MANCHESTER — Austin Allison spent last summer a thousand miles from home playing baseball in a collegiate league.
The Central York High School and Shippensburg University graduate was among hundreds of players from around the country who competed in the Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas League, which dates back to 1910
"There were a lot of JUCO (junior college), Division II and Division I players in the league," said Allison, who's back with his local summer league team, Manchester of the Central League. The Indians and Jefferson played to a 4-4 tie on Monday evening in a battle of league contenders. The umpires halted the game after five innings because of rain.
"I lived with a host family. It was an awesome experience, and I loved it out there. I got to meet a bunch of guys from all over different areas of the country and I made life-long friends," Allison said.
Allison began playing with Manchester following his junior year of high school. He's reunited on the team this year with his older brother, Logan.
"He's three years older than me, and I never really got a chance to play with him that much growing up. Coming here (to Manchester) and playing with him was like a dream come true," Austin Allison said.
Key moment: Austin Allison played a key role in Monday's game. .
The left-handed hitting Allison took a pitch the opposite way down the left-field line for a double in the fifth inning. The hit scored Dan Sepic from third base with the tying run. Sepic had opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch.
"It was definitely good to see Sep (Sepic) lead off with the smoked shot into the (left-center field) gap," Austin Allison said. "I was looking to pull something, but Bossom (Jefferson pitcher Brian Bossom) was doing a good job of keeping the ball away. So, I just tried to see the ball deep and put a good barrel on it. It happened to work out."
Sepic, who plays college baseball at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, had two hits for Manchester, including the double which set up the tying run in what turned out to be the final inning.
"I was just looking for a first-pitch fastball," Sepic said. "It was down the middle, and I connected with it. College baseball is a good league, but this is a tough league as well. There's good competition, and I like that."
Happy with tie:; Jefferson definitely provided Manchester with plenty of competition.
Joe Jasinski, Jared Kashner, and Jordan Witmer each had two hits for the visitors. Witmer drove in two runs.
"We've played a lot of close games with them (Jefferson) over the years," Manchester manager Dave Miller said. "Ten or 15 years ago, they were struggling, but they've come a long way. In a way, I'm kind of glad that we got out here with a tie."
Sepic and Allison made that possible.
"Dan started it all with that rocket he hit out there that hopped over the fence," Miller said. "In Austin's case, you don't play three years at Shippensburg and not become a smart hitter. Austin was going to hit the ball wherever it was pitched."
Before the umpires called the game for good, there was also a 25-minute delay in the fifth inning for rain and lightning.
Manchester is now 17-9-1, while Jefferson is 14-6-3.
Mount Wolf 4, Pleasureville 1: At Pleasureville, the visitors led 2-1 entering the top of the seventh when they plated two insurance to take a commanding lead. Adam Hoff led the Wolves by throwing a complete game, striking out seven and walking none. Also for the Wolves, Nick Sprenkle went 2 for 3 with one run and one RBI, while John Mehring went 1 for 2 with an RBI. For Pleasureville, Scott Ream went 2 for 3 with a double, while teammate Clinton Bohn went 2 for 3, including a solo homer in the fourth. Mount Wolf improved to 19-6-0.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.