MOUNT WOLF — The karma around Mount Wolf outfielder Aaron Myers hasn't been so great this year.
The West York High School graduate and Central League veteran hasn't been around the club too much, but when he has, the team's results haven't always been the best.
It looked like the "Myers Curse" might haunt his Wolves again Thursday night when the Central League leaders played host to cross-town rival Manchester.
After falling behind 9-1 after two innings, the Indians stormed back with a seven-run sixth to knot the game at 9-9.
Myers, who didn't start the contest, suddenly found himself in a nail-biter when he came in as a defensive substitute during the sixth.
If there was a curse, however, it's probably safe to say that it's over now. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Myers came to the plate with the bases loaded against Manchester reliever Dan Sepic.
After working the count full, Myers hit a foul ball down the right-field line that almost was caught for the final out of the inning. Given a second chance, Myers was able to lay off a high pitch for ball four that drove in the game-winning run in a thrilling 10-9 victory for Mount Wolf.
That triumph put the Wolves (25-4) up five games on Manchester (20-9) with six remaining, all but officially clinching the regular-season title.
"I was just trying to see the ball," Myers said. "Not playing much this year, and it was getting dark, so there were a lot of things against me. If it was close, I was swinging, but it was so high. That was pretty easy to see."
His teammates razzed the veteran after the game for his game-winning RBI. That felt good, especially after feeling like a bit of a curse. Myers only played in three other games this season, two of which his club lost, so having him around and getting a 'W' was uplifting.
"It's fun to be around the guys," said Myers, who was busy coaching his kids for much of the summer. "It was hard being away."
This year's team is drastically different from the one Myers played for regularly a few years ago. Gone are most of the "old-guard" players in favor of a younger, yet just-as-confident gang.
"I haven't been around much this year, but just what I heard from our guys when it got to 9-9 was 'don't worry about anything,'" he said. "They've had several walk-off wins so they were focused and knew what they needed to do. We got a nice core group of guys here."
One of those "youngsters" is Jesse Sargen, a former Northeastern High School standout. The left-handed hitting outfielder clubbed a first-inning grand-slam that put the Wolves up 6-0.
Another is Patrick Moriarty, a first-year player with Mount Wolf. Moriarty drove in two runs in the first inning with a single and two more in the second with another base hit.
But just when it looked like the Wolves and starter Kyle Cook were on course for a comfortable victory, things took a dramatic turn. With one out in the sixth, Cook hit a batter, surrendered a single to Jonah Latshaw and was victimized by an error on a seemingly easy grounder to first that allowed a run to score.
After a walk loaded the bases, another error allowed one more runner to score, cutting the lead to 9-4. One pitch later, the lead was shaved to 9-8 after Manchester first baseman Josh Reeser clubbed a grand slam over the fence in left field.
Pinch-hitter Kody Reeser singled to center, ending Cook's night. Mount Wolf skipper Tim Brenner summoned Dan Dierdorff from center to pitch in relief with Myers taking over in left and Sargen moving to center. The former West Virginia standout struck out Jeremy Pagano for the second out of the inning, but surrendered a game-tying double to Levi Rentzel that scored Reeser.
"Defensively we let that happen," Brenner said, noting his team's four errors for the contest. "The last two games we haven't been too good defensively and that's hurt us a little bit."
Trey McWilliams followed with a single to right, but the inning ended when Moriarty easily threw out Rentzel at the plate.
The home team proceeded to rally right back in the seventh inning off Sepic. A single, an error and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. But Sepic induced a pair of infield flies and would have escaped the jam if Myers' foul ball was caught.
"Tonight was odd," Brenner said. "We just can't score early and then go flat. And then for (Cook) to have a meltdown like that, that's unusual."
Dierdorff picked up the victory for a Mount Wolf squad that clubbed nine hits, two each by Sargen, Moriarty and shortstop Brandon Scott. Sepic, who allowed just one earned run and five hits over 6 1/3 innings, was saddled with the hard-luck loss. As a team, the Indians pounded out 16 hits for the contest, led by three-hit games from Rentzel, McWilliams and shortstop Logan Allison.
OTHER CENTRAL LEAGUE GAMES
Pleasureville 9, Dover 4: At Pleasureville, the visitors led 3-1 entering the bottom of the fourth, when the home team plated six runs to take the lead for good. Scott Ream led the Pleasureville offense, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Brandon Perks went 2-for-3, including a double, with two RBIs and one run scored for the winners. Also for the Hawks, Tyler Wagner went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored, while Jordan Chacanias and J.T. Spahr each scored two runs. For Dover, Adrian Ferrer went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and one run scored; Kevin Decker went 2-for-4, including a double, with one run scored; and Austin Rickrode hit a solo homer.
Jefferson 7, Glen Rock 0: Jefferson starting pitcher Jon Kibler took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and his offense collected seven runs on nine hits and four walks to get the win at Glen Rock. After Kibler walked the lead-off batter in the bottom of the seventh inning, Glen Rock's Justin Anderson singled to break up the no-hit bid. Kibler gave up just the one hit, though, in his complete-game effort, striking out seven and walking two. Jeff Kemberling (3-for-4, double, one run scored) and Andrew Hershey (2-for-2, three RBIs) paced the Jefferson attack.
Shiloh 6, Stoverstown 4: At Shiloh, Dan Resavy led the home team to the victory by pitching a complete game on the mound, striking out four and walking one. Also for Shiloh, Jerrin Toomey went 2-for-4, including a triple, with two RBIs, while Jake Molison and Brock Gladfelter each doubled and Eric Moul tripled. For Stoverstown, Kurt Krout, J.W. Besore and Paul Smith each doubled, while Cody Kauffman threw three-plus innings of shutout relief, striking out one and walking none. Shiloh improved to 18-12.
SUSQUEHANNA LEAGUE GAMES
East Prospect 4, Windsor 2: At East Prospect, Adam Yunginger pitched a complete game to get the win, allowing seven hits. He struck out five without a walk. Derek Totaro pitched well in defeat, also going the distance and allowing seven hits. He gave up just one earned run, with five strikeouts and two walks. Bret Houseal had two hits, including a double, with two runs scored to lead Prospect. Jarden Pestcoe had two hits and a run scored for Windsor.
Hallam 7, Felton 3: At Felton, the visitors trailed 3-2 heading into the fourth inning, when they plated three runs to take the lead for good. Dan Wecker led the Hallam offense, going 2-for-3, including a triple. Also for Hallam, Joe Strayer went 2-for-4, while Angel Matias hit a two-run homer. Hallam's Jaron Shimmel pitched a complete-game four-hitter to get the win, with six strikeouts. For Felton, Cory Waltersdorff hit a three-run homer in the top of the first to plate all the offense for the home team. Hallam, which has clinched the regular-season title, improved to 23-5.
Conrads 6, Red Lion 0: At Red Lion, Josh Knaub and Xavier Bonilla combined on the shutout. Knaub went the first six innings and got the win, allowing six hits. He struck out two and walked one. Matt Jordan belted a two-run homer for Conrads. Tanner Forry and Thomas Taylor each had two hits for Red Lion.
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.