EMIGSVILLE — The story of the Pleasureville Post 799 baseball team has been rather remarkable this summer.
Post 799 rolled through the York-Adams American Legion regular season unbeaten with a 12-0-1 record, earning it an automatic berth into the Region 4 Tournament.
The Pleasureville boys did it mainly with outstanding pitching and defense. The team allowed a minuscule 16 runs over those 13 games, eight of which were shutouts.
Coach Elliot Ness and his crew could have taken things easy at that point. The playoffs would do nothing to enhance the team's regional seeding.
Despite that, however, Post 799 continued to play hard throughout the playoffs. That was especially evident after the team fell to rival Dallastown in the second round of the double-elimination league playoffs.
Needing to win five games over four days to come back and win the playoff crown, Pleasureville took it one game at a time. Post 799 won two games on Saturday and another on Sunday before defeating Dallastown Monday to force a winner-take-all contest Tuesday at Central York High School.
To no one’s surprise, the regular-season champs let their pitching take charge. Starter Brandon Walters gave up just four hits and an unearned run over six innings before reliever Beau Burris struck out the side in the seventh in a satisfying 3-1 victory over Dallastown.
Region 4 event next: Both Pleasureville (18-1-1) and Dallastown (8-4-1) will each have a few days to relax before gutting it out for the start of the Region 4 playoffs Saturday in Fredericksburg, Lebanon County. Dallastown will take on New Cumberland, the Cumberland County champion, at 4 p.m., while Pleasureville will face host Fredericksburg at 7 p.m.
“We definitely took the long road,” Ness said with a smile. “But the guys showed a lot of grit and came back.”
It wasn’t easy for Pleasureville. Blessed with a pitching staff that has now allowed just 28 runs over its 20 games, the Post 799 offense hasn’t always hit to its potential. That was the case again Tuesday, when the home team was forced to scratch and claw for its three runs.
“We don’t play in a lot of high-scoring games,” Ness said. “So we are forced to manufacture runs and that puts pressure on the defense. And you saw what happens.”
The scoring: What happened was some defensive miscues from Dallastown. Ben Reed reached on an error in the bottom of the first before scoring on a single by Nick Myers.
Reed, who was named the tournament’s top player, put down a successful bunt that moved runners to second and third with one out in the third. Myers followed with a sacrifice fly to center to put Post 799 ahead 2-0.
The home team added a third run in the fifth against Dallastown starter Nick Parker on a wild pitch.
Walters was cruising through six innings before he hit a rough spot in the seventh. An error followed by back-to-back singles by Zach Ness and Darren Sciortino cut the deficit to 3-1 with no outs.
Coach Ness then turned the ball over to Burris, who seemed to be amped for the opportunity. The right-hander blew away the final three batters in order, using a fastball that overpowered each of them.
“He came in firing,” Coach Ness said. “He wanted it.”
After the final swing and miss to end the game, the Pleasureville players jumped into a dog pile around Burris on the field to celebrate. Shortly after that, the team posed for pictures with the playoff trophy at home plate. One of those players brought up the fact that they are only halfway done.
“I guess that is what the guys are gunning for,” Coach Ness said of winning both the Region 4 and possibly even state titles. “But they were also yelling out ‘dog pile’ before the last inning and I was like ‘let’s just try to get three outs first.’”
Livingston honored: Pleasureville's Mike Livingston was named the tournament’s most outstanding pitcher. Livingston earned two victories, one against Dover (2-1) last Wednesday and another against Dallastown (7-3) Monday. The right-hander pitched 14 innings while allowing just four runs.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.