TUESDAY'S CENTRAL LEAGUE BASEBALL: Glen Rock pitcher dominant in opener vs. Stoverstown

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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Glen Rock pitcher James Wiercinski delivers against visiting Stoverstown in Central League baseball Tuesday, May 11, 2021. He pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out 16 batters for the 1-0 win. Bill Kalina photo

GLEN ROCK — It’s always nice to have a hard-throwing left-hander on a pitching staff.

It’s even better when the southpaw is near the top of his game to start the season.

That the case Tuesday when Glen Rock played host to rival Stoverstown during the 2021 Central League baseball opening night.

Glen Rock starter James Wiercinski was nearly unhittable, surrendering three hits and three walks while fanning 16 to help the home team earn a 1-0 triumph.

“I just wanted to establish a good fastball,” said Wiercinski, a Stevenson University graduate. “And I just wanted to see if they could hit it.”

Stoverstown's Bryan Haberstroll forces Glen Rock's Dan Rhodes before completing a double play in Central League baseball at Glen Rock Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Glen Rock came away with a 1-0 victory. Bill Kalina photo

On a bit of a chilly evening, Wiercinski found out the answer to that question — not really. Joe Yourgal and Levi Krause collected two of Stoverstown’s three hits — both doubles. J.W. Besore tallied Stoverstown’s other hit.

While Wiercinski was dominant, the Tigers had a few chances. Stoverstown stranded the bases loaded in the fifth, while Krause was stranded after a leadoff double in the sixth.

“Towards the end of the game I started mixing in some off-speed pitches,” Wiercinski said. “And that kind of helped shut it down.”

The biggest worry of the night was whether or not either team would score. Glen Rock was able to scratch across the eventual winning run in the fourth inning on an over-throw error. Outside of that, the home team was only able to generate four hits against Stoverstown pitchers Trevor Farrell and Nick Todero.

Stoverstown's Joe Yourgal signals to teammates after hitting a double during Central action at Glen Rock Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Glen Rock won 1-0. Bill Kalina photo

“I heard that (Wiercinski) has been trying to catch on with an independent league team, so he’s been pitching over the winter,” Stoverstown manager Tim Thoman said. “And for him to have 16 Ks out of 21 (outs), that’s a pretty good day at the office.”

Neither side had a full bench for the opening-night battle. Stoverstown's Joe Capobianco couldn’t play because his York College team is still competing in the postseason. Capobianco’s York College teammate, Conor Miller, a Glen Rock pitcher, was out for the same reason.

Tuesday’s win will hold a little more meaning this season in the Central League. Central teams will only battle one another three times this season, with eight additional contests coming via interleague play with the rival Susquehanna League.

Despite the outcome, neither organization is going to panic or celebrate. Thoman knows that the 35-game season is a long one and a lot of things can change over time.

Glen Rock hosts Stoverstown in Central League baseball at Glen Rock Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Glen Rock came away with a 1-0 victory. Bill Kalina photo

Glen Rock skipper Mike Knott feels similarly, although it certainly is better to get a hard-fought win whenever his team battles Stoverstown.

“Everyone right now is probably a little shorthanded,” Knott said. “And I don’t know how many teams have been able to get out and do much.”

Knott’s club will get an early look at a CL newcomer, the Brew Crew, come Thursday. Several Glen Rock players have played for the Brew Crew previously, while a handful of Brew Crew players also double-dipped as members of Glen Rock.

Notes: Dan Rhodes collected half of Glen Rock’s four hits with a pair of singles …Wiercinski and Keven Kopas, who played with Wiercinski at Stevenson, each singled in the triumph … Stoverstown is slated to square off against Manchester Thursday.

OTHER CENTRAL LEAGUE GAMES

South Mountain 4, Pleasureville 2: At Pleasureville, Jam Heisey led the visiting Sox to the victory by pitching six innings, striking out six, walking three and allowing one earned run to pick up the win. Teammate Toby Sponseller homered with two RBIs and two walks. For the Hawks, Ben Reed doubled with one run scored and one RBI.  

Mount Wolf 2, Brew Crew 1 (8 innings): At Mount Wolf, the home team plated the go-head run in the bottom of the eighth on a two-out RBI single from Grant Hoover to secure the walk-off victory. Mark Burnside led the Wolves by connecting for a solo homer and throwing five innings, striking out two, walking one and allowing one hit, but recorded no-decision.  For Brew Crew, Jordan Kunkel went 2 for 2 with one run scored. 

Jefferson 4, Manchester 2: At Jefferson, Brian Bossom led the home team to the victory by throwing a complete game, striking out three, walking three and allowing five hits to pick up the win. Ross Drawbaugh went 2 for 4 for Jefferson, while Austin Piety went 1 for 1 with one run scored and one RBI. For the Indians, starting pitcher Mike Baker threw five innings, striking out four, walking three and allowing one earned run, but took the loss. Manchester's Chris Beaudoin went 1 for 2 with one RBI. 

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.