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LOCAL BASEBALL: Central Stars capture Fourth of July tournament title at Revs' park

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
717-505-5403/@yascores
  • The Central Stars won the Fourth of July baseball tournament crown.
  • The Central Stars beat Lansdale 4-1 in the tournament title game.
  • The championship game was played at PeoplesBank Park, home of the York Revolution.
Scott Merkel, left, and Connor Hood celebrate after the pair scored on a hit by teammate Justin Anderson as the Central Stars face the Lansdale Cannoneers in the York 4th of July Tournament final, Sunday, July 5, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

Whenever Pat Schultz finds his team playing in a big game, the Jefferson skipper knows just who to turn to — Brian Bossom.

Over the years, Schultz has learned that his team is nearly unbeatable when "The Boss" is the starting pitcher.

To no one’s surprise, Bossom found himself on the mound Sunday at PeoplesBank Park in the Central League's Fourth of July tournament title game against Lansdale.

Just 24 hours after pitching a complete game, Bossom gave his Central Stars squad — a combination of Glen Rock and Jefferson players — two solid innings on the bump before tiring.

That was good enough for the Stars. Reliever Dan Rogers got out of a two-on, no-out jam in the third by inducing a pop out before getting an inning-ending double-play to retire the side.

The Cannoneers, who ripped the Stars 10-4 during Friday’s pool play, broke up the shutout with two outs in the seventh, but Sam Crater got the final out to earn the save in a 4-1 championship game triumph for the Stars.

“We’re in the middle of our regular season and Brian threw yesterday,” Schultz said. “We know what Boss is capable of. He does well in title games and he threw against these guys last year (in the finals of the Tom Kerrigan Memorial Tournament). I think that Boss is the type of pitcher that those guys (Lansdale) struggle with.”

"Slinging pizzas:" Schultz was unsure of who would take the ball from Bossom when he tired. Rogers was one of several candidates.

For Schultz, it turned out that Rogers was the perfect replacement. Lansdale, who entered the final with a perfect 5-0 mark in the event, couldn’t muster much off the right-hander until staging a rally that turned out to be too little, too late.

“Dan was fantastic,” Schultz said. “Dan was slinging pizzas. He was hyped and everyone was feeding off his energy.”

Getting the Stars out of a jam in the top of the third was just the spark that Schultz and his team needed.

“I don’t know why, but I felt really good today,” Rogers said. “I just stayed loose and went out there and threw strikes.”

While Rogers wasn’t overpowering — thus the characterization by Schultz that Rogers was throwing pizzas — the Lansdale lineup couldn’t do much of anything with him. Rogers yielded just two hits over his first four innings of relief. While he did allow back-to-back hits with two outs in the seventh, Crater only needed to throw a few pitches to finish things off.

"Fantastic" championship: While winning the Fourth of July tournament wasn’t like winning the Kerrigan Tournament, this weekend’s midseason event was fun for the Central Stars.

“Yeah, it was fantastic,” Schultz said. “When they started talking about putting on this tournament, Justin (Anderson) and Dan (Rhodes) spoke with me about doing it. Our two teams really get along well and we’re pretty similar in how we play the game. A lot of us grew up in the same area and went to school together so this was just terrific.”

The players and coaches also enjoyed the chance to play on the same field that the York Revolution calls home. While the Revs won’t play any Atlantic League games this summer because of the coronavirus, the Revs will host 13 more games this season featuring Central and Susquehanna squads.

Jefferson, in fact, will be back Thursday for a tilt against Vikings.

“This tournament went great,” Schultz said. “And playing here was really special. I’m looking forward to playing again here Thursday. It’s pretty cool.”

Notes: Anderson finished with a pair of hits, including a two-run single in the first that put the Stars up 3-0.

Connor Hood had a memorable day for the Stars. The second baseman collected two hits and two stolen bases, but also made a terrific inning-ending leaping catch for the final out of the second frame.

CENTRAL

LEAGUE GAMES

Jefferson 5, Manchester 3: At Manchester, Jefferson continued its unbeaten run in early-season Central League baseball action on Thursday evening.

The Titans jumped out to a 5-0 lead after 5 1/2 innings and then held on for the win to improve to 5-0 on the season. First-place Jefferson is the only unbeaten team in the Central League.

Sam Crater led the visitors by throwing a complete game, striking out seven, walking one and allowing one earned run. Crater also went 2 for 3 at the plate with two runs scored.

Jefferson also got good offensive games from Jordan Witmer (two hits, two-run homer, three RBIs), Scott Trail (two hits, double, run scored, RBI) and Ross Drawbaugh (triple, RBI).

For the Indians (2-2-1), Logan Allison tripled with one run scored and one RBI, while Jonah Latshaw doubled with a run scored.

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Mechanicsburg 6, Pleasureville 1: At Mechanicsburg, Jayson Kramer led the Cardinals to the victory by going 3 for 3, including a double, with two runs scored.

Also excelling for Mechanicsburg (3-1) were Jon Mayer and Teed Wertz, who each went 2 for 3 with one run scored and one RBI, while Cole Wagner went 2 for 3 with one run scored.

For the Hawks (1-4), Thomas Bramley went 1 for 2 with one run scored.

LOCAL BASEBALL: Longtime rivals Mount Wolf, Manchester battle to Central League deadlock

Dillsburg 10, Mount Wolf 2: At Dillsburg, Toby Sponseller led the home team to the victory by going 2 for 4, including a homer, with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Also shining for Dillsburg (2-3) were Dalton Miller (two hits, double, two runs scored), Cam Kerns (two hits, run scored) and pitcher Justin Charles (complete game, 10 strikeouts, three walks, one earned run).

For the Wolves (2-3-1), Grant Hoover homered, while Steve Pokopec doubled.

SUSQUEHANNA

LEAGUE GAMES

East Prospect 10, Felton 4: At Felton, Nick Lucky led the Pistons (5-1) to the road victory by going 3 for 5, including an inside-the-park grand slam and a two-run inside-the-park homer. He finished with seven RBIs.

Also excelling for Prospect were Devin Strickler (two hits, three runs scored, RBI, two walks), Dylan Stoops (two hits, RBI), Dalton Renn (two hits, homer) and relief pitcher Tyler Butcher (seven strikeouts, two walks, four innings).

For the Mad Dogs (0-4), Kameron Bayman went 3 for 3, including a double, with four RBIs. Teammate Cole Bankert went 2 for 4 with one run scored.  

Hallam 4, Windsor 1: At Hallam on Saturday, Colby Shimmel struck out 15 in a complete-game, seven-hit effort for the Express, walking two.

Hallam's offense was led by Kerry Clark (three hits, homer, two runs, RBI), Shimmel (two hits, RBI) and Zach Zambito (double, two RBIs).

For Windsor, Shawn Wilson pitched two innings of shutout relief. Wilson and Tyler Stabley had two hits each, including a double, for Windsor. Cole Daugherty also doubled.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.