Jefferson tops Hallam for first ever York County crown

Ryan Vandersloot
The York Dispatch
  • Jefferson defeated Hallam, 1-0, to win the York County Championship Series, 2-0.
  • Brian Bossom pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout for Jefferson.
  • Steve Gentille III provided the game's only offense, an RBI single in the second inning.

JEFFERSON – Only two remaining players on the Jefferson Titans roster this season ever played for the team that was previously known as the Jefferson Jays.

After many, many years of futility, one of those former Jays players — pitcher Brian Bossom — was in a perfect position to put an end to all of those down years.

Jefferson celebrates a championship win over Hallam during York County Championship baseball action in Jefferson, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. Jefferson would win the game 1-0, winning the series 2-0. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"The Boss," as his teammates call him, started in Game 2 of the York County Championship Series against Hallam on Sunday afternoon looking to close the door in the best-of-three game series. The Titans took Game 1, 2-1, in East Prospect on Saturday to set up their veteran for a career-defining moment.

And Bossom didn’t let his teammates down.

Jefferson Brian Bossom pitches against Hallam during York County Championship baseball action in Jefferson, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. Jefferson would win the game 1-0, winning the series 2-0. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The right-hander held a potent Hallam lineup to just two singles over seven scoreless innings. All he needed was a run, which he got in the second inning after Steve Gentile III stroked a run-scoring single that plated Jordan Witmer.

Gentile’s RBI single proved to be all that Jefferson needed — and received — as they swept the series with a 1-0 triumph.

“Game wise, we’ve picked each other up all season,” Bossom said. “And it was no different today. We just leaned on each other.”

This weekend the team seemed to lean more heavily on its pitching and both Jon Kibler, who pitched a complete-game victory Saturday, and Bossom were up to the task.

“Me and (Jon) Kibler…we came up big,” Bossom said.

Jefferson’s top two starters held the Susquehanna League champs to just a single run over the weekend — a feat that not many would believe possible. But, those two have helped carry the team all season long with this weekend being no exception.

‘The Boss’ had an inkling that he would be on his game Sunday. After a very sub-par performance in his last appearance against Manchester, Bossom made a bold, yet prophetic prediction to his skipper, Pat Schultz.

“He got of his truck today and he said ‘Schultz, this is the best I’ve felt all year’,” Schultz said. “And that’s an exact quote.”

And there is little doubt that feeling spilled into the post-game celebration after Bossom induced a grounder to second to end the contest. Catcher Jordan Higgins ran right at Bossom before leaping into Bossom’s arms as the team quickly surrounded those two on the field.

“The four-win and two-win seasons…that’s a thing of the past,” said Bossom. “This feels real good man. Real good.”

It felt real good as well for Jefferson’s patriarch, Steve Gentile. He stuck around through many of the down years both at Southern and at Jefferson after the two teams merged in 2009. Gentile was also happy that Bossom remained a Titan despite getting offers from at least three other Central League squads this past offseason.

“Boz is one of them guys,” Gentile said. “He went to the South Penn League for a year and didn’t like it. So we welcomed him back with open arms. And he brought a couple of guys named Witmer and Higgins and they were a big difference for us this year.”

Higgins has been a clutch hitter all year for the Titans. He tallied at least four walk-off hits, including a pair against Mount Wolf in the regular season. He was also second on the team with 18 RBIs.

Witmer, who doubled to lead off the second before scoring on Gentile III’s two-out single, hit .297 with 13 RBIs this season.

The weekend could be summed up as nothing more than frustrating for Hallam. After surrendering more than 30 runs in the last three games of the Susquehanna League playoff finals against Jacobus, the Express limited Jefferson to just three runs over two games.

Sunday’s starter for Hallam, Alex Tucci, allowed just six hits over six innings while fanning five in the setback.

Both teams will take part in the Tom Kerrigan Colonial York Tournament this upcoming Labor Day weekend. They’ll be joined in the 20-plus team field along with other local teams, Stoverstown and Jacobus.

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at