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Central League captures all-star win vs. Susquehanna League

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch
Jefferson's Brodey Neveker (19) and Mt Wolf's Mark Burnside (19) after their scoring their homeruns during the York All Star baseball game in York on July 16, 2022.

Jefferson manager Pat Schultz wasn’t expecting to be managing in the Central League vs. Susquehanna League all-star game on Saturday.

After all, the manager of the previous year’s regular-season champions typically gets that nod for these things.

When circumstances prevented Mechanicsburg manager Bill Rickenbach from fulfilling those duties, Schultz reluctantly agreed to step in.

“My wife is SO happy with me right now,” Schultz joked.

The Titans skipper did have one condition — to bring at least one of his Titans players to the contest.

And he had a certain someone in mind.

Jefferson's Brodey Neveker (19) at bat during the York All Star baseball game in York on July 16; 2022.

“Not everybody,” Schultz said after he led the Central League stars to a 10-3 triumph   on a wet day at Shyrock Field. “But it was probably the old man’s last one, and I wanted to make sure he got a spot because he deserves it.”

That "old man' was none other than Steven Gentile III, a 20-year veteran of both the Central League and Jefferson.

Gentile played and delivered, roping a single to lead the Central League’s barrage.

Others stepped up, too: While the longtime veteran stepped in and produced, a handful of players many years his junior did the same. Pleasureville’s Tyler Wagner blasted a two-run homer in the third inning, while Jefferson teammate Brody Neveker ripped a three-run bomb during a seven-run fifth for the Central League.

SBL's Alex Tucci (35) at bat during the York All Star baseball game in York on July 16, 2022.

Neveker’s blast eclipsed the short fence in center, right above a sign that says 367. That number, however, is a bit misleading, as the fence sits atop a 15-foot hill in center which would indicate Neveker’s shot was at least 380 feet.

“That’s what he does,” Schultz said of Neveker. “He hits nukes.”

Central League success: Like it has so far this season, the outcome of Saturday’s exhibition was one-sided. The Central League owns a sparkling 25-8 record over the Susquehanna League during interleague play this season.

Mark Toomey, the East Prospect manager who skippered the Susquehanna League in Saturday’s contest, tipped his cap to the CL for its performance.

The York All Star baseball game in York on July 16, 2022.

“They have a lot of mature guys,” said Toomey, who only recently was cleared to return   to managing after an eight-plus month battle with leukemia. “And they go out and perform. I think the influx of younger guys into the Susquehanna League is just a little bit unmature versus what we see when we face the Central League. Right now, they’re just better than us.”

Tigers dominant: No one this season has been better than Stoverstown. The Tigers entered the weekend with a 20-0 record and five-game lead over second-place Mount Wolf.

Gentile, who has been on many Jefferson teams that have gotten hot late in the season en route to championships, doesn’t believe the Titans or any other CL squad will be able to overtake the Tigers at this point.

“Yeah, I don’t think anyone is catching them,” Gentile said. “Their lineup is just so complete and we have seven losses so I think we will need to just make our run at them in the playoffs.”

SBL's Kam Bayman (12) throwing to first over Mt Wolf's Mark Burnside (19) during the  York All Star baseball game in York on July 16, 2022.