EAST PROSPECT — When a heavy rainstorm barreled through eastern York County early Tuesday morning, it appeared as if the evening’s showdown between Susquehanna League rivals Hallam and East Prospect would have to wait for another day.
With Hallam’s field literally under water, it was decided in the early afternoon to postpone the contest between two of the top teams in the league.
East Prospect, however, which is a few miles to the east of Hallam, barely got a drop of rain. So Pistons manager Mark Toomey called up Hallam skipper Rich Day later in the afternoon with an offer to host the game instead.
Toomey, however, probably wishes he hadn’t extended the offer.
Matt Ruth hit a two-run homer in the third inning for the "host" Express to supply all of his team’s offense. Hallam starter Alex Tucci did the rest, limiting East Prospect to one unearned run over seven innings as the Express picked up a 2-1 triumph.
Hallam improved to 16-10, while the league-leading Pistons dropped to 21-5.
“They got a couple of inches of rain in the matter of like 40 minutes,” Toomey said. “It completely washed their field out, but we didn’t get a drop here.”
Toomey and his club could have used a few more balls to drop in against one of the league’s premier pitchers in Tucci. The southpaw gave up six hits and walked two batters, but the Pistons were unable to string together enough hits to do any damage.
“Tucci is always good,” Toomey said. “He always throws a good game and we knew we’d have our hands full with him.”
While Tucci was good, East Prospect starter Bobby Gaston was nearly up the to the task. Gaston limited Hallam to four hits over six innings. Gaston’s only mistake was a hanging curve ball that Ruth bashed over the fence.
“I got a curve ball inside and I tried turning on it,” Ruth said. “It worked out for me.”
The Express may not have enough games left to catch up to the Pistons to defend their Susquehanna League title from a season ago. Still, Ruth and his teammates continue to play as if they do. Taking on their cross-town rivals never hurts either.
“Whenever you have an ‘H’ on your jersey, you always want to beat the team in that other dugout that’s leading the league,” Ruth said. “And that’s East Prospect. It’s great to beat them and split with them this year (2-2), but it would have been nice to win maybe one or two more from them.”
The only run that the Pistons managed against Tucci came in top of the fifth. Anthony Torreullas singled to begin the inning before later scoring on Tanner Forry’s sacrifice fly.
East Prospect had a glimmer of hope in the seventh. With two outs, Ryky Smith hit a grounder to third that seemed like it would end the contest. The throw to first, however, got into the sun, which caused the throw to deflect off of Hallam first baseman Angel Matias’ glove.
Smith moved to second on the play, but was stranded when Tucci induced another grounder to short that ended the contest.
Dan Wecker collected half of his team’s four hits, while Smith and Torreullas both tallied two hits each for East Prospect.
Red Lion 17, Conrads 3 (6 innings): At Conrads, Bren Taylor went 5 for 5 with four runs scored and one RBI to lead the visitors to the victory. Also for Red Lion, Daulton Martin belted two doubles to go with two runs scored, two RBIs and three walks; Alex Zelger went 2 for 3 with three runs scored, two RBIs and two walks; Mike Godfrey went 2 for 2 with one run scored and two RBIs; Tyler Taylor went 2 for 4 with five RBIs; and Jason Aspito went 1 for 2 with four RBIs and two runs scored. For Conrads, Glenn Dietrich homered with two RBIs and Nick Root went 2 for 4 with one run scored.
Felton 7, Windsor 6: At Felton, Patrick Daugherty led the Ducks to the victory by going 3 for 3, including a homer and a double, to go with three RBIs, two runs scored and a walk. Also for Felton, Dalton Miller went 3 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI, Dan Waldrup had two runs scored and two walks and Luke Howard went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and one run scored. For Windsor, Bryce Billet went 2 for 2 with two runs scored, Tyler Myers went 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Cole Gipe went 1 for 2 with one run scored and one RBI and Chris Liggett doubled with two RBIs and one run scored.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.