Manheim Central got a big hit and prevented Solanco from doing the same.
That spelled the difference in a Lancaster-Lebanon League baseball tournament first round game Saturday afternoon at War Memorial Field in Ephrata.
The Section Three champion Barons tallied twice in the bottom of the fifth to snap a 1-1 tie and downed the Mules 3-1.
"Two really good teams and four good pitchers took the mound," Solanco coach Tom Fish said. "They certainly threw two quality pitchers (Colton Book and Drew Mummau) at us and Corey (Stively) and Dawson (Kreider) held their own on our end."
The game's pivotal point came in the bottom of the fifth with the score tied 1-1. Stively retired the first batter of the frame before two left-handed hitters reached base. Leadoff man Curt Kroesen singled to center and Hunter Hess walked. Right-handed hitter Colton Book was next.
With Stively's pitch count in the 90s, Fish considered lifting the lefty but elected to let the senior continue. Book belted a two-run double to left-center to give Manheim Central the lead.
"Corey and Hayden (Fox) have been our guys the whole season," Fish said. "So I came into the game saying if Corey's pitching well, we're going to go down with Corey or win with Corey. I don't regret it. I would do it again. Without him and Fox we wouldn't be playing baseball anymore. That's just the reality. If you go down, you want to go down with your best. Did I think about it? Yes, that's why I went out there to see. He was missing down in the zone a little bit to the lefties. Hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes I think about 'what would I be more mad at myself for. I would be more mad at myself if we went down and I took Corey out. Corey's been our guy and he deserved that opportunity. He pitched well enough to win. We out-hit them. We didn't make any errors. We did a lot of good things. They got the big hit and we had a couple chance and didn't. That's probably the name of the game."
Section Two runnerup Solanco went down in order in the sixth but threatened in the seventh. With one out, Kreider was hit by a pitch. After a fielder's choice for the second out, Tim Fetterman, representing the potential game-tying run, singled just in front of the center fielder. That brought Mike May to the plate to face Mummau. May hit a grounder to third and the third baseman fielded it cleanly and ran to the bag for the game-ending force.
May drove in the Mules' lone run of the game back in the top of the first. Kreider worked a walk, stole second with one out, and scored on May's clutch two-out hit.
Manheim Central manufactured a run to tie it in the second. Mummau singled through the hole and Cam Eberly reached on a bloop single down the right field line. Cole Lastinger advanced the runners with a sac bunt and Mummau scored on Cody Gibble's groundout to short.
Solanco got its leadoff batter on base in each of the next three innings on two hits by Seth Harnish and a John Murray single but could not score. Mummau came on to start the fourth and earned the win.
Fish expected a pitcher's duel. "That's been their reputation and they're a good team," he said of the Barons. "You wouldn't be playing today if you're not a good team. I told the guys eight teams who had a great season were showing up to this field today and four of them were going to win and four of them were going to lose. I'm just so thankful it isn't goodbye like it has been sometimes. We have some more baseball to play and another tough playoff game to get ready for."
Solanco will begin district tournament play at home Monday, May 20.