MANCHESTER — Northeastern has picked up where it left off last season in the York-Adams American Legion Baseball League.
So far, so perfect in 2016 for the defending regular-season and playoff tournament champions.
Northeastern improved its record to 5-0 on Monday evening with an 11-1 victory over York. The game was halted in the bottom of the fifth inning because of the 10-run rule.
Brady Dolan earned the victory by checking the visitors on five hits, all singles. The left-hander struck out eight and walked four.
"I noticed that my change-up was really keeping them off balance, so I kept going with it," Dolan said. "The outside corner, they struggled with that, so I kept going with that pitch."
Dolan's teammates provided him with a nice cushion by erupting for five runs in their first at bat. Jonah Latshaw, Devin Blymire, Brayton Bare and Kenny Kopp all delivered singles in the inning, when the winners sent 10 batters to the plate.
"A good offense is one of the most important things you could ask for," Dolan said. "You can really relax out there on the mound, and not every pitch is so strenuous."
Dolan knew he was facing a much-improved team over last year's York team that won just six games. This year's club is now 3-2 and playing with confidence and enthusiasm.
"Coming into the game, we had to stay focused and not take them lightly," he said. "We really had to be on point about that."
Dolan knows his team will be a target this season, but he feels it has the potential to put together another outstanding season.
"We have a lot of confidence, especially with what we did last year," he said. "We also had a good high school team this year, which we didn't have last year."
Dolan's performance on the mound earned praise from Northeastern manager Ken Kopp.
"Brady, he's a workhorse," Kopp said. "He throws strikes and his ball moves a lot. Getting those runs early definitely took the pressure off."
Kopp, like Dolan, expects to get every opponent's best shot this season.
"The other night against Bermudian, we almost lost that game," Kopp said. "We told the guys after that game that we can't take any of these teams lightly."
York manager Andy Zayas, while disappointed with Monday's loss, likes what he sees in this year's team.
"I think we're going to challenge a lot of teams," Zayas said. "Last year, we only won six games, but we were in a lot of games ,and we only lost three players from that team. The kids have a lot of high hopes. They're pumping themselves up and showing a love for the game."
Zayas knew going in that Northeastern would pose a huge challenge.
"Those guys are good," he said. "Northeastern is a good program and my hat is off to them."
Mike Bonilla collected two of York's five hits in Monday's game.
Latshaw, Blymire and Bare each finished with two hits for the winners, and Bare drove in three runs.
Kody Reeser recorded a fine defensive play for Northastern in the top of the fifth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Reeser raced in from right field to spear a line drive off the bat of Jimmy Hernandez. Following the catch, Reeser fired the ball back into the infield and the runners were not able to advance.
Hanover 15, Dover 5 (6 innings): At Hanover, Hunter Martz's grand slam in the bottom of the fifth tied the game up at 5-5 and the home team went on to plate 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth to capture the mercy-rule victory. Also for Hanover, Ryan Smith went 3 for 4 with three runs scored, while Chris Kauffman went 3 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs. For Dover, Trevor Staub went 2 for 2, including a double, with two runs scored and one RBI.
Shiloh 3, Pleasureville 1: At Pleasureville, the visitors plated two runs in the top of the third to take a 2-0 lead and went on to capture the victory. Trent Ketterman led the visitors by going 1 for 3 with one run scored and one RBI. Also for Shiloh, Colton Kubicki doubled, while starting pitcher Robert Bertucio threw five innings, striking out five and walking two to pick up the victory. For Pleasureville, Beau Burris went 2 for 2, while Michael Nizinski threw a complete game on the mound, striking out three and walking two.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.