They had every reason not to be confident entering Saturday's match-up. The last time an all-star team comprised of players from the local men's Susquehanna and Central baseball leagues matched up with the York Revolution, it didn't fare so well. That happened in an exhibition in 2009, and the Revs won, 18-1.
Yet, many players on this year's all-star squad sounded rather positive coming into Saturday's exhibition against the Revs in York's Fan Fest event at Sovereign Bank Stadium.
"All of these guys want to win," Travis Hake said prior to the game. Hake, born in York and a Brogue resident, played for the Atlantic League's Lancaster Barnstormers in 2005 and 2006 and split the 2007 season between the Barnstormers and the York Revolution. He started on Saturday for the men's league all-star team, dubbed the 'York County All-Stars.'
"I'd like to hit a bomb my first swing of the game," Hake said. "Everybody just wants to play well. It wouldn't be bad if we lost by five or ten. But if we win by five that'd be nice."
Hake didn't hit any bombs. And his squad didn't win. Still, the York County All-Stars looked decent on Saturday in front of 2,001 fans despite losing to the Revs, 10-1.
The Revs led 5-1 through three innings. York County pitchers Jake Schoelkoph (Hallam), Brian Bossom (Jefferson), Jason Enoch (Red Lion) and T.J. Thomas (Stoverstown) combined to hold the Revs scoreless the next four innings.
The Revs put up five runs in the eighth off of Chris Stoudt (Windsor) behind a two-run homer from James Shanks and a three-run homer from Scott Grimes.
York County got its lone run in the third inning off of Revs' starter Corey Thurman when Jason Aspito scored on an error by Grimes in center field.
Thurman allowed the unearned run on two hits while striking out two and walking two. Revs' relievers Santo Luis, Kris Regas, Adam Thomas and R.J. Rodriguez held York County scoreless in the final five innings but did give up four hits.
ASPITO: It turned out to be a good day for Aspito, who went 2-for-2 at the plate and reached base on an error in another at-bat.
The Revs' franchise leader in home runs (42), Aspito retired from the pro game in 2009 and is in his second year coaching the Penn State York baseball program. Prior to the game, Aspito held a home run derby to raise money for PSY baseball. Fans could pledge a certain amount of money for each home run Aspito hit. He ended up knocking three out to right field, which raised a total of $407.
"It's not as many as I would have liked to have gotten," Aspito said of his homers. "But it's going right toward a spring trip or something where we can get more ballgames in next year."
The game also raised $1,051 for the Susquehanna and Central leagues.
IMPRESSED: Revs' manager Andy Etchebarren had positive things to say about the York County team. He especially liked pitcher Adam Hoff, who relieved Stoudt in the eighth and went on to retire three of the next five batters, which included a strikeout of Revs' slugger Chris Nowak with a couple breaking balls.
"When that last guy that was throwing that 72-miles-an-hour breaking ball and everybody was swinging at it, I told (pitching coach Mark) Mason 'I'm going to sign him for one inning. He might get guys out in one inning with that breaking ball."
FAN FEST: Saturday's events also included a concert outside of the stadium on Brooks Robinson Plaza by York County band Mountain Road. The concert was sponsored by Great Country 107.7 WGTY. In addition, former American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina greeted fans on the plaza with an autograph session. Alaina also threw out the game's ceremonial first pitch.
For more on Saturday's events, check out The York Dispatch Revolution Rumblings blog at www.ydtalk.com/revs.
Reach John Walk at 505-5406 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @JohnKWalk.