LOCAL BASEBALL: Dover outlasts Northeastern in 13-inning, American Legion playoff marathon
- Dover beat Northeastern 5-4 in a 13-inning American Legion playoff game.
- The contest started Tuesday, but was not finished until Wednesday.
- Dover will visit Pleasureville in a winners' bracket contest Friday evening.
- Northeastern will meet Southwest York in a losers' bracket battle on Thursday.
MANCHESTER — It seemed as if neither team wanted to claim victory during the York-Adams American Legion winners' bracket playoff contest between Dover and Northeastern.
The two teams battled through two evenings, two different fields and 12 innings, and still neither team could emerge victorious.
The Chronister brothers, however, finally changed all of that for Dover.
After both teams missed golden opportunities to take the lead or win the game in the 11th and 12th innings, Andrew Chronister put the ball in play, scoring his brother, Nathan, with the game-winning run in the 13th.
That gave Dover the 5-4 triumph — at last.
Nathan Chronister walked to lead off the 13th before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Then Andrew laid down a bunt that the pitcher fielded before throwing wildly to third to try to nab Nathan. The ball skipped away from the third baseman, allowing Nathan to score Post 791’s winning run.
Dover (13-2), the No. 2 seed in the eight-team field, moves on to play in another winners' bracket contest Friday against top-seeded Pleasureville (12-1-1). That contest is slated to begin at 5:45 p.m. in Pleasureville. They are the only two unbeaten teams remaining in the double-elimination tournament.
Sense of relief: The Chronister brothers admitted to feeling a sense of relief after the crazy contest concluded. It started Tuesday at Mount Wolf, before being suspended after 10 innings because of darkness, tied at 4-4. It then concluded Wednesday at Manchester.
“I didn’t see it,” said Nathan Chronister of the pitcher's throw. “I just heard Coach (Bryce) Smith say ‘go, go, go!’ and I did.”
Nathan is 18, while Andrew is 16.
Andrew not only helped create the play that won the game, he also picked up the victory after throwing three innings of scoreless relief.
“Coach Smith wanted me to swing, but I just really wanted to get the job done,” Andrew Chronister said after the wild pitch moved Nathan into scoring position. “We had multiple opportunities last night and tonight because our defense played great as a team. We just all stuck together and won the game.”
Missed opportunities: Before play was suspended Tuesday, both sides had chances to prevail. Northeastern left an insurance run on third in the top of the 10th inning after staking out a 4-3 lead. Dover tied it up in the bottom of the 10th only to strand the bases loaded with one out.
The wackiness didn’t die down Wednesday.
Andrew Chronister loaded the bases on walks with two outs in the 11th inning. He fanned the final batter of the frame to complete a three-walk, three-strikeout inning.
Dover had a chance in the bottom of the frame after loading the bases with one out. But a force out at the plate and a fly out to left allowed Northeastern to exhale a sigh of relief.
Sacrifice attempts key: Northeastern (8-6), the No. 6 seed, was able to get the leadoff man on to start the 13th. Andrew Chronister, however, was able to avoid a mess by turning a sacrifice bunt attempt into a double play after catching the ball between the mound and the plate. The Post 791 pitcher then threw to first to complete the twin killing.
“It was kind of a roller-coaster of emotions,” Andrew Chronister said. “We’re taught, as pitchers, to let them get themselves out and I just threw the ball kind of right at him. So he had to kind of make a decision to either get out of the way or let it hit the bat.”
Andrew Chronister took notice of that and other botched sacrifice bunt attempts the past two days. He made sure to square up and get the ball on the ground nearly halfway between the third base line and the pitcher’s mound.
“It just all worked out,” Andrew Chronister said with a smile.
Looking ahead to Pleasureville: The triumph earned the brothers and their Post 791 teammates a day of rest Thursday before taking on Pleasureville Friday.
“We know that they won (the tournament) last year,” Andrew Chronister said. “But me and Nathan weren’t a part of the Legion team last year. We played travel ball, but now that we decided to play Legion this summer, we’re in it to win it.”
Nathan Chronister led the Dover attack with three hits and three runs scored. Clayton Kennell added two hits.
Robert Elzinga took the loss, despite not giving up an earned run in two innings of relief.
Spencer Rhoads had three hits, an RBI and a run scored for Northeastern.
Northeastern will now travel to fourth-seeded Southwest York (10-6) at 5:45 p.m. Thursday in an elimination game.
East Prospect 15, Windsor 5: At East Prospect, the first-place Pistons fell behind 5-0 after a half inning, only to roar back for the win.
Bren Taylor (three hits, double, triple, three RBIs, two runs), Hunter McClintock (three hits, four runs, two RBIs), Jeremy Mohr (three hits, two doubles, four RBIs), Thomas Taylor (three hits, RBI, run) and Dyson Renn (three hits, run) paced the Pistons' 19-hit attack.
Prospect's Seth Lefever overcame a rocky start to pitch a five-hit complete game. He didn't allow an earned run or a walk, while striking out four.
Grant Swartz belted a first-inning grand slam for Windsor.
East Prospect improved to 23-5.
Stewartstown 12, Conrads 4: At Stewartstown, Cody Brittain drove in four runs and scored three times to lead the Vets.
Brittain finished with two hits, including a double.
James Klingerman added two doubles, three RBIs and a run scored for the winners, while Justin Sommer and Marcus Stevenson each added two hits and two runs scored. Jason Mitchell tripled with an RBI and a run scored.
Conrads was led by Joe Yourgal (two hits, RBI, run), Kevin Keesey (two hits, RBI) and Randy Stewart (two hits, double, RBI).
Blake Kendrick pitched six innings and gave up three earned runs to get the win, striking out seven.
Glen Rock 11, Mount Wolf 3: At Mount Wolf, Trevor Walzl drove in four runs, while Andy Rosenzweig drove in three for Glen Rock.
Walzl had two hits, including a homer, and a run scored, while Rosenzweig added three hits and a run scored. Scott Merkle collected two hits, two RBIs and three runs scored for the winners. Connor Miller pitched a complete game to get the victory.
John Mehring paced the Wolves with three hits, including a double, and three RBIs.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.