EAST PROSPECT -- It may not have been the best game that York Township's Casey Markey ever pitched, but in the end, the result is all that matters.
As a result, Markey and his Township teammates couldn't have left the field at East Prospect much happier Monday evening.
Markey didn't have overpowering stuff, yet he managed to thwart a potent Hallam lineup in Game 2 of the best-of-3, first-round Susquehanna League playoff series. The right-hander failed to strike out a single batter, a rarity for the young veteran. All he did was let the Express lineup put the ball in play time after time. Each time they did so, his defense was there to back him up.
Markey allowed five hits over seven innings while teammates Morgan Markey and Chris Mattison supplied the offense with solo homers. Township's 4-1 victory completed a sweep of the series. It also advanced Township into the league semifinals against regular-season champion Conrads. That best-of-3 series starts Thursday evening at Conrads.
"He only gave up one run," said acting manager Mike McKee, who was filling in for Jeff Barkdoll. "He didn't have to be pinpoint perfect, and he threw 90 pitches ... an efficient 90 pitches."
Markey, who's a pitching coach for the Dallastown High baseball team, panned himself in a review of his outing.
"I definitely didn't have anything good tonight," he said. "But as luck would have it, they put it in play and the guys made the plays behind me."
Right-fielder Mike Wokulich reached over his head to snag a fly ball by Justin Seitz to end the fifth inning. The next inning, it was an outstanding relay throw by shortstop Morgan Markey that gunned down Rob Finkill at the plate that ended that frame.
Not to be outdone, longtime Township veteran Jay Dimler flashed some leather in the seventh. Hallam's Shawn McCleary hit a soft liner that appeared destined to land safely in right field. Dimler, however, reacted immediately on the ball, robbing McCleary of a big base hit. The second baseman then lobbed the ball to first to double off Joe Pietrobone, who was off on contact, to end the game.
"Jay Dimler had a nice play there to end the game," Casey Markey said.
Now the Township gang will look to accomplish something the squad hasn't done since 2006 -- win the league playoff crown. Casey Markey, who's pitched for the squad since his high school days at Dallastown, likes this team's potential to do just that.
"It's a mix of young and older guys and we just kind of meshed," he said. "The old guys are trying to show the young guys the ropes. And we're just putting it together. But we still have a lot of work to do."
Casey Markey and his mentor, former major leaguer Mark Hendrickson, will have to continue to shine come Thursday against Conrads. The regular-season champs field a very potent lineup, as evidenced by their 256 runs scored, tops in the circuit.
"(Mark) has had a great influence on a lot of the guys that he's taught," Casey Markey said. "He's taught me a lot over the years. He knows how to pitch, not just throw."
Hendrickson won Game 1 of the Hallam series Saturday. The tall southpaw held the Express to just one hit. McKee believes that the former Oriole will get the call Thursday against Conrads, which swept Township during the regular season.
"Conrads had our number this year," McKee said. "They beat us all four times, so it's going to be tough. But we've been playing well these past three weeks and we're looking forward to it."
Joel Buchko paced the visitors with three hits (two singles, double) in addition to three RBIs. Teammates Derek Pitzer (2-for-4) and Wokulich (2-for-4) also collected multiple hits for Township (25-13).
McCleary had two of his team's five hits off Markey. He scored the Express' only run of the game in the third on a Jason Seitz single to left.
Hallam starter Jake Schoelkoph surrendered 11 hits in the setback. He stuck out four and walked one over seven innings.
OTHER SUSQUEHANNA LEAGUE GAME
RED LION 7, COLUM BIA 1: At Columbia, Shawn Hedrick shut down the home team on three hits as Red Lion clinched the best-of-3 playoff series in two straight games.
Hedrick, who worked the first six innings before giving way to Joe Doyle, struck out nine and walked one. Jason Aspito collected three hits, drove in two runs and scored a run for the winners. The York County team, which collected 13 hits, scored three runs in the first inning and four more runs in the fifth.
Red Lion will play the winner of the Windsor-Jacobus series in the playoff semifinals, starting Thursday.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.