MANCHESTER -- Zach Schuler, of Stoverstown, left the Manchester baseball field on Monday afternoon with an impressive piece of hardware: the Most Valuable Player Award from the 2012 Tom Kerrigan Colonial York Baseball Tournament.
Schuler put together an outstanding weekend. So did his teammates, who helped the Tigers gain a share of the tournament title with the Susquehanna Assault.
For the second time in four years, rain prevented the completion of the annual Labor Day weekend event.
Susquehanna Assault also was a co-champion with Long Island Storm in 2009. The Assault won the title outright in 2010, and the Storm earned the crown last year.
"You hate to see it end on a night like this, but you can't control
Before declaring co-champions, tournament officials explored the idea of finishing the tournament next weekend, but Thoman said player availability would be an issue for his team.
"Not a lot of the college ballplayers will be available, and I didn't have any catchers. And, I'm too old to get back there behind the plate. (Thoman is a former catcher for Stoverstown)."
The York County team entered the final day unbeaten after winning two games on Saturday and two more on Sunday.
Susquehanna Assault came into its matchup against Stoverstown with one defeat. The Maryland-based team shut out Lehigh Valley, 6-0, on Monday morning to earn the meeting with Stoverstown.
The Assault, behind the outstanding, two-hit pitching of Kyle George, led Stoverstown, 5-1, with two outs in the top of the fifth when play was halted.
Schuler supplied Stoverstown's run when he led off the game with a homer over the fence in left-center field.
"He (George) threw a first-pitch fastball, and I was sitting on another one," Schuler said. "Usually, pitchers will throw a first-pitch fastball to leadoff hitters and then come back with another one. He threw it on the inner half (of the plate), and I put a good swing on it."
Todd Meyer's fourth-inning single was the only other hit allowed by George, who recorded seven strikeouts and just one walk. The right-hander also hit a batter.
"He was throwing a very good changeup, and he was hitting the knees and outside corners," Schuler said.
The Stoverstown second baseman collected seven hits in the tournament, including the home run.
"I've been feeling good in the playoffs and toward the end of the season," he said. "I've just been seeing the ball really well. It's awesome to win the MVP. I haven't had a trophy since Little League."
Schuler praised the play of his teammates over the three days.
"Getting to the championship was awesome. We're co-champions, so obviously that was a team honor for us (to go with the individual honor)."
Stoverstown, which won the Central League regular-season and playoff titles this year, captured its first Colonial York championship in 40 years.
"We had a great year," Thoman said. "I'm very happy our guys stepped up. They were very dedicated.
"We wanted to win this for (the late) Curley (Holtzapple, the longtime Stoverstown manager). We had a mission going in, and we did it."
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin email@example.com.