HANOVER -- During an impressive seven-game winning streak, Spring Grove imposed its will on American Legion baseball opponents with an ability to produce clutch hits.
The streak came to a close on Thursday evening, in large part because too many runners (eight) were left on base.
Spring Grove will have another opportunity to win the regular-season title in the York-Adams American Legion Baseball League.
Hanover, though, made sure that it didn't happen on its home diamond, Diller Field.
After falling behind early in the game, 2-0, the Post 14 team rallied for a 4-3 victory in a game that the umpires halted after six innings because of darkness. The contest also featured a 39-minute delay because of lightning.
Hanover improved to 10-4 with a game remaining on Friday evening against Red Lion. Spring Grove, which slipped to 12-2, can still lock up the championship by defeating Dillsburg on Friday.
"What it comes down to is that we didn't execute," Spring Grove manager Matt Spangler said. "We didn't get a bunt down one time, and we had opportunities (to score) all night, but we didn't convert enough of them. Give Kehr credit, he kept us off balance just enough."
Hanover pitcher Ryan Kehr, after giving up two runs in the third, allowed just one run the rest of the way, and that one was unearned. The right-hander, who will be a senior at Littlestown next year, struck out six and walked four.
"Spring Grove is a good hitting team, and although he (Kehr) allowed them to score some runs, he didn't allow a big inning," Hanover manager Troy Wentz said. "It's a nice victory for us because they're the top team, and we kept them from winning the championship."
Hanover won the game by snapping a 3-3 tie with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Adam Forsythe led off with a single to center, and Todd Cook sacrificed Forsythe to second. Zac Sheaffer, the No. 9 hitter, then stepped up and drilled a one-two pitch into left-center to score what proved to be the winning run.
The teams took the field for the top of the seventh, but the first batter never had a chance to see a pitch. The umpires determined there wasn't enough light to play another inning.
Spring Grove's three, four and five hitters were due up in the seventh.
Spangler said he was "very disappointed" that his team didn't get to bat in the seventh.
"I understand safety, and I don't want to see anyone get hurt, but it was dark (overcast) all night," he said.
Wentz was surprised that the his players had to take the field in the seventh.
"It was 8:35, and to try and play another complete inning, you're pushing it," he said.
Three of Wentz's players, Kehr, Brandon Etzler and Tyler Green combined for seven of the winners' nine hits. Green ripped a two-out, two-run single in the fifth to wipe out a 2-1 Spring Grove advantage.
"We got some timely hits, and that's what has been missing," Wentz said.
Dalton Hoiles had two hits for Spring Grove.
Spring Grove's starting pitcher, Trevor Troxel, recorded seven strikeouts and three walks. He worked three scoreless innings before yielding a single run in the fourth and two in the fifth.
"The nice thing is that we go up to Dillsburg tomorrow night with another chance to clinch," Spangler said. "We need a win because we want the No. 1 seed (for the league's double-elimination playoff tournament, which starts next week). I know these guys will be ready."
OTHER LEGION GAMES
SUBURBAN YORK 9, DILLSBURG 5: At Dillsburg, Suburban York picked up a win in a battle of 2-11 teams. The game lasted just five innings. Mark Burnside went the distance to get the win, and he also tripled and doubled at the plate. Logan Sprigle tripled for the winners, while Brennan Weinstein and Jake Kitting doubled. Dylan Tamecki homered for Dillsburg.
-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com.