While the battle for the Susquehanna League regular-season title was without much drama this summer, the intrigue should pick up later this week when the league playoffs kick into gear.
After cruising to the title in wire-to-wire fashion, East Prospect (24-7) is the top seed in the eight-team draw. The Pistons, who ended a 24-year Susquehanna League regular-season title drought, will face the winner of the No. 8-vs.-No. 9 play-in game between Windsor (10-22) and Felton (4-28) in a best-of-three series that starts Thursday, Aug. 3. The Windsor-Felton play-in game is set for Tuesday, Aug. 1.
While East Prospect's quarterfinal series may not be one to watch, the other three series most certainly will be.
One of the other quarterfinal series is set. No. 4 seed York Township (19-13) will battle No. 5 seed Stewartstown (17-15). York Township took three of four against Stewartstown this year. The Vets won the season-opener for both teams, but Township claimed the final trio of clashes.
The other two quarterfinal match-ups will be determined after the regular-season finale on Tuesday, Aug. 1, pitting Jacobus at East Prospect.
If Jacobus (21-10) wins that game, it will earn the No. 2 seed and face No. 7 seed Conrads (12-20), while Hallam (21-11) will settle for the No. 3 seed and face No. 6 Red Lion (15-17).
If Jacobus loses vs. East Prospect, Hallam gets the No. 2 seed and the quarterfinal pairings will be Hallam vs. Conrads and Jacobus vs. Red Lion.
If Jacobus loses to East Prospect, both Jacobus and Hallam will finish 21-11, but Hallam will earn the No. 2 seed because it beat Jacobus in three of four meetings this season.
The winners of the quarterfinal contests will play in the best-of-three semifinals before the best-of-five finals to close out the tournament.
As the regular-season champion, East Prospect has already secured berths into both the York County Championship Series against the Central League regular-season champ as well as the Tom Kerrigan Memorial Tournament over Labor Day weekend.
The winner of the playoff tournament, unless it is the Pistons, will also earn a berth into the Tom Kerrigan Memorial Tournament. If East Prospect wins, the playoff runner-up will earn the additional berth.
Central League: While the Susquehanna League readies for its playoff tournament starting this week, the Central League enters its final two weeks of the regular season.
Right now, it's a three team race between Stoverstown (22-8-0, 66 points), Manchester (19-10-1, 58 points) and Jefferson (18-9-1, 55 points).
Of the Tigers' five remaining contests, two of them are against their main rivals. Stoverstown is set to host the Indians Tuesday evening, Aug. 1, in a pivotal showdown. A loss pretty much eliminates Manchester from contention, but a victory can tighten up the standings in a hurry.
If things remain close down the stretch, the Titans and Tigers could be playing for the title on Thursday, Aug. 10. That’s when Stoverstown visits Jefferson in the regular-season finale.
Currently the Tigers’ magic number to clinch a share of the title is 10 points.
The Central League champion will get Susquehanna League champion East Prospect in the best-of-three York County Championship Series on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26 and Aug. 27.
Stoverstown 15, Glen Rock 1: At Glen Rock, the visitors exploded early, plating eight runs in the top of the first. Individually for Stoverstown, Nick Spangler went 4 for 5, including a double, with five RBIs. Also for the Tigers, Brandon Warner went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, Zach Schuler went 3 for 5 with three runs scored, Nick Todero went 3 for 5 (including a double) with one RBI, Austin Botts homered with three RBIs and Daryl Harang started on the mound and threw five innings, striking out four and walking none. For Glen Rock, Dan Rhodes had an RBI double, while Scott Merkle went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Manchester 16, Vikings 0: At Manchester, Kenny Kopp went 2 for 3, including a double and four RBIs, to lead the home team. Also for Manchester, Trey McWilliams went 2 for 3, including a double, with two RBIs; Austin Allison doubled; and starting pitcher Jason Kelly threw six innings, striking out five, walking three and allowing four hits to pick up the win. For the Vikings, Walker Monteith and Brandon Wetzel each doubled.
Conrads 4, Red Lion 2: At Conrads, the home team plated three runs in the bottom of the first and went on to capture the victory. Nolan Boushell led the home team by going 4 for 4, including a solo homer and a double, with two runs scored. Teammate Rick Thompson went 2 for 3 with one run scored and one RBI. For Red Lion, Hunter Smith went 2 for 3.
Reach Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was updated to correct the quarterfinal playoff possibilities in the Susquehanna League.