LANCASTER — Nursing a two-run lead heading into the top of the ninth inning at Franklin & Marshall, the York College baseball team tacked on four more runs and went on to get the non-conference win, 11-5, on Thursday afternoon.
A day after clinching the regular-season Capital Athletic Conference crown, the Spartans improved to 19-3 overall Thursday. York, ranked No. 24 in the latest NCAA Division III rankings, has already nabbed the top seed for next week's CAC Tournament, which begins Tuesday. Having now won four straight and 16 of its last 17 games, York does host CAC foe Christopher Newport in a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon. It could be a potential preview of the CAC title game . York sits in first place in the CAC standings with a 13-1 conference mark in front of second-place Christopher Newport (18-12 overall, 10-4 CAC). York last won the tournament title in 1999.
Hot hitting: The Spartans continued their hot hitting in Thursday's win, collecting double-digit runs for the fourth game in a row and seventh time in the last eight games. They've totaled 87 runs in the last eight games (an average of 10.9 runs a game) and are now averaging 9.6 runs a game on the season. York's 18 hits Thursday also marks the seventh-straight game in which the Spartans tallied double-digit hits in a game.
All but two of the Spartans' top-eight batters in the lineup collected a hit, with senior first baseman Brad Wenzel, senior catcher Colbe Herr, junior designated hitter Derek Pitzer (Dallastown grad) and freshman third baseman Scott Steffy each getting multiple hits. The quartet combined to go 14-for-20 at the plate with nine RBIs and six runs scored. Pitzer, who also had three doubles, and senior leadoff man Andrew Hershey each had a home run.
York held a 5-0 lead before F&M scored four runs in the third inning and one more in the fourth to tie it up. Junior right-hander Zach Philippi (1-0) came in from there and went on to pick up the win in relief, holding F&M (10-14) scoreless in 4.1 innings of work, striking out five and walking one.