GLEN ROCK — When Susquehannock's Connor Hood took the mound for the first time on Thursday afternoon, his team's five-run advantage had evaporated, and Eastern York was threatening to take the lead.
The Golden Knights had the go-ahead run at second base in the top of the sixth inning with two outs. Hood, who entered in relief of Josh Houser, maintained the 5-5 deadlock by getting the first hitter he faced to ground out to shortstop.
The right-hander yielded a one-out double in the top of the seventh, but he retired the next two hitters to maintain the tie. The Warriors then scored the winning run in the 6-5 victory in the last of the seventh by taking advantage of three straight errors.
"It was a little nerve-racking," Hood said when asked what was going through his mind when he came in to pitch in a tie game with a runner at second base. "I tried my best to throw strikes."
Hood said it "kind of hurt" when Eastern wiped out Susquehannock's 5-0 lead with four runs in the third inning and one in the sixth inning.
"We just tried to stay calm. We knew we could win the game," he said.
Cody Dennis scored the winning run for the Warriors. Dennis began the bottom of the seventh by reaching on an infield error and moved to second base on another error. Aaron Portner then laid down a perfect bunt between the mound and third base, and when the throw was wild at first base and sailed into foul territory, Dennis scored standing up from second base.
"Aaron came up clutch," Hood said. "He made the play at short and got the bunt down."
Portner went to shortstop when Hood came in to pitch, and in the top of the seventh inning, the first Eastern batter hit a ball to shortstop. Portner made a clean pickup and threw to first base for the out. In the bottom of the same inning, Portner put his bunting practice to work in a game.
"Bunting, we do it every day in practice," he said. "We have competitions, and my group is always first. When I'm getting ready to go in at short, coach asked me if I was warmed up enough to do a Derek Jeter play in the hole."
Eastern, which committed just one error in the first six innings, struggled trying to make plays in the seventh inning.
"A win is a win, I'll take it," Susquehannock coach Tim Hare said. "It's not the way we drew it up. Bunting, we take a lot of pride in it. While Aaron doesn't start for us a lot, he's a great ballplayer."
Hare praised the work of his starting pitcher. Houser was charged with all five Eastern runs, but none of them were earned. The right-hander struck out four and walked three, two in the sixth inning.
"Josh, as the game went on, started to tire, but he did a fantastic job," Hare said.
Susquehannock, which lost its first game of the season to Dover, earned its fourth straight victory. The Warriors are now 4-0 in York-Adams Division III and 4-1 overall. Eastern slipped to 1-2 and 3-3.
"A loss that early proved positive because we were able to use it as a teaching point," Hare said. "Teams aren't going to just roll over for us because we're supposed to be good."
Hood and Bryan Kerr collected two hits each for the Warriors, and Hood and Mike Spadafore delivered two-run singles.
Mike Dunn and Quentin Enders finished with two hits apiece for Eastern. Enders went 2-for-2 and scored a run.
Golden Knights' pitcher Terry Godfrey recorded six strikeouts and walked three, with all of the passes coming in the second inning.
Spring Grove 4, South Western 3 (eight Innings): At Spring Grove, Aaron Becker hit a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth to score Jake Thoman from third and Austin Hunt from second to clinch the York-Adams Division I come-from-behind victory. Thoman had doubled earlier in the inning. Also for Spring Grove, Will Maughlin went 2-for-3 at the plate, while on the mound, Matt Brooks came on in relief of starting pitcher Nick Spangler (eight strikeouts, five walks), to strike out six in the final three innings to pick up the victory. For the Mustangs, Matt Taylor went 2-for-4, including a two-out solo homer in the seventh to tie the game and send the contest into extra innings. Teammates Miles Francis went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Shane Swearman went 2-for-4.
Central York 11, Dallastown 3: At Dallastown, Zane Knaub tripled and drove in four runs, while Walker Montieth belted two doubles, drove in two runs and scored two runs to pace the Panthers. Dan Sepic pitched six solid innings to get the win, striking out six and walking one. Central took advantage of 12 Dallastown walks. Jon Snyder had three hits and an RBI for Dallastown, while Tom Golden had two hits and an RBI. Central scored four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to take control.
New Oxford 6, Kennard-Dale 1: The visiting Rams took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before the host Colonials tied it in the bottom half of the frame and tallied four combined runs in the next two innings. Jake Toal, Austin Kibler and Aaron Palmer combined to hit four doubles to lead New Oxford. Palmer also picked up the win on the mound by holding Kennard-Dale to a run on four hits in a complete-game effort. Josh Bakalyar had a double for the Rams.
York Catholic 11, Hanover 7: At Hanover, York Catholic used a five-run fifth and a four-run fourth to beat Hanover. Jake Krevetski belted three hits, including a homer, for the winners, while scoring two runs. Erich Hartman (two hits, three runs, RBI) and Doug Mills (three RBIs, two doubles, two runs) also excelled for the Irish. Jared Peterman had three hits and three RBIs for Hanover.
Biglerville 19, York Tech 4 (Four Innings): At Biglerville, Logan Reever led the Canners to the victory by hitting a double and picking up four RBIs. For the Spartans, Justin Nell had a triple, a double and two runs scored.
Northeastern 10, Dover 0 (six Innings): At Manchester, Adam Kipp led the Bobcats to the victory by throwing a complete-game, six-inning shutout, while striking out nine and walking one. At the plate for the Bobcats, Brady Dolan went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI, Cody Reeser went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI, while Trae Beyer and Kipp each had two RBIs.
Correction: The pitching information for Eastern York's Colby Shimmel was reported incorrectly in Wednesday's sports section. In the Golden Knights' 3-2 win over Central York, Shimmel pitched 4 1/3 innings of one-hit shutout relief to get the win. He struck out four and walked one.
— Reach Dick VanOlinda at email@example.com.