Published Date Written by Larry Etter
Middletown needed to schedule a game at the last minute to have a chance at making the District 3 playoffs.
Leave it to old Mother Nature to cause problems during the last scheduled week of the regular baseball season.
Rain nearly washed out Middletown’s game at Harrisburg on Tuesday, May 7; forced a move of a game scheduled for Thursday, May 9 to Friday, May 10; and totally wiped out a planned Senior Recognition day contest on Saturday, May 11.
Of the two games that the Blue Raiders did manage to play, the Middletown squad earned a split, posting a victory at Harrisburg before coming up short against Lower Dauphin at the end of the week.
The win and loss gave the Raiders an overall record of 9-10. The Saturday game against Steelton-Highspire game was not only postponed, but also cancelled due to the Rollers having other games scheduled for the following week. The cancellation left Middletown in 20th place in the District 3 Class AAA power rankings, with the top 16 teams qualifying for the playoffs. As of Saturday afternoon, Middletown athletic director William Mills was in the process of finding another game for the Raiders to give them a chance to earn a playoff spot. A 10th win would certainly help the cause.
Middletown 13, Harrisburg 2
A heavy rain shower hit Harrisburg’s home field area during warmups on Tuesday, forcing a late start to the contest. But the game eventually got under way and, although there were a couple periods of rain during the action, the Raiders were able to post the victory in the five-inning outing.
Although he pitched just one inning, Nathan Ocker earned the win after the Middletown squad posted a 3-0 lead after one full inning. Jordan Flowers pitched the second, third, fourth and fifth innings and held the host Cougars (1-16, 0-14 in the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference) to just 2 runs over that span.
The Middletown offense was able to take advantage of key hits, walks and Harrisburg errors throughout the game in the lopsided victory. Catcher Cody Fox led off the game with a single down the left field line, went to second on a passed ball and moved to third on a throwing error by the Cougars after Zach Sims drew a walk.
Ocker also drew a base on balls to load the bags. Nick Drawbaugh’s fielder’s choice grounder was misplayed by the Harrisburg defense, allowing 2 runs to score. Another fielder’s choice ground ball by Flowers drove in pinch runner Jerry Kohout for the third Middletown run.
Ocker sat down the Cougars in order in the bottom of the first frame with a groundout and two strikeouts to hold the 3-0 lead.
The Raiders added another run in the top of the second following a leadoff double by Dylan Bower and an RBI single by Brett Altland.
Harrisburg’s Sherrod Baltimore led off the home half of the inning with a single and later scored on a Raider error. The Cougars’ only other run came with two outs in the inning on a delayed steal.