LOCAL BASEBALL: East Prospect just one win from Susquehanna League playoff title
- East Prospect beat York Township on Tuesday, 10-2.
- The Pistons now own a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Susquehanna League Championship Series.
- East Prospect can sew up the title with a win on Thursday at home.
SPRY — It is no longer much of a secret that Tanner Forry is one of the top sluggers throughout the Susquehanna League.
The former Dallastown High School standout has really come into his own this year for East Prospect.
A veteran of four seasons in the Susquehanna League — first with Red Lion and now with East Propect — Forry has been mashing the ball all season. He has eight home runs this year, not including a mammoth blast that he hit during the Central League vs. Susquehanna League All-Star Game last month.
Forry, however, won’t be around if his East Prospect teammates win their playoff final series against York Township. The Wingate University junior will return to the North Carolina campus before Game 3 in the best-of-five series on Thursday, Aug. 17.
Knowing that, Forry made the most of his final game in an East Prospect uniform this summer in Game 2 against Township on Tuesday, Aug. 15. The Pistons' clean-up man launched a three-run home run to help his team cruise to a 10-2 triumph.
The Pistons now lead the series 2-0 with a chance to close things out in Game 3 at home.
“Opposite field,” Forry said with a smile. “It was a little outside and I just went with it.”
Others also doing damage: Part of East Prospect’s success this season stems from the bat of Forry, but the right-handed-hitting slugger is far from the only one doing damage. Ryky Smith collected four hits and three RBIs in Game 2, while Jeremy Mohr tallied three hits.
“This is a great group of guys,” Forry said. “Our bats have woken up in the playoffs big-time.”
Forry, though, has been a standout. He led the Susquehanna League in slugging percentage this season while finishing fourth in RBIs.
“He’s stud,” East Prospect manager Mark Toomey said. “An absolute stud. I couldn’t put it any other way. We’re so lucky and happy to have him.”
Pistons' pitchers also shine: While Forry has been a one-man wrecking crew at the plate, the Pistons have been nearly as formidable on the mound. Including the two runs given up Tuesday, East Prospect pitching has surrendered just five runs over their six contests — all victories — during the postseason.
Seth Lefever, who improved to 10-0 this season after pitching seven innings of six-hit ball, was the latest Pistons pitcher to mow down the opposition.
“Seth does a great job for us,” Toomey said of the southpaw. “He doesn’t say a word. Just goes out and does his job.”
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the second on a Dalton Renn homer, Township evened the score in the bottom of the frame. Matt Attig reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to third on Brady Lefever’s single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Austin Martinez.
Township can't halt East Prospect attack: Township has been pitching nearly as well as East Prospect in the playoffs, but Tuesday’s starter, James Striebig, ran into a buzz-saw. After pitching gems against Stewartstown and Jacobus earlier in the playoffs, the Township right-hander had issues after the second inning. He lasted just four innings while allowing eight hits and five runs (four earned).
“James kind of left a couple of pitches up,” Township manager Robin Striebig said. “And they made him pay. But we also didn’t make a couple of plays for him and a good team like (East Prospect) will make you pay for that.”
Anthony Torreullas and Ryan Smith each collected two hits as part of a 14-hit Pistons attack. Martinez drove in both of Township’s runs, the second of which came on a RBI single in the sixth.
Hoping to celebrate: East Prospect is hoping to celebrate after Game 3 for more reason than one. While winning a championship is always exciting, the Pistons were unable to properly celebrate after earning the regular-season crown last month at Stewartstown.
Prospect was batting in the seventh when its game against the Vets was halted because of darkness. That anticlimactic finish prevented Toomey’s team from rushing the field in celebration. They hope to make up for that Thursday.
“That would be nice,” Toomey said. “But we have to win first.”
Jefferson 6, Mount Wolf 1: At Jefferson, the home team led 2-0 entering the bottom of the fifth when Jordan Higgins hammered a two-run homer to increase the lead to 4-0. Jefferson went on to capture the first-round, best-of-three series, 2-1.
For the game, Higgins went 2 for 3, while Brian Bossom started on the mound and threw six innings, striking out three and walking none. Jon Kibler pitched the seventh, striking out the side to close out the game.
For Mount Wolf, Brant Myers went 2 for 3, while teammate Mark Burnside doubled.
With the win, Jefferson moves on to the league semifinals and will face Manchester in a best-of-three series starting Thursday at Manchester with a 5:45 p.m. first pitch.
Vikings 1, Glen Rock 1: At Glen Rock, the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie into the top of the 10th inning when play was suspended because of darkness.
The game will be resumed at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, at Glen Rock.
The best-of-three, first-round series is tied 1-1. The winner will advance to a semifinal best-of-three series starting Thursday, Aug. 17, at Stoverstown, which won the regular-season title.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.