MOUNT WOLF -- Jared Stiffler wanted a change of scenery.
The former Shiloh pitcher yearned for something new.
Fortunately, his friends, Zach Schuler and J.W. Besore, had the perfect solution -- join them on the Stoverstown baseball team.
Stiffler was granted his release from a struggling Shiloh outfit and allowed to get together with his friends at Stoverstown.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Stiffler has been a welcome addition to Manager Tim Thoman's club. Wednesday evening, the right-hander entered a showdown with second-place Mount Wolf with a sparkling 6-0 record.
After another strong start against the Wolves, Stiffler's record is still unblemished. Stiffler stuck out six while yielding
Stoverstown improved their already strong hold atop the Central League standings, improving to 19-3. The second-place Wolves fell to 14-9. They now trail the Tigers by 51/2 games.
There's no question that the addition of Stiffler has helped the Tigers in what is becoming a breakthrough season. It's been nearly 35 years since Stoverstown last won a regular-season league title, but that drought appears to be almost over.
"Zach and J.W. asked me to try something new," Stiffler said. "So far it's been great."
The Tigers have dominated the league behind a formula of strong pitching and defense, to go with timely hitting. Wednesday was another example. Stiffler held the Wolves in check for much of the contest, save a hiccup in a two-run fourth.
Just like they've done all year, the Tigers responded back. Stoverstown rallied for three runs in the fifth off Mount Wolf starter Adam Hoff to regain the lead for good.
After Delauter singled with one out, Schuler followed with another single to set the stage for Krout. The Tiger shortstop came up
"That's all about teamwork and being a team," Stiffler said. "They saw that (I gave up) two runs and they knew we had to come back and just match that. And that's what they did. That's a sign of a good team."
Thoman, who's been a fixture either on the field or as a manager for Stoverstown more than 30 years, likes his team's character.
"This team can score some runs and seems to come back," he said. "We make things happen. We've been effective when we can get our guys on base."
While Thoman couldn't be any happier with what he's received on the field from Stiffler, he was quick to point out that the move wasn't triggered by him.
"There was a situation where Jared had to (ask for his release) on his own," Thoman said. "I don't like taking players from Shiloh. I told him that he had to talk to (their manager) and that he had to do it on his own."
Mount Wolf catcher Trent Kline led the Wolves, collecting two of his team's four hits. Hoff, who's won more than 100 games between the Susquehanna and Central leagues during his career, struck out two and allowed nine hits in the setback.
OTHER CENTRAL LEAGUE GAMES
MANCHESTER 4, SHILOH 1: At Shiloh, the visitors plated four runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead for good.
Nick Shuman led the Manchester offense, going 2-for-3, including a two-run double in the fourth. Austin Allison went 3-for-3 for the winners, while Logan Allison went 2-for-3. Pitcher Jason Kelly picked up a complete-game victory, striking out eight and walking two.
For Shiloh, Tucker Fries went 2-for-2, while Jerrin Toomey went 2-for-4.
CORRECTION: In Wednesday's Dispatch, the wrong pitcher was given credit for the win in Manchester's 6-5 win over Mount Wolf on Tuesday night. Andy Clemens was the winner.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.