By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG -- Kevin Kline had a sickening feeling the dark clouds overhead meant the end of Lewisburg's sudden rally Wednesday.
He was half right.
Alex Lash did the heavy lifting; the rain simply closed the deal.
Midd-West's Lash notched a strikeout with the tying run on base, ending the fifth inning and the string of four hits that pulled the Green Dragons within 5-3.
In the top of the sixth the rain intensified to a point it stopped play, and then, after a brief delay, ended the game as a Mustangs' victory.
"We had our best hitter up with the tying run on base and just didn't get it done. Then the rain came. I was afraid of that," said Kline, the Green Dragons' first-year coach. "But we did a good job battling back and that's what we're striving for. Never quit."
Lash pitched two-hit ball for four scoreless innings and was one out away from pitching around a leadoff error in the fifth when Lewisburg got rolling.
Nine-hole hitter Mike Cooper pushed a grounder past Mustangs second baseman Aaron Sharp to score Drew Newcomb with the Dragons' first run. Luke Smith then drilled a hit through the left side of the infield, and Jesse Flannery followed with a blistering RBI-single along the first-base line. Mike Fisher then lashed a run-scoring hit past the shortstop to make it 5-3.
The rain became a downpour as clean-up man Joey Gardner went to the plate. He had a hit in his previous bat, a fourth-inning single that ended a string of six Dragons retired.
Gardner fell behind in the count 1-2, then fouled off a pitch while working the count full. Lash got him to swing through a fastball with wind whipping rain from seemingly every direction.