Spring Grove s Brandon Warner slides under Glen Rock s Sammy Miller with a steal of second base in Thursday s York-Adams American Legion playoff tournament
Spring Grove s Brandon Warner slides under Glen Rock s Sammy Miller with a steal of second base in Thursday s York-Adams American Legion playoff tournament game. Spring Grove, the defending tournament champion, went on to take a 7-2 victory at home. (Bil Bowden photo)

SPRING GROVE -- Colby Murphy isn't normally the leadoff hitter for Spring Grove's American Legion baseball team.

You never would have known that watching him bat in the No. 1 slot on Thursday evening.

With the regular leadoff hitter unavailable, Murphy got an opportunity to be the leadoff guy.

He made the most of the opportunity.

Murphy reached base in all three plate appearances and scored three runs as his team opened the York-Adams American Legion playoff tournament with a 7-2 victory over Glen Rock.

Murphy's most impressive appearance came in the second inning with Austin Hunt on third base and two outs, and the game tied, 2-2.

After falling behind in the count 0-2, Murphy refused to go down and ended up drawing a nine-pitch walk.

The next hitter, Dalton Hoiles, then stepped up and slammed a double over the center fielder's head to score Hunt and Murphy.

"Colby's good at fighting balls off," Hoiles said. "He fouled off like five pitches. That was really impressive."

So was Hoiles' drive to the deepest part of the Spring Grove High School field.

"The foul ball I hit, I was way out in front on the pitch," Hoiles said. "My dad (former Major Leaguer and Spring Grove acting manager Chris Hoiles) told me to get up on the plate. He (Glen Rock pitcher Josh Houser) threw me the same pitch that I fouled off, but I just got into it and drove it to center."

Hoiles' teammate, Levi Krause, added insurance in the fifth inning when he crushed a triple down the right-field line to score two more runs.

"Going the opposite way, it's something I've been working on for two weeks now," said Krause who plans to play NCAA Division II college baseball at California University of Pennsylvania. "I've been working with Chris (Hoiles), hitting bucket after bucket trying to get my hands in front and hit everything that way. I'm usually the big pull hitter, but I want to get some power and hit it the other way."

Krause's hitting was only part of his contribution.

He also delivered an outstanding pitching performance, allowing just two runs in six innings. The right-hander struck out two and walked two.

"My last start, I didn't have a lot of confidence, and I got pulled early," Krause said. "Coming back here tonight, it was a case of finding the arm slot, and once I found that, I settled in a bit. I don't strike out a lot of hitters, but I let the defense do the work."

Glen Rock scored both of its runs off Krause in the first inning. Bryan Kerr (sacrifice fly) and Houser (single) drove in the runs.

Spring Grove tied the contest in the bottom of the first. Will Maughlin brought home the initial run with a sacrifice fly to left field, and Brandon Warner delivered the second run with a single.

"I thought we had great at-bats all night," said Chris Hoiles, filling in for team manager, Matt Spangler, who was out of town. "Right from the first at-bat when Colby battled and got on, then Dalton laid down a bunt and got on, and that kind of set up that whole first inning. After that first inning, Levi settled down, the defense settled down behind him, and he shut the door."

Dalton Hoiles collected two hits for Spring Grove, and Connor Hood had two hits for Glen Rock. Hoiles, Krause and Warner each drove in two runs.

Spring Grove, the defending tournament champion, will stay at home on Friday evening to take on Hanover in a second-round winners' bracket game.

Glen Rock, meanwhile, will travel to New Oxford for a losers' bracket contest. Both games will begin at 5:45 p.m.

OTHER LEGION PLAYOFF GAMES

WRIGHTSVILLE 10, PLEASUREVILLE 5: At Pleasureville, Tanner Swartz led Wrightsville to the first-round playoff victory, going 2-for-3, including a double, with five RBIs.

Also for the winners, Dalton Renn went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, Hunter Weibley went 2-for-3, Clayton Miller went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Kyle Billet doubled with two runs scored. Billet also picked up the win on the mound, going five-plus innings, striking out three, walking three and allowing two earned runs. For Pleasureville, Austin Seitzinger went 2-for-4, while Kyle Shifflet went 2-for-4 with a double.

Wrightsville moves into a second-round winners' bracket game and will travel to South Western on Friday. Pleasureville moves into an elimination game at home against Stewartstown.

HANOVER 5, NEW OXFORD 3: At New Oxford, the visitors surprised the regular-season champions.

Hanover trailed 3-2 going into the top of the seventh but got RBI singles from Logan Mummert, Todd Cook and Walker Howard to take the lead. Brandon Etzler earlier had a two-run double for Hanover. Ryan Kehr pitched a complete game to get the win, allowing one earned run on seven hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. Jake Toal had an RBI double for New Oxford, while Anthony provided an RBI single.

Hanover travels to Spring Grove at 5:45 p.m. Friday in a winners' bracket game, while at the same time, New Oxford plays host to Glen Rock in an elimination game.

SOUTH WESTERN 3, STEWARTSTOWN 1: At Hanover, Chris Mills (four innings, win) and Louis Sauer (three innings, save) combined to pitch the home team to the win in a first-round Legion playoff game.

Mills and Sauer combined to allow two hits, with seven strikeout and four walks. Matt Miller had a sacrifice fly to plate Stewartstown's only run. There were only four hits in the game.

South Western will play host to Wrightsville at 5:45 p.m. Friday in a winners' bracket game, while Stewartstown travels to Pleasureville at 5:45 p.m. Friday in an elimination game.

-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdispatch.com.