GLEN ROCK — Steve Cooke is no stranger to most of the elite players in the Central and Susquehanna leagues.
While he is playing in his first season in the CL with league-leading Glen Rock, Cooke is a familiar face to area players, having played for years with the Susquehanna Assault and the Baltimore Brew Crew. The Assault have been perennial contenders to win the annual Tom Kerrigan Memorial Tournament in York County over the past decade.
Splitting his time between the Brew Crew and "The Rock," Cooke has already become a trusted and valued asset for his Glen Rock teammates. He demonstrated that Thursday morning when his team squared off against Hallam in an interleague clash.
Cooke was battered around a little in the top of the second inning, allowing a trio of runs, but otherwise was at the top of his game. Even if he wasn’t, the Glen Rock lineup made sure he had plenty of run support. The home team scored eight times over the first three innings en route to a 9-5 triumph.
Now 7-0 in interleague action: The victory marked the seventh interleague win for Glen Rock this season. Glen Rock (14-3-2, 44 points) is the only unbeaten team in play between the CL and SL this season. The Central League leaders have just one more interleague game to go next weekend against Conrads.
“I love coming up here and playing in front of the crowd,” Cooke said. “We played a good game and we have the whole day in front of us.”
Cooke allowed six hits while fanning five over his seven-inning, 108-pitch victory. The right-hander was tagged with five runs allowed, although only three were earned.
“They have a really good team over there,” Cooke said of the Express. “They’re in second place in their league and we’re in first so it was a pretty big match-up. So it was great to start the holiday with a win in this one.”
Fast start for Glen Rock: Glen Rock’s lineup took it to Hallam starter Alex Tucci from the get-go. One of the elite pitchers in the SL, Tucci was tagged with all nine runs allowed (seven earned). The southpaw walked four and surrendered nine hits.
Scott Merkel, Andy Rosenzweig and Brooks Ryan each tallied two hits for the home team. Merkel drove in three runs, with Ryan adding two more.
Kerry Clark had a big game for the Express. The Hallam third baseman finished with two hits and four RBIs.
Big games looming: Even with Thursday’s triumph, Glen Rock can't afford to let its guard down yet. Especially not with big games ahead over the next two weeks against Jefferson, Vikings and Stoverstown.
Stoverstown has been neck-and-neck with Glen Rock atop the standings for much of the season. Those two have played twice so far this year, with neither team earning a victory. The first contest ended in a 0-0 tie while their latest showdown this past Tuesday resulted in a 2-2 deadlock.
“The talent in this league is top-notch,” Cooke said. “There are no easy games in this league. I know there’s competition every night and that’s what you want. I know our game Tuesday (against Stoverstown) ended 2-2 and it was a really amazing game.”
Pitching in big games is something that Cooke craves. And it’s something that he hopes his manager will oblige him with come Tuesday, July 23, when Glen Rock takes on the Tigers (13-4-2, 41) for the final time in the regular season.
“I’m hoping that I’ll be able to face them next time,” Cooke said. “I haven’t been able to pitch against them yet, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.”
OTHER INTERLEAGUE GAMES
East Prospect 9, Pleasureville 0 (5 innings): At Pleasureville, Nick Kreider led the visiting Pistons to the victory by throwing a five-inning, no-hitter, striking out four and walking one.
Prospect's offense was led by D.J. Ream (2 for 3, grand slam, two runs, five RBIs), Jeremy Mohr (2 for 3, one RBI), Ryky Smith (1 for 2, one run scored, one RBI) and Jordan Higgins (double, one run scored, one RBI).
The game was called in the top of the sixth because of rain.
Mount Wolf 11, Felton 0 (6 innings): At Mount Wolf, Mark Burnside led the home team to the victory by starting the game on the mound and throwing four innings, striking out eight, walking two and allowing two singles to pick up the win.
Danny Dierdorff (2 for 3, double, two RBIs, two runs scored), Grant Hoover (1 for 1, two runs scored) and Dan Westfall (1 for 1, one run scored, one RBI) led the Wolves' offense.
For Felton, Eric Adamson went 1 for 1, while Luke Shoff threw four innings of relief, striking out five and walking four. Mount Wolf plated 10 of its 11 runs in the bottom of the first.
The game was stopped after the top of the sixth because of rain.
Jefferson 7, Windsor 0: At Jefferson, Zach Reed led the home team to the victory by starting the game on the mound and throwing six innings, striking out nine, walking two and allowing two hits to pick up the win.
Jefferson's offense was led by Colin Porter (4 for 4, two runs scored), Tyler Troxel (2 for 3, three RBIs), Ross Drawbaugh (2 for 4, one run scored) and Gabe Grove (double, one RBI). Jefferson's Jon Kibler threw the final inning, striking out the side.
For Windsor, Connor Dewees doubled.
Stoverstown 6, Conrads 0: At Stoverstown, Zach Schuler led the home team to the victory by going 4 for 4 at the plate, including a solo homer and two doubles, to go with three runs scored and one RBI.
Also for Stoverstown, Levi Krause went 2 for 3, including a double, with three RBIs, and starting pitcher Jordan Lehman threw the first five innings, striking out four, walking two and allowing one hit. Austin Rolfing threw the final two innings, allowing one hit.
York Township 5, Dillsburg 3: At Dillsburg, Derek Pitzer led the visitors to the victory by throwing a complete game on the mound, striking out five and walking two, while allowing six hits and no earned runs.
Pitzer also connected at the plate for a double, with one RBI. Also for Township, Tyler Page went 2 for 3, including a double, with two runs scored; Max Naill went 2 for 4 with two RBIs; and Brady Lefever went 2 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI.
For Dillsburg, Clayton Hoak went 2 for 3, while Joey Deluca doubled and collected three RBIs.
Vikings 4, Stewartstown 1: At Shiloh, Allen Rohrbaugh led the Vikings to the home victory by throwing a complete game on the mound, striking out three, walking two and allowing four hits.
Also for Vikings, Ethan Zorbaugh went 2 for 2 with one RBI, while Anthony Kahley collected two RBIs.
For Stewartstown, Bubba Jacobus had a double and one RBI, while Cody Brittain threw a complete game on the mound, striking out nine, walking two and allowing two earned runs.
SUSQUEHANNA LEAGUE GAMES
East Prospect 6, Hallam 0: At East Prospect, Dylan Stoops led the Pistons to the home victory by throwing a shutout, striking out seven, walking four and allowing four singles.
Also for Prospect, Dalton Renn homered and doubled with two RBIs and two runs scored, Ryky Smith went 2 for 4 with one run scored, Bren Taylor went 2 for 4 with one run scored, Austin Denlinger homered, Jordan Higgins doubled with one RBI and one run scored and Mark Schauren doubled with one RBI.
Hallam's Zach Zambito went 1 for 2 at the plate, and threw three shutout relief innings.
Stewartstown 12, Felton 0 (5 innings): At Stewartstown, Jesse Brittain led the home team to the victory with a triple, a homer, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Also for the Vets, Bubba Jacobs went 2 for 2, including a homer, with three RBIs and two runs scored; Brian Romig went 2 for 2 with two runs scored and one RBI; Jason Mitchell went 1 for 2 with one run scored and two walks; and Joey Thomas picked up two RBIs.
For the Mad Dogs, Tre Lawrence and Ryan Day each doubled.
The game was stopped after five innings because of the weather.
Conrads 4, York Township 1: At York Township, Brian Walters and Josh Knaub combined to throw a three-hitter to lead the visitors to the victory.
Walters started the game and went three innings, striking out four, walking four and allowing one hit and no earned runs. Knaub threw four innings, striking out two, walking one and allowing two hits.
The Conrads offense was paced by Kevin Keesey (2 for 3, one run scored, one RBI) and Nolan Boushell (double, one run scored, one RBI).
For York Township, Dillon Armstrong went 2 for 3 with a double, while D.J. Reed threw three shutout innings of relief, striking out three and walking two.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.