Dallastown fighting for playoff life, but coach still upbeat about team's chances
- Rain caused the postponement of Region 4 American Legion playoff action on Monday.
- Dallastown trails its game vs. Fredericksburg 4-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
- Pleasureville's game vs. Campbelltown never started Monday. It will be played Tuesday evening.
FREDERICKSBURG — So far in the Pennsylvania American Legion Region 4 Baseball Tournament, the No. 4 has become a recurring theme for the Dallastown Post 605 outfit.
Post 605 trailed by four-run margins in both Saturday’s come-from-behind victory over New Cumberland and Sunday’s loss to Campbelltown. In an elimination contest Monday against host Fredericksburg, Dallastown didn’t fall behind by four, but was trailing by a 4-2 margin before rain in the area interrupted play for the day at Wenger Field in the top of the sixth inning.
A saving grace for Dallastown coach Phil Jeanmenne is that the regional playoffs are all set for nine-inning contests, with the stipulation that games can only be shortened by the 10-run mercy rule. Because of that, Post 605 will continue Monday’s game at 1 p.m. Tuesday back at Wenger Field with Post 605 batting with two outs and no runners on base. The team will have just more than three innings to save its season.
“We’re still in this,” Jeanmenne said. “We’ve had guys on a couple of times but weren’t able to drive them in. But I really feel that we are just a hit or two away from tying or taking the lead.”
Part of Jeanmenne’s optimism stems from his pitching staff. With the pitch-count limits in effect for all of the Region 4 playoffs, teams will need an ample supply of quality arms to make it to Thursday after the entire tournament was pushed back a day by Monday's rain. That included Pleasureville's winners' bracket contest against Campbelltown, which had been set for 7 p.m. Monday.
Any pitcher who throws more than 30 pitches in a given day requires at least one day of rest. Throwing at least 46 requires two days, more than 61 necessitates three days and more than 76 mandates four days. The maximum number of pitches allowed is 120.
Already playing nearly three full games in the tournament so far, Jeanmenne still has three fresh arms left at his disposal. Alex Weakland, who pitched in the PIAA Class 6-A championship game in high school for Dallastown, Darren Sciortino and Jake Gates all have yet to take the mound at this point.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how this tournament finishes,” Jeanmenne said. “Because so many pitchers are unavailable or ineligible for the rest of the tournament. But we’re actually sitting pretty. I like where we’re at. If we can beat (Fredericksburg). I think we’ll be in real nice shape.”
Part of Jeanmenne’s bounty of arms is the result of the pitching of Morgan Smith. Smith pitched a couple of innings in Saturday’s victory over New Cumberland before returning to pitch five innings Monday.
“Morgan did a heck of job for us,” he said. “He threw over 100 pitches but I wanted him to pitch as much as he could because he started to become effective there late. But then the rains came.”
Pleasureville night owls: While Dallastown will have a little more than three innings to keep its season alive, York-Adams champ Pleasureville will look to remain unbeaten when it takes on Campbelltown.
Both teams enter the showdown unbeaten thus far at 2-0. Their contest will take place under the lights at Wenger Field on Tuesday after the other elimination contest between Linglestown and Shippensburg.
“We’ve kind of been all business up there so far,” Post 799 coach Elliot Ness said. “The guys are taking it all pretty serious. I think the game times have had something to do with it.”
Both of Pleasureville’s first two games were played at 7 p.m., with Tuesday’s contest slated for around that time as well. The chance to play under the lights is always special, since not many fields in the York-Adams League have lights. The late timing, however, and the long drives back to York afterward, have made for some abbreviated post-game huddles.
“After the game is over it’s already past 9 o’clock,” Ness said. “So we have a short meeting so we can get home by 11 o’clock. But the kids have adjusted well to it. It’s the first time most of them have played all year under the lights. And it hasn’t really affected us at all.”
The day off won’t impact Post 799’s pitching outline too much. Ness plans to start Brandon Walters, who picked up the victory over Dallastown in the York-Adams playoff title game last week, against Campbelltown.
The extra day, however, will allow Ness to throw his son, Landon, on Thursday if needed. Landon Ness threw more than 100 pitches over eight innings in a victory Saturday. With the tournament originally scheduled to be concluded Wednesday, Ness would not have been able to return to the mound without Mondaty's postponement.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.