PLEASUREVILLE — Sometimes it’s better to be wrong than right.
That would certainly be the case for Pleasureville’s Mike Nizinski on Wednesday evening when he and his mates hosted Dover in a York-Adams American Legion playoff contest.
Given a sign to bunt by his coach, Elliot Ness, Nizinski missed it.
The left-handed slugger, however, didn’t miss the pitch thrown by Dover reliever Joe Morrett. Nizinski laced a line-drive double into the left-center gap that plated the game-winning run, powering Post 799 to a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph.
Pleasureville, the No. 1 seed, will take on No. 5 seeded Dallastown, a 6-0 winner over New Oxford, at 5:45 p.m. Thursday. Post 799 is slated to host that game, but its home field is set to be used by Pleasureville’s Central League team, so the game will be played at Shryock Field, with Pleasureville as the home team.
“This is how it’s been all season,” Ness said. “We hang in there and battle. We’ve gotten good pitching all season and we just try to string together some runs to win a game.”
The fact that Nizinski came up big in the clutch is not a surprise. Nizinski, in fact, won a game a few weeks ago against Hanover with a similar hit in a similar situation.
Ness didn’t intend for things to turn out that way. Having an opportunity in the seventh to possibly squeeze for a win, he didn’t. So he was confident when he gave the bunt signal that Nizinski would get the ball in play.
It turns out he did, just in a vastly different way than his coach expected.
“I gave him the bunt sign and I guess he didn’t see it. And he ends up winning the game. He’s a better coach than I am, I guess,” Ness said jokingly.
Nizinski made it clear that he didn’t missing the sign intentionally, even if it did turn out for the best.
“I didn’t see it,” Nizinski said. “I didn’t ignore it on purpose and I talked to coach Ness about it afterwards.”
For much of the night, it appeared as if neither side would score. Both starters — Shane Haffner for Dover and Mike Livingston for Pleasureville — put up zeroes on the board through the first four frames.
The visitors, however, were able to break through with a walk, a single and then a run-scoring single by Konner Gibboney in the fifth. It remained that way into the seventh when Dover found itself with runners on second and third and nobody out.
In many York-area programs, that would be a situation that called for a safety squeeze. The visitors, however, did not go that route. Instead it ended up costing them as Livingston got out of the inning by getting the final three outs.
“I thought that they would (bunt),” Ness said. “And, probably looking back at it from our end, we should have done some of that as well. We had first and third in the seventh and I probably should have squeezed there, but I didn’t. So in hindsight, I guess they probably wish they had too.”
The loss was a disappointment for an eighth-seeded Dover team that looked like it was going to pull off a big shocker behind Haffner. The right-hander scattered five hits over seven-plus innings. He fanned five and was able to get out of a jams all night.
After getting the first out on a pop out to the catcher in the bottom of the seventh, Haffner gave up a single, a stolen base and then a single to Mike Reisinger that evened the score. Haffner, however, recorded the final two outs with runners on the second and third with groundouts to the infield.
Reisinger and Collin Young led Post 799 with two hits each. Livingston went the distance, scattering five hits over eight innings while fanning seven to pick up the victory.
Dallastown 6, New Oxford 0: At New Oxford, No. 5 seed Dallastown downed No. 4 seed New Oxford. Alex Weakland got the win with 3 2/3 innings of three-hit, shutout pitching. He struck out five and walked one. At the plate Weakland was 3 for 4 (including two doubles) with four RBIs and a run scored. Darren Sciortino added 2 2/3 shutout innings in relief, allowing one hit. Cam Urey added three hits and run scored for the winners. New Oxford will play host to Dover in a losers' bracket game at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.
Hanover 3, Northeastern 2: At Mount Wolf, No. 7 seed Hanover upset No. 2 seed Northeastern. Alex Dehass got the complete-game win, allowing seven hits, two walks and one earned run, while striking out five. Dehass also drove in two runs. Russell Livesay had two hits, including a double, and a run scored for Hanover. Hanover had just three hits, but did collect six walks. Spencer Rhoads had three hits and an RBI for Northeastern. Ken Kopp pitched two hitless, scoreless innings in relief for Northeastern. Hanover will visit Gettysburg at 5:45 p.m. Thursday in a winners' bracket game, while Northeastern will battle Red Lion at the same time in a losers' bracket game at Northeastern High School.
Gettysburg 13, Red Lion 6: At Red Lion, No. 6 seed Gettysburg outslugged No. 3 seed Red Lion. Gettysburg pounded out 13 hits, including four for extra bases. Cole Daugherty (homer, two doubles, single, two RBIs, three runs scored) and Evan Paules (two hits, three RBIs) powered Red Lion's nine-hit attack.
Jefferson 5, Manchester 4: At Jefferson, Kurt Seiders broke a 4-4 tie, in the bottom of the sixth when he connected at the plate to knock in the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run. Also for Jefferson, Joe Jasinski went 2 for 4, while Tyler Troxel, Jordan Higgins and Ross Drawbaugh each doubled. For Manchester, Matt Jordan went 2 for 3, Logan Allison and Brayton Bare each went 2 for 4 and Chris Biechler doubled.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was updated to correct the spelling Mike Nizinski's name.