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ELCO Baseball – District 3 Playoffs 2024


Friday, May 17 – First Round

#8 ELCO 6, #9 Kennard-Dale 0

ELCO and Kennard-Dale played a pigtail game in round one with the winner moving onto the quarterfinals. Morgan Shanaman was dominant on the mound, allowing one hit and two walks to the Rams, striking out six for a complete game 87 pitch shutout. Colin Bogart and Dallas George took their at bats in “rookie mode” today, both putting up “video game numbers.” Bogart was  3 for 3 with two RBI and one run scored while George was 2 for 4 with two doubles and four RBI to lead the Raider offense.

Box Score



Monday, May 20 – Quarterfinals

#8 ELCO 12, #1 Bermudian Springs 1

It might be a little too early to compare these guys to the 2021 ELCO team that captured the hearts of all of Lebanon County during a deep run into the June playoffs. Austin Smith was still in middle school when big brother Dakota Smith was one (very important) piece of that squad, but it’s no surprise that Austin had his own stellar outing tonight. Buoyed by an early 4-0 lead and a dozen total runs, Smith shut down the top seed and put up a line of three hits, one earned run, and two strikeouts to send the Raiders to the semi-finals. Smith put ELCO up 1-0, chasing home Niagara Community College commit Morgan Shanaman, who doubled to lead off the 2nd inning. Colin Bogart’s bunt single scored Bryce Auker, and a wild pitch allowed Sam Bechtel to scamper home for a three-run lead.Bogart drove in Gavin Bicher in the 3rd inning. Following two scoreless frames, Dallas George started a rally with one out in the 6th inning. Bicher drove him home two batters later, causing the floodgates to open. Shanaman drove in George and Kody Boyer to run the lead to 7-1. In the 7th, Braden Gettle was hit by a pitch, and Ethan Spang singled. George doubled home Gettle, then Boyer knocked in Spang, and George scored on the throw. Shanaman added a sac fly before the same guy who started the scoring, Smith, drove in Dawson Ocker. Shanaman had three total RBI, while Smith, Bogart, and Boyer each had two. 

Following the game, ELCO Head Coach Brad Kreiser had high praise for his pitcher: “Austin Smith pitched an awesome game. He was very efficient early and kept his pitch count down. He had good control early on all his pitches and mixed them up well.”

He then talked about the Raider offense: “Our bats came alive today. Every spot in our lineup gave great at bats. We made their pitchers work hard and throw a lot of pitches we just battled all night in the box.”

Kreiser then said, “I couldn’t be happier with our guys. They’re buying into the little things we have been practicing and their hard work is showing”.

Box Score

Thursday, May 23 – Semifinals

 #8 ELCO 7, #4 James Buchanan 4

After closing out the season on a three game win streak to sneak into the Distrcit 3 4A Playoffs, the Raiders have continued their hot streak. Following their upset 12-1 win over top-seeded Bermudian Springs on Monday, ELCO was back at it again on Thursday when they traveled for a semifinal matchup against James Buchanan, the #4 seed.

ELCO drew blood in the 1st inning when Dallas George led off with a hit, and Bryant Auker followed it up with a two-RBI hit to give the Raiders a 2-0 lead. Morgan Shanaman was back on the hill and set the tone early when he retired the first three Buchanan batters, all by strikeout. Gavin Bicher then gave ELCO a 3-0 lead in the 2nd following a George walk and singles by Kody Boyer and Ethan Spang. Buchanan responded with a solo shot in the Bottom 2nd to cut the ELCO lead to 3-1.

After a scoreless 3rd, Buchanan scored three runs in the Bottom 4th to take a 4-3 lead. When it looked like the clock could strike midnight, ELCO called a squeeze as Colin Bogart executed to score Auker. In the Top 6th, with the score knotted 4-4, Shanaman again showed that he is clutch in more ways than one when he hit a three-run home run to cross George and Boyer, giving ELCO a 7-4 lead. The starting pitcher picked the perfect time for his first career varsity homer. He then carried that momentum with him back to the mound, where he shut down Buchanan in the final two frames as ELCO was able to get the victory. 

Shanaman finished the game, going all seven innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits and striking out six. At the plate, he was 1-3 with a walk, home run, and three RBI. George was 1-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Auker was 2-4 with two RBI, while Bogart also added two hits and an RBI. Bicher was responsible for plating a run as well.

Box Score


Monday, May 28 – Championship

#2 East Pennsboro 9, #8 ELCO 7 

At Earl R. Wenger Field in Fredericksburg, ELCO was undone by one bad inning, allowing seven runs, six of which were unearned due to two costly errors and a home run, and fell short of a furious comeback to earn the District 3 silver medal in 4A. After giving up one in the 1st, the Raiders responded by tying it up in the top of the 2nd on a Colin Bogart single that scored Samuel Bechtel, a courtesy runner for starting pitcher Morgan Shanaman. Following the catastrophic bottom of the frame where they surrendered seven runs on a series of fielding miscues, ELCO began to chip away. Dallas George singled and scored in the 3rd. Shanaman knocked in Kody Boyer with one out in the 5th. Austin Smith’s two-run single brought the Raiders within two. East Pennsboro plated a run in the sixth, but ELCO would not go away. Gavin Bicher’s single scored Bechtel and Shanaman, followed by an intentional walk to load the bases. The Panthers went to the ‘pen and two punchouts ended the threat. The Raiders threatened again in the 7th, but fell in a 9-7 final. 

Following the game, first year Head Coach Brad Kreiser commented “I’m proud of our guys. They battled and they didn’t quit. We made plenty of mistakes earlier defensively that cost us but we didn’t hang our heads or give up. We stuck with it and battled to the end. That’s all I can ask for as a coach. Now we just go back to work and get ready for Monday in States.” 

Box Score