The first season of York County interleague baseball is more than half over.
So, it seems like an appropriate time to examine the balance of power between the Susquehanna and Central leagues.
So which league has the edge thus far?
After play this weekend, the Central League holds a 23-17 lead, with 24 interleague contests still to be played.
“Overall, I think that (interleague play) was something that was needed,” Stoverstown manager Tim Thoman said. “I feel they probably should have done this five, six years ago. And it’s been great. There have been some really competitive games and that’s a good thing.”
Glen Rock, Stoverstown excel: As one would expect, it’s the top four teams in the Central League that are doing most of the damage. Co-leaders Glen Rock (11-2-1, 34 points) and Stoverstown (11-2-1, 34) are a combined 9-1 over their first five interleague contests. Both powerhouse clubs have earned big victories over defending Susquehanna League and York County champion East Prospect (14-5). Glen Rock is 5-0 in interleague action.
Jefferson (9-4, 27), which occupies third place in the Central League, and Vikings (7-7, 21), the fourth-place team in the Central League, are both 3-2 in interleague play so far.
Combined, the top four teams in the Central League hold an impressive 15-5 mark against their Susquehanna brethren.
Of those four, the Titans figure to have the easiest schedule over the final three interleague games yet to be played. The combined records of the three teams that Jefferson is slated to play — Felton (0-19), Windsor (11-10) and Jacobus (9-8) — is 20-37. Those three teams have also won just five of 15 interleague games, although Windsor does hold a victory over the Tigers this season.
Glen Rock and Stoverstown both have Hallam (14-7) and Conrads (9-10) left on their interleague calendars. The Express is currently in second place in the Susquehanna League, a game behind the Pistons.
Central League showdowns loom: The Tigers and "The Rock" also have two regular-season clashes against one another over the remainder of the season. The next battle comes on Tuesday, July 2, at 6 p.m.at Glen Rock, with the final showdown slated for Tuesday, July 23, at Stoverstown.
“Glen Rock has a nice ball team,” Thoman said. “They hit the ball well. We will have to play a good game of baseball if we are going to beat them.”
While the schedule so far hasn’t been kind to East Prospect in interleague play — the Pistons are 2-3 — the final three games figure to be less challenging. Prospect has dropped games against Glen Rock, Stoverstown and Jefferson already, but the team’s final three games are all against the bottom three squads in the Central League standings — Mount Wolf (5-8, 15), Dillsburg (3-9-1, 10) and Pleasureville (3-9, 9).
Hallam, on the other hand, will see three of the top four teams in the Central League over the next few weeks. Games against Glen Rock, Stoverstown and Vikings — who have a combined record of 29-11-2 — will be vital if Hallam hopes to overcome Prospect in the Susquehanna standings.
Hallam is at East Prospect at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 2; and 10 a.m. Saturday, July 6. East Prospect is at Hallam at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 4.
Felton skews the results: Thoman also noted that the parity of the two leagues may not be accurately reflected in the 23-17 mark because of Felton (0-19) enduring a very tough season.
Without the five losses that the Mad Dogs have racked up in interleague play this year, the two leagues would be just one game apart — 18-17 in favor of the Central League.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.