SPRY — After a final week filled with twists and turns, the Dallastown Post 605 baseball team finally knew its season would come down to a win-or-go-home battle with Suburban York at home Sunday.
The defending York-Adams American Legion champs finished fifth (in winning percentage) in the 15-team standings after the regular season concluded Saturday. With three teams — York, Stewartstown and Bermudian Springs — all opting out of Sunday's super play-in round, Dallastown was left outside of the top four teams (in points), which each earned byes into Wednesday’s double-elimination league tournament.
Things looked good for manager Phil Jeanmenne’s crew early against the No. 12 seed. Peter Capobianco held Suburban hitless through three innings while his teammates added three runs in the bottom of the third.
A difficult fourth inning for Post 605, however, turned a relatively comfortable lead into a real struggle. After Suburban evened the score in the fourth, the game remained deadlocked until the bottom of the seventh.
Having scored all three previous runs courtesy of three Suburban errors, it was only seemed fitting that Post 605 claimed victory when a grounder to third was booted. That allowed the game-winning run to score, giving Dallastown a 4-3 triumph.
Post 605 now visits No. 4 seed New Oxford in the league playoffs on Wednesday.
“I told the team that we’re going to have to scratch one out here today,” Jeanmenne said. “We had some key players missing and I knew we would have to scratch one out and that’s what happened.”
Big third inning: Dallastown’s big third inning all started after two quick outs. Cam Urey reached on an error that left him at third base when everything was all said and done. Joe Capobianco singled in Urey before Peter Capobianco followed with another single. Darren Sciortino ripped a double that plated both Capobiancos to make it 3-0.
The visitors, who ended up being the lowest-seeded team in the bracket after the three teams dropped out, battled back in the top of the fourth. With one out, Suburban starting pitcher Ryan Day singled, stole second and moved up to third on single by Collin Slenker.
A single by Jake Taylor brought in Day, who beat the throw home, allowing both Slenker and Taylor to move up a base. After a line out and a walk loaded the bases, Cameron Feeser followed with a two-run single that evened up the score.
“They got four hits off of (Peter Capobianco) in that inning, but we only gave up three,” Jeanmenne said.
Suburban gets some strong defense: Post 605 (5-2-1) had a few chances snuffed out by some heads-up defense by the visitors. A runner on second with no outs was thrown out trying to steal third in the fifth inning, while a nice diving stop on a ball hit to third baseman Josh Royer was snagged in the sixth.
“Suburban played a great game,” Jeanmenne said. “They played gutsy, they played hard and they never quit. They really pushed us at every level and every inning.”
In the end Suburban (3-9-2) was unable to make the final play to extend the ballgame. Joe Munoz singled to center to lead off the seventh. He stole second and moved to third with two outs after Urey grounded out to second. That set the stage for Joe Capobianco, who hit a grounder to third. The ball deflected off the third baseman's glove and into left allowing Munoz to score the winner.
“Now we have that chance,” Jeanmenne said of advancing to the league playoffs. “And I’m happy about that. I loved the way the kids played today. They seemed to be a pretty loose group. They played strong and I was happy about our defense.”
New Oxford next: Post 605 will get ready to battle a New Oxford team that handed them an 8-1 setback last Friday. Jeanmenne smiled, probably because he knows he’ll have almost his entire team available, when asked about getting another crack at Scott Anderson’s crew.
“We’ll have both Alex (Weakland) and Jake Gates on Wednesday,” Jeanmenne said. “I’m not sure who I’ll throw there yet.”
The best news, however, is that Jeanmenne will have Nick Parker available for his team’s second game, which could be against No. 1 seed Pleasureville. Parker, an NCAA Division I recruit, pitched brilliantly during Dallastown’s run to the state title game in high school this spring.
“Nick might be coming home just in time let’s say,” Jeanmenne said.
Notes: Regular-season champion Pleasureville (12-0-1), Northeastern (10-2-0), Red Lion (9-2-0) and New Oxford (8-3-2) earned byes into Wednesday’s start of the double-elimination tournament. Originally it was planned that only Pleasureville was to receive a bye with the other 14 teams in the league playing Sunday. But with the three teams dropping out before the tournament was finalized on Saturday, only four games were needed Sunday.
Dover 6, Shiloh 1: At Dover, Josh Spirito pitched a complete-game three-hitter, striking out seven and walking two, to power the home team. Dalton Kellison (two hits, double, two RBIs), Trey Neiman (two hits, RBI, run), Joe Morrett (triple, run) and Brayden Smith (hit, two runs, RBI) led the Dover attack. Dover (7-7-1) will now visit Pleasureville at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday in a first-round league playoff contest. Shiloh finished 5-7-.
Hanover 3, South Western 1: At Hanover, Russell Livesay pitched a complete-game five-hitter, striking out 11 and walking one to power Post 14 (8-7-0). Nick Dooley (two hits, RBI, run) and Brady Topper (two hits, double, run) led Hanover. Ethan Stalnecker pitched a complete game for South Western, allowing two earned runs with five strikeouts and one walk. Michael Hoover had two hits for South Western (4-8-1). Hanover will now visit Northeastern in the first round of the league tournament at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Gettysburg 8, Glen Rock 6: At Gettysburg, the home team grabbed the win and earned a berth in the league playoff tournament. In its playoff opener at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, Gettysburg (7-5-1) will travel to Red Lion. Glen Rock finished at 4-9-2.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.