SPRY — It’s not normal when the managers for both teams are left shaking their heads after a baseball game.
The opener in a Susquehanna League quarterfinal series between Stewartstown and York Township ended in just that fashion on Thursday, Aug. 3. Both Township skipper Robin Striebig and Vets manager Jere Preston had a hard time wrapping their heads around what just happened, and even more importantly, what will now happen.
After Stewartstown evened the score at 1-1 in the sixth inning, neither side was able to push across a run over the final four innings. After the final out was recorded in the 10th inning, the umpires called the contest because of darkness.
Both sides initially believed they could just pick up where they left off on either Friday or Saturday, but league rules state that the game must now be replayed in its entirety. That contest is slated for 5:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, back at McWilliams Field.
Thus the head shaking.
“It’s a shame,” Preston said. “We’ve been in a lot of tight games this year, but I can’t say that I’ve seen one like this.”
Preston was referring to the two outstanding performances by each team's respective starter. Stewartstown starter Blake Kendrick allowed seven hits over his 10 inning.
Township starter James Striebig, however, was nearly unhittable over his 10 frames. The right-hander allowed just two hits without a walk while fanning eight.
Neither club was particularly pleased with the situation. Both will have to play at least two more games without the aid of either starter.
“When you get into the playoffs, you know that you’re going to see some good pitching,” Robin Striebig said. “But tonight … it is what it is.”
Don’t let anyone, however, tell Robin Striebig that the game didn’t matter. While it didn’t count, it certainly set a tone for his club for the rest of the series.
“This was a well-played game,” he said. “It may seem like it didn’t mean anything, but it did. We’re not in an elimination situation (Friday).”
In a contest dominated by the pitchers, both runs scored without the aid of a single hit.
Township took the lead in the third inning when Rob Catchings walked, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Freeburger.
The Vets managed their only run with the assistance of some sloppy defense by the home team. An error allowed Jason Mitchell to reach to start the sixth. Another error allowed Mitchell to take second before he was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. A ground ball to short off the bat of Justin Sommer failed to produce an out when Mitchell was caught in between home and third. The throw from the catcher bounced away, allowing Mitchell to score.
That fact that these two teams played such a low-scoring game was a bit of a contrast from their regular-season meetings. Township plated 29 runs in their three wins, but two games were decided by a single run.
Marcus Stevenson and Adam Allshouse were the only ones to get a hit off James Striebig, who threw 132 pitches. Max Nail finished with two hits off Kendrick, who needed 130 pitches to get through his 10 innings.
Township entered the playoffs as the No. 4 seed after a 19-13 regular-season mark, while fifth-seeded Stewartstown was 17-15.
Hallam 6, Conrads 1: At Hallam, Alex Tucci led the Express to the playoff win by throwing a complete game, striking out six and walking two, while allowing two hits and no earned runs. Tucci also went 2 for 3 at the plate with one run scored.
Also for Hallam, Matt Ruth went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, Colby Shimmel went 3 for 4 with one RBI, Joe Pietrobone went 2 for 3, including a double, with two runs scored, and Ryan Day went 2 for 4 with one run scored.
For Conrads, Joe Yourgal doubled with one run scored, while Nick Root went 1 for 2 with one RBI.
The Express broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth with five runs to take the lead for good.
Game 2 in the best-of-3 quarterfinal series is set for 5 p.m. Saturday at Conrads.
Jacobus 7, Red Lion 0: At Jacobus, Mike Crowe led the Jackals to the playoff win by throwing a shutout, striking out six and walking one, while allowing four singles.
Also for Jacobus, Mike Austin went 3 for 3, including a solo homer and a double, to go with three runs scored, while Brian Hudish doubled with two RBIs, Tracy Carr doubled with one RBI and two walks and Kerry Clark went 1 for 2 with two RBIs and one run scored.
Game 2 of the best-of-3 quarterfinal series is 10 a.m. Saturday at Red Lion.
East Prospect 23, Felton 0 (6 innings): At East Prospect, D.J. Ream led the Pistons to the playoff victory by going 4 for 5, including a homer and a double, with six RBIs and three runs scored. Prospect finished with 22 hits.
Also for the Pistons, Ryan Smith went 4 for 5, including a double, with four runs scored; Dalton Renn went 3 for 3, including a homer, with six RBIs, two runs scored and two walks; Ben Achenbach went 2 for 5, including a homer, with three RBIs and two runs scored; Mark Schauren went 2 for 4 with four RBIs and three runs scored; Grant Schwartz went 2 for 3 with two runs scored; Jeremy Mohr went 2 for 3 with one run scored; Tanner Forry went 2 for 3 with three runs scored, two RBIs and two walks; Ryky Smith scored three runs with two walks and one RBI; and Seth Lefever threw six innings to record the shutout, striking out six and walking four.
For Felton, Dalton Miller went 2 for 2 with a double, Adam Whitman went 2 for 3 and Patrick Daugherty doubled.
Game 2 in the best-of-3 quarterfinal series is 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Felton.
Manchester 11, Dillsburg 1: At Manchester, Jonah Latshaw led the home team to the victory by going 4 for 4 with two RBIs.
Also for the Indians, Chris Biechler went 3 for 3 with one RBI, Austin Allison doubled and Ethan Hess threw six innings, striking out six and walking two, to record the win.
For Dillsburg, Clayton Haak and Jamison Heisey each doubled.
Manchester improved to 21-10-1 with 64 points.
Stoverstown 6, Mount Wolf 3: At Mount Wolf, Nick Spangler led the visitors by going 3 for 4, including a homer and a double, with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Also for Stoverstown, Austin Botts went 3 for 4 with a solo homer, J.W. Besore doubled, Nick Todero doubled and relief pitcher Ryan Kuhn threw 2 2/3 shutout innings to secure the win, striking out five, walking one and allowing one hit.
For Mount Wolf, Grant Myers went 2 for 3, while Dustin Kuhn doubled.
First-place Stoverstown improved to 23-9-0 with 69 points.