home, the Crusader defense closed the match on a ground out leaving the Charger runners stranded.
Master's once again proved to be an offensive force, collecting all four of the Charger RBIs.
Landis started the game on the mound, giving up three runs, three hits, and striking out seven during four plus innings of work. Fukasawa pitched in relief and was saddled with the loss after surrendering three hits, two runs, and zero walks in an inning.
"I was proud of the way we held our composure and showed a positive attitude even when circumstances weren't going our way," noted Sintic.
The Chargers wrapped up their 2017 season with a record of 4-11.
"I am very thankful for this team and the hard work they demonstrated. We had our ups and downs, but I am proud of the effort we gave this season," elaborated Sintic. "We had goals at the beginning of the season, our main one being to improve individually and as a team. We achieved that goal further than I could have imagined," he added.
"We are also thankful for the opportunity God gave us to play relatively injury-free this season," continued Sintic. "As a team, we focused on the blessing of getting to participate in this game daily. We will miss our senior players, but look forward to continuing to improve and future success for the program."
Chargers Notch Back-to-back Victories May 8, 2017
Finally getting to see the payoff from all their hard work, the Mt. Calvary baseball club started out last week with a loss on the road, but wrapped up the week with back-to-back victories.
Monday, the team traveled to Millersburg High School and played an aggressive seven innings. Though ultimately falling 11-2, they managed to walk away with offensive highlights, but once again defensive errors proved to be their nemesis.
Starting out strong, captain Jared Landis got on base in the first reaching on an error. Tyler Masters drove a double into left center field, to put them both into scoring position, but they were left stranded as the team was unable to produce another hit to drive them in.
Stephen Leed got things going from the mound, and led the team in a clean first inning. Though a Millersburg batter reached base on a single, Charger catcher Dakota Lamb showed off his defensive skills, throwing out the runner as he attempted to steal second. Confidence was contagious and the Chargers quickly put away the next two batters to close the inning.
During the second inning, the Millersburg team began to exploit defensive weaknesses and put together a three-hit inning coupled with two fielding errors to build a 5-0 lead.
Millersburg collected an additional two runs in the third to extend their lead to seven.
"Millersburg is a tough team. They're well coached and have a lot of experienced baseball players," acknowledged head coach Jim Sintic. "They did a good job of capitalizing on every mistake we made."
True to their style, the Chargers did not go down without a fight, building momentum in the sixth, kick-started by a patient at bat by Haruto Saito drawing a walk. Masters once again played his roll notching a single, followed by a single from Lamb plating the first Charger run. Leed followed suit with an additional RBI single to give the Chargers another boost.
Despite their sixth-inning surge, the Chargers were unable to close the gap for a comeback.
"Defensive errors led to a score that was more lopsided than it could have been," reiterated Sintic. "We know what we need to do."
Twenty-four hours later, the Chargers hosted the Harrisburg Christian Knights at In The Net, and battled to a 3-2 triumph.
Pitching was the name of the game for both ball clubs, as the starting pitchers combined for a total of 23 strikeouts and only three walks.
On the mound for the Chargers was Taiji Fukasawa who pitched a gem sending all but three hitters off with strikes throughout his innings.
"Taiji put pressure on their hitters to make contact, and threw a large volume of strikes. It was exactly what we needed," commented Sintic.
With Fukasawa's defensive performance of 12 strikeouts and only one walk, the Chargers needed to accomplish their offensive goals to pull off the win.
The Chargers may have only had three hits on the night, a single supplied by Masters and two doubles from Leed, but they made each of them count. Master's single came in the first inning, driving in the first Charger run, directly followed by an RBI double from Leed to give the Chargers the early 2-0 lead.
The Knights were initially quiet until they retaliated with two runs of their own in the fourth. Keeping their composure, the Chargers worked around their mistakes and did not allow the Knights to do any further damage.
During the sixth, Leed stepped up for his second double of the night, a rocket into left field, driving in the go ahead run.
Entering the seventh, knowing the game was far from over, the Chargers needed to keep their defensive efforts clean, which has at times been a costly struggle for the club.
Leed continued contributing with an excellent stop at first finished by Fukasawa covering the base for the first out of the inning. Fukasawa followed that play by striking out the next batter swinging. The final out of the game was snagged by Jack Lachance with a running catch in left field.
Wednesday, the Chargers played for the third straight day, this time at the home of the Conestoga Christian Cougars, a team that had previously beaten 9-3. This time the tables were turned, and the improved Charger squad secured a 9-7 victory.
"We started the game exactly how we wanted to-putting pressure on our opponents," noted Sintic. "Our base running made the difference," he added.
A wild first inning including three stolen bases, three walks, and two runs scored on errors gave the Chargers a 2-0 advantage early on. The Cougars responded with a run in the bottom half, keeping in contention.
The second inning was a game changer for the Chargers as they collected four runs to put them up 6-1. Chip Stambaugh and Saito each displayed patience reaching on walks and then advancing to scoring position through heads up base running.
Landis and Masters ignited the Charger offense with back-to-back triples propelling the runs across the plate and increasing team confidence.
The Cougars responded in kind, as they came up with a big third inning to bring the score back within a run, 6-5.
Landis controlled the mound for the Chargers, and remained unruffled throughout the Cougar resurgence, effectively striking out the side to stifle the comeback threat.
In the fourth, the Cougars again gained momentum with two more runs crossing the plate, enough to capture the lead for the first time of the contest, 7-6.
"I told my team that they needed to dig deep and show that they wanted it more than the other team. That's exactly what they did from the fourth inning on," praised Sintic.
Leed produced a pivotal at bat in the fifth, reaching on a dropped third strike, advancing around the bases on wild pitches, and scoring on a passed ball to knot the score at 7-7.
Charger improvement on defense sealed the Cougars' fate over the final three innings. Producing a clean fifth and sixth, the Chargers only allowed one Cougar runner to reach base over the course of both innings.
Three consecutive hits in the sixth, supplied by Saito, Fukasawa, and a two RBI single from Landis, was enough to recapture the lead 8-7. Lamb suppled an insurance run on a fielder's choice scoring Fukasawa to finalize the score, 9-7.
The seventh inning displayed a confident Charger team playing together and avoiding defensive mistakes. Masters made a great stop at third base to throw a runner out at first. Charger catcher Lamb, made an explosive throw to catch a runner attempting to steal third, and Landis finished the game on a strikeout.
"I told Jared [Landis] in the fifth that this is his senior year, and probably one of his last outings as a pitcher. We needed him to dig deep and he did just that. I was extremely proud of his performance," elaborated Sintic.
Landis was awarded the win, pitching all seven innings, striking out 13, and only allowing three walks. Landis also led the team in hits, going 2-for-3 at the plate.
"It's been exciting to see my players grow in their skill, but even more than that, grow spiritually as young men. When you have to deal with disappointment in athletics it causes you to appreciate your teammates and grow closer through those times," summarized Sintic.
Following these back-to-back wins, a rejuvenated Charger team enters the final week of the regular season schedule with a record of 3-9.
Chargers Battle But Drop Two One-Run Games May 1, 2017
In a game where a split second can mean the difference between winning and losing, the Charger baseball club experienced two heartbreaking losses last week. They battled hard but ultimately lost both contests by the slimmest margin, a single run.
Thursday the team traveled to Antietam High School to take on the Mountaineers.
Antietam got out to an early lead, putting the Chargers down by five in the first inning, and followed up with an additional two runs in the third, placing the Chargers at a seven-run disadvantage heading into the top of the fourth.
Taiji Fukasawa got the start for the Chargers, pitching well, but unfortunate fielding errors were responsible for the Mountaineers' onslaught of runs.
"Our defense struggled, giving up three errors in the first. Our body language and demeanor was not what I have come to expect from this team," explained head coach Jim Sintic. "I challenged them after the third, and they responded in a big way."
Mustering the tenacity to fight back, Tyler Masters led off in the top of the fourth with a single. Jared Landis stood his ground and got on base after being hit by a wild pitch. Dakota Lamb displayed patience at bat, earning himself a base on balls.
With bases loaded and no outs, the Chargers saw their first opportunity for an offensive surge, this time with Stephen Leed up to bat. Leed was also hit by a pitch, gaining a base and sending in the first Charger run of the contest.
"After that, the Antietam pitchers struggled to find the strike zone and our hitters showed great patience," commended Sintic.
Scott Lane and David Ellis drew additional walks while the bases remained loaded to bump the Chargers' run tally to three.
After making a pitching substitution, the Mountaineer relief managed to strike out two Charger batters before Fukasawa stepped up to the plate and sliced a RBI single, bringing the score to 7-4 before a third strike out closed the Charger at bat.
The Mountaineers responded during their offensive turn, now facing Charger relief pitcher Landis, and collected two more runs to reaffirm their lead 9-4.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the Chargers produced an explosive sixth inning to capture a temporary lead.
Freshman Jonah Rutt demonstrated a discerning eye, drawing a walk, followed by Fukasawa seeing a similar scenario and also reaching on walk. Once again, Masters came up with a single when it mattered, loading the bases for Landis to hit in a run.
With great patience, the Chargers collected the next three runs off two walk-ins and an error, tying the ballgame at nine.
Fukasawa, a presence of consistency, singled to drive in the go ahead run, before the completion of the inning, giving the Chargers the lead, 10-9.
The Mountaineers retaliated with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth, knotting the game at ten. After a quiet top of the seventh in which the Chargers were unable to cross the plate, it was once again the Mountaineers who were able to connect. With two outs and a runner on second, a hard-hit line drive to center that was not secured was the catalyst that sent the final run in for the Mountaineers and produced the walk off win.
"Our determination and heart was evident. We didn't give up and I was proud of our effort. We learned a lot about ourselves through this up and down game," concluded Sintic.
Fukasawa led the day at the plate, going three-for-four including two RBIs, he also pitched three innings striking out one and walking zero. Though he gave up seven runs only three were earned.
Masters took the loss after his one and two-thirds innings of work, allowing two hits, one run, and zero walks. Master also performed well at the plate gathering two hits and two runs.
Leed picked up a pair of strikeouts while throwing one inning of relief.
Landis collected a hit, a walk, a run, and a RBI during his three at bats, and Lamb put the Mountaineer pitchers to work, drawing four walks.
Twenty-four hours later, the Chargers experienced another nail-biting finish again determined by a single run; this time a gut-wrenching 19-18 loss to the Lancaster County Christian Lions.
In a similar fashion to the day before, the Chargers got out to a rough start, once again falling behind by five after an inning.
Quick to recover, the Chargers fired back in the second with their finest inning, collecting seven runs and capturing the lead. The explosive inning came as a result of four walked batters, one hit batter, a single from Landis, and two doubles supplied by Masters and Lamb.
The subsequent inning saw another six Charger runs cross the plate, propelling them ahead 13-6. Landis highlighted the impressive inning with a towering two run home run.
Unfortunately, the Lions weren't finished either, and responded in kind with 11 runs scored over the fourth and fifth.
"We never panicked or got down ourselves. We showed great resilience in the second," explained Sintic. "Defense was our downfall in this one, as we committed a season-high eight errors in the field, giving the Lions multiple opportunities to score runs each inning."
During the fifth, the Chargers picked up three additional runs with a double from Jack Lachance and bases loaded walks from sophomores Nathan Lerro and Ethan Niedwick.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lions recaptured the lead, and followed that by scoring off an error and a home run in the sixth to give them a 19-16 advantage as they entered the final inning.
Down by three, with two outs in their last at bat, the Chargers were keenly aware that they had reached their final opportunity. Lerro reached on a walk, Matt Kruschinsky was hit by a pitch, and freshmen Chip Stambaugh loaded the bases on a walk.
Now at the top of the order, with two outs and bases loaded, Fukasawa once again got it done with a clutch two RBI single. With the tying run just 90 feet away, the Lions third baseman made a fine play and secured the final out, dashing the Charger comeback and concluding the contest.
Landis and Lachance shared the pitching load over the course of the contest. Landis struck out six while walking one. Lachance struck out five and surrendered one walk.
"Both our pitchers did their part, pitching to contact. Unfortunately, our defense was not able to back them up," noted Sintic. "Offensively, it was a different story. We put pressure on the Lions throughout the game. We're a young team and we continued to fight and didn't give up, which is all you can ask for as a coach."
This week, the Chargers will have their stamina tested as they cram four games into a weeks' time with the season's busy schedule and weather postponements colliding for a hectic calendar. Tuesday marks their sole home contest of the week.
Mt. Calvary Falls Short Against CC Cougars April 24, 2017
"I take positives out of negatives all the time." - David Wright, Mets third baseman
With only one game last week, the Chargers stepped onto their home field hoping to secure a victory, but were disappointed as they fell 9-3 at the bats of the Conestoga Christian Cougars.
The first two innings displayed two well-matched ball clubs testing their opponents with no adjustment made to the scoreboard.
Taiji Fukasawa got off to a strong start on the mound for the Chargers, striking out three batters in his first two innings of work. The Cougars retaliated with precise pitching as well causing both teams to jostle for control of the contest.
Unfortunately, the Cougars were the first to crack the opposition's defense, coming up with a big third inning, filing in four runs, and never relinquishing the lead.
Timing and stranded runners told the tale of the day, as the Chargers sparked two separate rallies allowing them to load the bases, but were unable to drive enough runs home to shrink their deficit.
Jared Landis kick started offensive momentum in the fourth with a line drive single. Landis bided his time on base, advancing around with heads up base running, and capitalized on a Cougar fielding error to cross the plate for the first Charger run.
Stephen Leed, who reached on the error, also took a full turn around the bases, scoring on a ground out by Jack Lachance. David Ellis reached on a walk, but was left stranded as the Cougars regrouped for a ground out to end the inning.
The fifth inning brought another slew of Cougar runs, allowing them to extend their lead 9-2. On the flip side of the inning, Fukasawa applied pressure with a single and aggressive base running. Dakota Lamb reached on a walk, and Landis had another successful at bat with a single, but despite their effort the Cougar's consistent defense allowed them register three outs before the Chargers could push a runner cross the plate.
Landis, pitching in relief, threw a solid top of the sixth, striking out two and picking off a runner at second to keep the Charger hope alive.
With opportunities dwindling, the Chargers produced a final spurt of energy in the sixth. Facing two outs, with runners on first and second due to walks, Fukasawa again produced a single, loading the bases.
Tyler Masters sliced a ground ball to the shortstop and reached on an error, driving Jonah Rutt across the plate for the third Charger run. Despite the pressure, the Cougar pitcher remained composed and managed to strike out the last Charger batter and squelch the rally.
"Our guys never quit. We just couldn't break through," commented head coach Jim Sintic.
Fukasawa was tagged with the loss after three innings of work, collecting three strikeouts and allowing four earned runs. Landis tossed four innings, picking up six strikeouts and scattering five hits and five runs.
Landis had a strong showing at the plate, going three for four and supplying a run. Fukasawa collected two hits, and Jack Lachance produced an RBI.
"We learn more about ourselves each game. It's easy to have fun when you're winning, but you learn a lot more when you lose," acknowledged Sintic. "We'll continue to grow and work as a team. There's a lot of baseball left for us to play," he added.
Moving forward, the Charger schedule will give them ample opportunity to display improvement as they hope to balance out their current 1-6 record. Heading into a stretch of games on the road, this week will hold three contests, starting with a rematch against the Conestoga Christian Cougars on Tuesday, this time on the Cougars' home turf.
Chargers Challenge Crusaders But Fall Short April 17, 2017
"Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical." - Yogi Berra
Team and individual character is tested in the tough times, something the Mt. Calvary Chargers are finding as they are experiencing a stretch of tough losses, suffering defeat in both of last week's pairings.
Tuesday, the Charger team took their home field to host the Christian School of York Crusaders, and though they played with heart and enthusiasm, fell short 8-3.
Initially the Chargers found themselves in an offensive slump, having trouble adjusting to Crusader pitching.
When it was the Charger's turn in the field, team captain Stephen Leed took the mound and rose to the challenge, throwing precise strikes across the plate. Unfortunately, costly fielding errors created the opening the Crusaders needed to start to pull away as the game progressed.
Working around an error and a single in the first, Leed kept his composure and was able to pick a runner off at second followed by two strikeouts to close the inning.
After four innings, the Chargers found themselves buried by a 6-0 Crusader lead, and knew it was pivotal they take action to remain in contention.
Tyler Masters, a sophomore, drove a single into left field, and continued his aggressive play with his base running, stealing both second and third. Noah Hoffman was the next Charger bat to connect, producing a Crusader error and allowing Masters to cross the plate.
Despite the Charger momentum surge, the Crusaders were able to retaliate in the fifth, collecting two additional runs adjusting the scoreboard to 8-1.
Displaying a tenacious spirit, the Chargers capitalized on another opportunity to gather impetus in the sixth. Masters again sparked the offense, this time with a patient eye at bat resulting in a walk. Jared Landis propelled a double into the left-center field gap advancing Masters to third.
With two runners in scoring position, freshman Dakota Lamb took his turn at bat and efficiently put down a single driving in two RBIs to narrow the deficit 8-3.
In spite of Charger comeback efforts, the Crusaders were able to retain control, extinguishing the Charger rally and closing the game with no further change to the scoreboard.
"In the end, it was our inability to make adjustments offensively, and our fielding errors that kept us out of the game," acknowledged head coach Jim Sintic.
The crippling effect of errors was underscored by the stats, as only three of the Crusaders total eight runs were earned.
Lamb, Landis, Masters, and David Ellis each tallied a hit in the loss.
Leed took the loss for the Chargers after five innings, delivering five strikeouts, five walks, and allowing three earned runs. Masters and Ellis both pitched in relief, each picking up a strike out in their innings of work.
Thursday's road trip took the Chargers to the home field of the High Point Baptist Eagles, where they got off to an encouraging early lead, before eventually succumbing to the Eagles 11-1.
Leadoff hitter Tyler Masters reached base on a walk thanks to discerning eye, followed by a single from Landis. Once again, Lamb did his part, singling to load the bases. After a force out at the plate, Hoffman managed to draw a one out RBI walk providing the Chargers with a temporary one-run lead.
The Eagles responded with effective defense, closing the inning with the remaining two outs and leaving all three Charger runners stranded.
With their first offensive chance, the Eagles took control of the game going up 4-1 and had another definitive inning in the third where they collected an additional four runs.
"Defensive woes plagued us early on and continued to be a theme for us throughout the game," summarized Sintic. "When you allow a good team extra opportunities each inning you put yourselves in a difficult position to be successful."
Landis was saddled with the loss, tossing two innings and giving up seven runs and earning one strikeout.
Focusing on positive highlights for the Chargers, they see evidence that they are improving as a team. Leed had a productive day at the plate collecting two hits. Sophomore Taiji Fukasawa made his season debut, immediately making an impression by stealing two bases and working on the mound in relief. Fukasawa threw two innings, striking out two and allowing zero earned runs.
"As a team, we obviously don't want to lose. However, we are growing and learning. We started this season focusing on personal and team growth and we'll continue to do that," encouraged Sintic.
The team headed into an extended weekend with time to rest and refocus. More significantly, the weekend served as a time to align priorities and concentrate on their ultimate goal, to honor and glorify their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that they do, both on and off the field.
When the Chargers resume their season on Tuesday, they will host Conestoga Christian at In The Net in Palmyra.
Charger Baseball Struggles on the Diamond April 9, 2017
"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way." - Babe Ruth
Squeezing in games between an abundance of April showers, the Mt. Calvary Chargers faced a tough week of competition culminating in two losses.
In Monday's pairing against the Steelton-Highspire Rollers, the Chargers found themselves struggling to make contact against the Rollers' remarkable pitching efforts, which led to a 5-0 Roller win.
Unable to gain offensive momentum, the Chargers had difficulty getting on base, due largely to the performance of Steelton's Isaiah Lockette who was awarded the win after six innings of work.
"Lockette did a great job throwing his high velocity fastball for strikes, putting a lot of pressure on us," acknowledge head coach Jim Sintic.
Despite their woes at bat, the Chargers in turn displayed encouraging highlights from the mound. Senior Jared Landis threw six innings for the Chargers, striking out seven while scattering five hits and four walks.
"He [Landis] was able to spot his fast ball while mixing in his off-speed pitches, keeping the Roller hitters off balance for much of the game," praised Sintic.
The top of the third was when the Rollers scored the bulk of their runs, advancing their lead to 4-0.
Defense was a key factor in the relatively low-scoring contest. Sophomore Ethan Niedwick stepped up to make critical plays at third base, keeping Roller offensive damage to a minimum. Niedwick snagged a hard-hit line drive in the third, and also came up big in the sixth with back-to-back outs to squelch potential Roller runs.
In the top of the fifth, the Rollers were once again gathering offensive impetus, but Charger centerfielder David Ellis made a running catch to halt the Roller rally.
Stephen Leed pitched an inning in relief for the Chargers, picking up a pair of strikeouts and only allowing one run.
Landis showed patience at the plate, reaching base twice on walks. Freshman players Dakota Lamb and Scott Lane each reached base as well, with a walk and HBP respectively.
"We were able to keep ourselves in striking distance throughout. Our good defense allowed us to keep the game close," elaborated Sintic. "It's easy to get frustrated, but we did a good job keeping our composure and positive attitude even though we struggled to score runs today."
Friday, the Chargers once again fell behind early, in a home contest against the Lancaster County Christian Lions, and were unable to battle back, surrendering 14-3.
Fielding errors in the top of the first led to an initial Lion 5-0 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the second, the Chargers rallied and started to create some offensive action. Noah Hoffman got things rolling with a single, followed by Niedwick reaching on an error. Freshman Scott Lane, secured an RBI single to bring home Hoffman, but the momentum was squelched as the Lions managed to catch Niedwick attempting to steal home, ending the inning.
Masters led the next offensive spark for the Chargers in the subsequent inning, reaching on a single and pushing Leed into scoring position. Lamb further advanced the Charger cause crushing an RBI double into left-center field to bring Leed home. Masters crossed the plate on the next play bringing the score as close as 6-3, but the Lions closed the inning with a strikeout.
The top of the fourth proved to be a turning point as the Lions pulled away with an offensive surge. Consistent contact with the ball allowed them to collect an additional five runs.
In response to the incessant Lion hitting, the Charger outfield had ample opportunity to display their fielding skills, and were not without highlights. David Ells robbed the Lions of an additional hit with a textbook running catch in straightaway center field.
As a unit, the Charger outfield combined for nine put-outs, but critical mental mistakes paired with Lion relentlessness at bat created an insurmountable difference.
Masters, Lane, Hoffman, and Lamb each contributed a hit to the Charger effort, with Lamb, Ellis and Lane each picking up an RBI as well.
"Ultimately, we made too many mistakes to keep us in the game," commented Sintic. "However, we grew as a team today. If we're able to learn from our mistakes and apply what we work on in practice every day, we'll only get better."
Looking ahead, the Chargers continue their streak of home games hosting the Christian School of York at In the Net on Tuesday.
Chargers Crush Lebanon Catholic 13-0 April 3, 2017
"There are three types of baseball players; those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens." - Tommy Lasorda, MLB Hall of Famer
The first few weeks of the 2017 season may have been characterized by soggy fields and postponed games, but the Mt. Calvary Chargers were finally able to kick off their baseball season last Wednesday during a two-game week of split results, claiming their season opener with authority before having the roles reversed the following day.
Wednesday's sunny skies set the tone for the home contest held at In The Net sports complex in Palmyra, where the Chargers hosted the Lebanon Catholic Beavers and picked up their first victory, 13-0, in five innings.
Senior captain Jared Landis was first to take the mound and made quick work in the top of the first, striking out the side while impressively keeping his pitch count to a mere 10 pitches.
"Jared is typically a contact pitcher who throws a high volume of strikes. It was exciting to see him throwing with precision, causing the batters to swing and miss," praised head coach Jim Sintic.
Landis' commanding presence on the hill transferred to Charger confidence at bat. Fellow captain Stephen Leed led off for the Chargers, reaching on a walk, and was advanced to third by a sharp line drive single into left field by shortstop Tyler Masters.
The Chargers scored their first run of the season displaying heads up base running as Masters looked to steal and Leed capitalized on the opportunity to cross the plate.
An accumulation of walks allowed the Chargers to load the bases, after which, David Ellis, a sophomore, stepped up for his first at bat and flared a double into left center field pushing across two more runs.
By the time there were two outs, the bases were again loaded and the Chargers had batted around, giving Leed his second chance to swing the bat. He connected for a three RBI single which doubled the Charger's early lead before the close of the first inning.
"I was very encouraged to see our team come out with offensive energy and feed off of each other's success," pointed out Sintic. "Our players approached each at bat with a discerning eye and it paid off."
Third baseman Ethan Niedwick highlighted the top of the second with a diving stop and strong throw to beat Lebanon Catholic's runner by half a step, halting the Beavers' momentum before it had a chance to start.
On the very next play, fellow sophomore Nathan Lerro snagged a line drive headed into right field, further frustrating Lebanon Catholic's offensive attempts.
Landis completed three innings of work on the mound, earning him the win in addition to five strikeouts and allowing zero runs and zero hits. Nathan Hatzfeld was tagged with the loss for the Beavers, allowing seven runs in his innings pitched.
Leed and Masters each stepped up to throw an inning in relief, and neither surrendered a run to keep the shut out alive. Leed picked up two strikeouts while Masters closed the game with one of three strikeouts.
The pitchers also got it done offensively as evidenced by their at bat contributions. Leed nailed two hits while driving in three RBIs. Landis crossed the plate three times in addition to an RBI, and Masters came up with two hits.
Ellis drove in three runs, and Nathan Lerro contributed an additional two RBIs.
Thursday's match on the road pitted the Chargers against the Columbia High School Crimson Tide, and the Chargers fell behind to an early deficit they were unable to overcome, losing 16-6.
In the top of the first, the Chargers swiftly found themselves with two outs and desperate to get some momentum going. Landis demonstrated patience at bat, drawing a walk to get on first, before stealing second.
Next up, freshman Dakota Lamb stepped up to the plate lining a single into left. Unfortunately the Crimson Tide's left fielder was on his game, hustling to the ball and returning it swiftly to the infield where Landis was thrown out attempting to score and putting an end to the inning.
"We knew this was going to be a challenging game, so we wanted to set an aggressive tone," noted Sintic.
Challenging was an apt description of the flip side of the first inning for the Chargers. The Crimson Tide demonstrated their ability to connect with pitches, coupled with too many walks given up by the Chargers, causing the bulk of the contest's runs to be scored in that half inning alone, as the Tide rolled in a formidable 10 runs before the close of the first.
Despite finding themselves in a substantial hole, the Chargers regrouped and fought back in subsequent innings.
Lamb and Ellis rose to the challenge offensively in the fourth, paving the way for the Chargers to get back into contention. Lamb drove a double into the right center gap for two RBIs and Ellis followed suit with a perfectly executed hit and run to drive in a RBI of his own.
Lamb, the catcher, continued his impressive performance defensively saving the Chargers from additional Crimson Tide runs by blocking several wild pitches and holding runners at third.
"We were able to narrow the gap to 13-6, and felt confident in our ability to play with our opponents," elaborated Sintic. "Unfortunately, their offense was too much, and we came up short."
Leed picked up the loss for the Chargers allowing eight runs and three hits, and was supported in relief by pitching from Masters who earned three strikeouts.
Ellis and Lamb each collected two hits in the loss, and Noah Hoffman, Masters, and Leed each contributed a hit to the effort.
"We have learned a lot about ourselves through these first two games. I was proud of our guys' attitude-we never stopped playing hard," encouraged Sintic. "I think we're starting to feel more confident as a team, even after a loss," he added.
The Chargers look ahead to hosting two home games at In The Net this week, taking on Steelton-Highspire early in the week and Lancaster County Christian on Friday.
Mt. Calvary Caps Season In PIAA Opener March 12, 2017
That's a wrap for the Mt. Calvary Chargers, and a job well done, as they concluded their 2016-2017 season last week after making an appearance in the PIAA state tournament where their journey was halted by St. John Neumann Regional Academy in a first round loss, 62-31.
Coming off a long stretch following their District 3 third-place finish, the Chargers were forced to wait more than a week before facing the number two seeded Neumann team.
In Friday night's match, the Neumann Knights came out blazing and quickly took command of the game. At the conclusion of the first quarter the Chargers trailed by 14, and were forced to adjust their strategy.
"I think that we were able to get shots that we wanted on offense, but we were unable to finish. The result forced us to play faster than we wanted to, and into the type of game that we did not want to play," explained head coach Jared Griest.
As the game progressed, the Knights continued their barrage, but the Chargers were able to find some offensive success, led by senior Jack Lachance's 13 points.
Fellow senior Ben Sheard exemplified a finish strong attitude, doing whatever needed to be done to promote the Charger squad, demonstrated in his nine rebounds and seven points.
Despite their efforts, for each Charger bucket scored, the Knights managed to retaliate with twice as many, reflected in the final score 62-31.
"We knew coming into tonight's contest that we needed to control pace, and we were unable to do that," summarized Griest.
Though perhaps not the way the Chargers hoped to finish, their season remains full of accomplishments and evidence of hard work. Securing an 11-1 season record in league competition propelled the team to the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference tournament in which they were the runner-up in the championship game.
In PIAA District 3 competition, the team excelled and obtained the third-place finish. Their district success also earned them the right to progress onto states, a distinction the team has only held three times prior to this season.
Individual highlights abounded as well, including Lachance reaching his 1000th career point in January. Lachance, Sheard, and Jared Landis were each named to the CCAC west all-conference team for their season long contributions.
Graduating five seniors, the Chargers used the season to emphasize leadership and heritage.
"Our theme for the year was building a legacy. With our seniors, it was important for them to build a foundation for the younger players," pointed out Griest. "They also leave a legacy of hard work for those that are coming behind them. I look forward to working with our group in the future and showing the seniors that the example they set this season had benefits beyond the 2016-2017 year."
Chargers Place Third in District 3A Bracket March 6, 2017
Momentarily knocked down by a tough early week loss, the Mount Calvary Chargers regained their momentum and ended their District playoff performance with a victory, clinching the third-place spot in the PIAA District 3 Class A tournament.
The week began with a semifinal round match up against the York Country Day Greyhounds, in which the Greyhounds prevailed 83-41.
Having met in the regular season with a similar result, the Chargers hoped to improve on their ability to combat against York's all-around dominate game.
"We thought that we'd be more competitive than the first time we played York Country Day, however they are a very good, athletic team," acknowledge head coach Jared Griest. "I am still proud of the work the boys have put in," he added.
At the onset, the Chargers were able to keep pace with the Greyhounds by choosing to look for high percentage shot opportunities from outside. It was the second quarter in which the Greyhounds pulled away going on a 27-10 run to extend their lead to 26 at the half.
The Greyhounds clearly held a size advantage as they outscored the Chargers 44-24 in the paint and claimed 23 offensive boards before the contest came to a close.
Despite the significant point differential, there were still noteworthy individual Charger highlights. Jack Lachance netted 15 points along with five rebounds, and Jared Landis chipped in with eight. Sophomore Wyatt Hawthorne stepped up to contribute six points, six rebounds, and two blocks, while fellow sophomore Tyler Masters came up with three steals for the Charger effort.
Though disappointed by their early week defeat, the Chargers refocused their energy on preparing to face the West Shore Christian Bobcats in Wednesday night's duel to determine third place in the tournament.
Having squared off twice in the regular season, with each ball club claiming one victory apiece, the teams were eager for this third match, and this time the Chargers celebrated a 47-39 victory.
The outcome of the first three quarters demonstrated the close-matched talents of the two teams as each quarter was narrowly claimed by the Chargers outscoring the Bobcats by one point.
Entering the final quarter with only a three-point advantage, 34-31, the Chargers were aware that composure and persistence would be essential to put the Bobcats away.
Missed opportunities from the line, going only 1-of-7 as a team, and a meager four buckets from beyond the arc were uncharacteristic struggles the Chargers needed to overcome.
"Even though this was not our best shooting day, I'm proud of how our team played offense tonight. They were patient, took advantage of mismatches defensively, and ran our offensive sets with high levels of execution," noted Griest.
Defensively, the Chargers made up for their moderate point total by thwarting the attempts of the Bobcats to retaliate. Suffocating Charger defense led to a flustered Bobcat team, and the Chargers seized the opportunities for steals and transition baskets.
The Chargers also demonstrated control when in possession of the ball, giving up only eight turnovers, a season low accomplishment.
In the final quarter, a confident Charger squad played with uniformity and pulled away from the Bobcats with a 13-8 run, allowing them to claim the victory by eight.
Jack Lachance led scoring with 16 points and six rebounds. Jared Landis produced a double-double matching his 11 points with 11 rebounds as well as four steals. Brandon Taylor knocked in 11 points and grabbed two steals. Wyatt Hawthorn added six points and four rebounds, and Sheard's supportive role provided as many assists as points, coming up with four of each.
"Today we accomplished, one of our goals, which was at least third in the district. We now set our sights on the first round of states next Friday," concluded Griest.
The Chargers have only reached state level competition three times prior to this appearance, with the most recent being in 2014.
The Lady Chargers wrapped up another exciting season as their District 3 playoff run came to halt last Tuesday after falling to a 50-27 defeat at the hands of the Harrisburg Christian Knights.
The contest was held at Central Dauphin East High School to determine advancement in the PIAA District 3 tournament and a potential state tournament berth.
The first half painted a dismal picture for the Chargers, featuring a cold streak of shot attempts and an ankle injury for senior Lydia Ewing.
With a low scoring first half for the Chargers, it looked as if the Knights would easily walk away with the victory, leading 25-6 at the midway point.
"Our message at halftime was clear, decide to fight for our season. Who was going to give their all and fight together until the end?" motivated head coach Phil Ferrari.
Despite facing a large deficit, the Lady Chargers rallied for a much improved second half, matching the Knights point for point in the third and outscoring them 12-8 in the fourth.
"As we do every time we are challenged and have our backs to the wall, we stayed together and played much better basketball, especially on the offensive end," pointed out Ferrari.
Even with their notable comeback efforts, the damage done in the early minutes proved to be insurmountable, and brought the Charger season to a close.
Senior, Abigail Rutt, gave a strong last performance leading the Lady Chargers efforts with a double-double comprised of 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Younger players that will be called upon in the future of the program made their presence felt on the stat line. Freshman, Haley Witmer tallied in five points along with six rebounds. Jaylyn Maulfair and Nonoka Matsumoto had mirrored contributions, each scoring four points and grabbing seven rebounds.
Reflecting on the season as a whole, the Lady Chargers have much to celebrate. They started their season by winning their opening tournament, and Ewing receiving the tournament MVP recognition.
An overall 13-12 season record exhibited a tough schedule and a 7th place ranking in District 3A.
"Overall it was a good year, as we did accomplish a lot together as a team, as well as on an individual level," summarized Ferrari.
Among those individual achievements both senior players, Rutt and Ewing, reached their 1000th career point milestone. Rutt also managed to average a double-double for the season, and Ewing accrued a remarkable total 42 three-point buckets for the year.
"I feel we have grown closer together as a team throughout the year, and that we've been able to grow spiritually through the many challenges and opportunities we had. We are building and investing in our future. The credit for that goes entirely to the players, led by our two senior captains, who have put in a lot of work and have trusted the coaches throughout the process," concluded Ferrari.
Lady Chargers Topple Cougars in District Opener February 27, 2017
You might say the Lady Chargers had something to prove when they took the court Tuesday night, and it was abundantly clear they were determined to prove it, as they faced off against the Conestoga Christian Cougars in the first round of District 3 playoffs and toppled the Cougars 55-42.
Just a week prior, the Chargers were paired against the Cougars in the first round of the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference end of season tournament, and met with a reversed result at which point the Cougars ushered the Chargers to an early exit in the single elimination tournament.
Eager to redeem themselves, persistence paid off for the Chargers in their second meeting as they turned the tables on their opponent and placed a definitive stamp on the opening quarter, rocketing ahead on a 23-2 run.
Well-dispersed scoring set the tone for the Chargers, an area that at times has been a struggle for the squad. Five different Charger players contributed to the scoring surge, an achievement that not only built momentum but split the defensive efforts of the Cougars creating additional Charger opportunities.
"As a coach, it is always rewarding to have a good week of practice and put together a game plan, and then watch as your team executes to perfection," praised head coach Phil Ferrari. "We needed to keep them out of the lane and make them prove they could beat us from outside. Offensively, we wanted to protect the ball and give ourselves a chance to shoot better than the twenty percent we managed last game," he elaborated.
The contrast to their last match against the Cougars was readily apparent, comparing the Charger's 23 first quarter points to last week's contest in which the Chargers only managed to score a total of 34 in the entire game.
The rattled Cougars gathered their composure for a comeback effort in the subsequent quarters, and managed to outscore the Chargers 26-18 collectively in the second and third, as well as match the Chargers point for point, 14-14, in the fourth. Despite their resurgent efforts, it simply was not enough to compensate for the lopsided first quarter that went so definitively in favor of the Chargers.
"We battled foul trouble and injuries and fell back into some bad habits that allowed Conestoga to get back within 8 points," noted Ferrari. "As we so often do when we are challenged, we stuck together as a team and came right back to build the lead back to 18," he added.
Emphasizing the theme of diversified attack, seven Charger players contributed to their final point total of 55. Abigail Rutt blazed the way with 19 points 11 rebounds, 4 blocks and 3 steals. Jayln Maulfair's produced a huge supporting role with a season-high 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. Brittney Taylor and Haley Witmer collected eight apiece, with Witmer also supplying 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists.
"This game was a total team effort as we got major contributions from so many players, and every player got to play and contribute in one way or another," summarized Ferrari.
Friday night, the Lady Chargers headed to East Pennsburg to face Halifax High School in the quarterfinal round, and fell to a 62-42 defeat.
Entering the contest, the Lady Chargers knew they were up against tough odds taking on battled tested Halifax, the second seeded team in District 3.
"We knew that we were the underdog, but if we were going to give ourselves a chance in the game we had to stay together as a team and believe in us," explained Ferrari.
To their credit, the Lady Chargers played showing that very unity and belief Ferrari described. Offensively led once again by Rutt's contribution of 20 first-half points, the Chargers kept pace with Halifax, trailing by a mere four points at the close of the first half, 26-22.
Halifax registered a 20 point third quarter placing them up by a more comfortable 14 points entering the final quarter. With true Charger tenacity, the Lady Chargers continued to fight into the final minutes of the game, gaining some momentum midway through the quarter but falling just short of reducing the Halifax lead into single digits.
Rutt claimed a noteworthy 32 points and Ewing netted eight in the loss.
"While it's always disappointing to lose, I was very proud of our effort all game long, and it was a very positive experience for us against a very good team. We performed well and played good basketball," encouraged Ferrari. "It is games like these that we can identify as building blocks for our program," he explained.
While the defeat halts their journey toward the District championship, it places them into the consolation bracket, where they will face Harrisburg Christian this week. If they succeed, they will advance into state competition.
Thursday evening set the stage for the Chargers to compete in District 3 Class A playoffs, kicking off their first contest in the second round of play due to a first round bye earned by their regular season performance.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Chargers did not disappoint, squaring off against the Harrisburg Christian Knights, and rising to a dominant 62-36 victory.
The early minutes were full of traded possessions and exerted energy, but a lack of scoring, as the teams gained their bearings and sized up the competition.
With scoreboard still registering zeros a full two minutes into the contest, it was Charger senior Jack Lachance who squared up for a three and notched the first points of the game. The long-range shot was a fitting bucket to set the pace, as points from downtown would ultimately tell the story of the game.
The Chargers began to find their rhythm, following their shots for offensive rebounds and second chance scoring opportunities. Brandon Taylor and Jared Landis each contributed a three pointer in the first quarter, and at the end of eight minutes the Chargers found themselves up 15-6.
The second quarter continued to accentuate the long-range shot. Ben Sheard knocked one down for the Chargers, followed by a back-to-back three-point bucket response from the Knights. Despite their sudden offensive burst, the Knights were once again stifled as Landis nailed two additional threes in the quarter securing the Chargers with a sizeable 30-19 halftime advantage.
It was the climatic third quarter that truly highlighted the outside attack for the Chargers, and sealed the fate of the contest. Landis caught fire from deep and netted five additional three point baskets in rapid succession, propelling the Chargers on a 19-8 run and shattering the Knights' efforts at a comeback.
The fourth quarter displayed a composed Charger team that held on to the ball to retain their lead, spread the court with perimeter passing, and continued to diversify their attack. Stephen Leed added a three to the plethora of outside shots, while Harrison Crick, David Ellis, and Wyatt Hawthorne each chipped in with a field goal to diversify the offensive blitz.
Landis complimented his eight three-pointers with flawless 2-for-2 shooting from the line, giving him a game-high total of 26 points. Heavily guarded, Lachance still managed to slip in 11 Charger points, and Sheard contributed seven.
The team also managed to capitalize on their opportunities from the line, shooting 6-of-8 collectively.
Reducing turnovers was an additional highlight for the Chargers, cutting their total turnovers in half when compared to previous matches against the Knights in the regular season.
"We only had nine turnovers this game, and outscored them in each of the four quarters," acknowledged head coach Jared Griest. "We played efficiently, and I really appreciated the maturity of our players during this week," he added.
The outcome of the contest held extended ramifications for the Charger squad. Not only do they advance deeper into District playoffs, but the win ensures them a spot to compete in state competition, a distinction the Chargers have not held since 2014.
This week the Chargers take on York Country Day in the District 3 semifinal match.
"They [York] are the fourth ranked team in the state. I've been telling our players that we want this opportunity, and now it is in front of us," commented Griest.