EAST PROSPECT — The Susquehanna League has always been thought of as a working-man’s league.
Many of the guys who play typically do so either before or after working their full-time occupations.
For the most part, that still rings true.
This week, however, has proven that it could also be considered an old-timers league.
This past Sunday, 51-year-old York Township pitcher Jay Dimler hurled a one-hitter against league-leading East Prospect.
Thursday evening, another veteran pitcher proved to be just as effective against the the Pistons. The Hallam Express was forced to hand the ball to 49-year-old Brian Crumbling when the team's would-be starter, Alex Tucci, indicated he might not make it in time.
In his first start of the season, Crumbling pitched brilliantly. The right-hander scattered eight hits over six innings while allowing just one run. Crumbling’s teammates took care of the rest, pounding Prospect pitching for 13 hits to lead the Express to a 9-1 victory.
“I wasn’t even supposed to start tonight,” Crumbling said. “I had plenty of time to get loose, but the mentality is different than like knowing.”
The crafty veteran induced a lot of soft contact from the Pistons (11-2), despite his limited velocity. Crumbling, who picked up his 97th career victory with the win Thursday, relied on his defense to make plays behind him. He struck out only two.
“I need my fielders,” he said. “I use my fielders. I got a lot of ground balls today and a few fly balls and my guys did what they usually do.”
Pistons struggling: You can forgive the Pistons and manager Mark Toomey if they wish they don’t have to see another veteran pitcher the rest of the year. The total of the ages between Dimler and Crumbling hit the century mark.
“One hundred years combined,” Toomey said. “They’ve both been around for an awful long time. And, if you throw strikes, you’re going to be able to win in this league.”
Toomey also pointed out that he’s still without some of his go-to guys, mainly because of employment issues. Both Dylan Stoops and Devin Strickler have moved to Virginia, while Brett Houseal now works in New Jersey.
“Those are all guys that you can go to easily at any time,” Toomey said.
Even with those guys in uniform for Toomey, it would have likely been a tough task Thursday against the Express, which improved to 8-5. All but two starters collected hits, with Xavier Bonilla leading the attack with three hits and two RBIs. Matt Ruth, Angel Matias, Joe Pietrobone and Zach Zambito each collected two hits for Hallam.
“I think we have a pretty strong lineup,” Crumbling said. “I think that we got off to a slow start this year, and maybe this is a good kick in the right direction and everything will head up.”
Anthony Torreullas, Jeremy Morh and Matt Shatto finished with two hits each for the Pistons.
Tucci did make an appearance on the mound for Hallam. The left-hander finished off the victory with a perfect seventh.
Jacobus 6, Stewartstown 3: At Jacobus, Kyle Saxman led the Jackals by going 2 for 3, including a homer, with four RBIs and one run scored. Also for Jacobus, Brian Crimmel went 2 for 4 with one run scored, Drew Kelley doubled and Casey Markey threw a complete game, striking out four and walking none. For Stewartstown, Cody Brittain homered with three RBIs, while Craig Martin went 2 for 3.
Windsor 6, Felton 2: At Felton, Josh Bobbitt threw a complete game while striking out nine and walking two to lead the visiting Cardinals. Also for Windsor, Zach Harrison went 3 for 3 with two runs scored, Matt Robinson went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Cam Gipe went 2 for 4 with two stolen bases and one RBI. For the Ducks, Adam Wildasin went 2 for 3 with one run scored, Evan Paules went 2 for 4 with one RBI and Jordan Rhodes started the game on the mound, throwing six innings, striking out 11, walking three and allowing four earned runs in taking the loss. All 16 hits in the game were singles.
Stoverstown 7, Vikings 6 (8 innings): At Stoverstown, Zach Schuler led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk and later scored from third on a two-out wild pitch to clinch the victory. Also for Stoverstown, Ryan Kehr went 3 for 3, including a double, with three runs scored and one RBI; Levi Krause went 3 for 4, including a double, with two RBIs; Austin Botts and Austin Rickrode each went 3 for 4 with one RBI; and J.W. Besore went 2 for 4 with one RBI. For the Vikings, Mitch Slater had two doubles and one RBI, Dillon Schwartzer went 2 for 4 with one RBI and Carson Fries and Cole Bixler each doubled.
Jefferson 5, Mount Wolf 3: At Jefferson, the home team plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth and two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-2 lead. Jordan Watkins led the home team by going 2 for 3, including a double, with two RBIs and one run scored. Also for Jefferson, Jordan Witmer doubled with two runs scored, while Kurt Seiders doubled. For Mount Wolf, Danny Dierdorff went 3 for 4, Mark Burnside went 1 for 1 with three runs scored, three walks and one stolen base, while Ryan Wentzel went 1 for 2 with two RBIs.
Pleasureville 8, Dillsburg 5: At Dillsburg, Matt Meyer led the visitors by going 2 for 3, including a double, with three RBIs and two walks. Also for Pleasureville, Joseph Kroeger went 3 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI, John Miller went 2 for 3 with one run scored and one RBI, Clint Bohn doubled and Michael Davis started the game on the mound, throwing six innings, striking out five, walking one and allowing three earned runs. Pleasureville scored six of the its runs in the fourth. For the home team, Jamison Heisey went 3 for 4.