SPRING GROVE -- A nasty curveball, a moving fastball and a wicked change-up are all nice things for a pitcher to have at his disposal.
But for Spring Grove baseball coach Eric Zeigler, pitching comes down to one main thing -- composure.
So, a day after a tough non-league loss to Solanco, Zeigler had no issue handing the ball to Trevor Troxel Wednesday afternoon against York-Adams Division I rival Dallastown.
The junior didn't disappoint. Troxel stayed composed during a contest that featured sleet, hail, heavy winds, a steady rain and then a little bit of sunshine just to mix it up. The Wildcats managed just three hits while striking out 11 times against the left-hander.
Levi Krause gave his teammate all the scoring he would need with a two-run homer to left-center in the bottom of the first and the Rockets (6-3 overall, 6-1 Division I) rebounded from Tuesday's loss to roll to a 4-0 victory. The win kept Spring Grove alone in first place in the division.
"Trevor made his pitches," Zeigler said. "He was composed and he kept them off-balance today."
Gusts of wind also helped the southpaw get extra movement with his pitches and made it difficult for the visitors to get solid contact.
"My pitches have a lot of movement ... especially with that wind," Troxel said.
That movement was a double-edged sword, though. Troxel did issue five walks over his seven shutout innings. Those free passes allowed the Wildcats (6-2, 4-2) to put together a couple short rallies, including a bases-loaded chance in the fourth inning during a steady rain.
Troxel, however, blamed only himself for that jam.
"That was my responsibility," he said. "So I had to get myself out of it."
He did that by calmly fanning Dallastown's Tanner Forry to escape trouble.
Troxel ran into another mini-jam in the seventh after a single and a two-out walk brought the tying run to the on-deck circle. The lefty then fell behind Micah Striebig 2-0, which prompted a visit to the mound from Zeigler.
The junior evened the count up with a pair of strikes after Zeigler's visit before getting Striebig to fly out to center to end the contest.
"He was composed," Zeigler said. "He did a nice job getting out of it."
Troxel gave credit to his first baseman, Krause, for helping him out early on. Krause drove a 1-1 offering from Wildcat starter Austin Calaman well over the 365-foot sign in left-center to put the hosts ahead, 2-0.
"That set the tone," Troxel said. "(That lead) definitely made a difference."
The Rockets added to the lead with single runs in the second and third innings. Nick Spangler singled in Will Maughlin with one out in the second, while Dalton Hoiles drove in Jacob Molison (2-for-3) with a one-out single in the third.
Calaman surrendered six hits over six innings while striking out seven in the loss for Dallastown.
DOVER 7, KENNARD- DALE 5: At Fawn Grove, Mitch Slater's clutch relief pitching saved the game for Dover. Slater came on in the bottom of the seventh with runners at second and third and no outs. Slater retired the first two hitters he faced on popups to the infield and caught the next hitter looking at a called third strike to end the game. Jerell Figueroa collected two hits and drove in two runs for the Eagles, who broke a 5-5 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth. Dan Hare had a huge game for K-D with a single, double and home run and all five of his team's RBIs. Michael Dunn added two hits for the Rams.
NEW OXFORD 9, NORTHEASTERN 9 (SUS PENDED): At Manchester, after New Oxford took the lead with three runs in the top of the seventh, Northeastern pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the seventh. The umpires halted the game at that point because of darkness. It will be resumed in the top of the eighth at a date to be determined. Josh Writer cracked a homer and triple for the Bobcats.
SOUTH WESTERN 10, YORK HIGH 4: At Hanover, South Western scored four runs in the bottom of the third to erase a 4-2 deficit. The Mustangs' Chris Mills and Eric Moul had doubles, the only extra-base hits of the game. Each team finished with seven hits and five errors.
YORK CATHOLIC 15, YORK TECH 3: At Spry, the Irish plated five runs in the top of the sixth and five in the top of the seventh to put the York-Adams Division IV game out of reach. Patrick Clement led the Irish, pitching six innings and picking up the win. He fanned seven and walked one. At the plate, Clement tripled and scored three runs. Clint Bohn and Josh Elsen each doubled for the Irish. For the Spartans, Hunter Wiebley went 4-for-4, including two doubles.
LITTLESTOWN 8, YORK SUBURBAN 7 (8 INNINGS): At Littlestown, the Thunderbolts gave up a run in the top of the eighth, but were able to score two runs in the bottom of the frame win the game. Logan Mummert led the Thunderbolts with three hits, including a double, to go with two runs scored and two RBIs. For the Trojans, Spenser Strickler had three hits and three RBIs, while A.J. Hammond had two hits, including a double. Brennan Weinstein had two hits and two RBIs. Littlestown improved to 7-0 in the York-Adams Division III and 8-1 overall.
BERMUDIAN SPRINGS 10, EASTERN 2: At York Springs, the Eagles plated five runs in the bottom of the fifth to put the game out of reach. Trevor Yinger and Toby Sponseller led the home team with two hits apiece. Sponseller also picked up three RBIs. Bermudian improved to 5-1 in York-Adams Division III and 5-2 overall.
RED LION 5, CENTRAL 3: At Red Lion, Tyler Myers led the Lions to the York-Adams Division I victory, pitching a complete game. He struck out 11 and walked three. He also tied the game at the plate in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run single. Glenn Dietrich and Evan Bittner each went 2-for-4 for the Lions. For the Panthers, Travis Shaffer went 2-for-3, including a triple.
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.