MONDAY'S LOCAL BASEBALL: Red Lion American Legion team now 12-1, has top seed for playoffs
GLEN ROCK — Sometimes, it doesn’t take the best player in the league.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take the best pitcher in the league, either.
Sometimes, all it takes to win a championship is the ability to take advantage of what the opponent provides.
That sums up the Red Lion team in the York-Adams American Legion League this season.
While plenty talented, Red Lion has surged to a league-best 12-1 record on more than just talent. Coach Scott Guise couldn’t stop gushing about his squad and its championship-like make-up after his team cruised to a 6-1 triumph at Glen Rock Monday evening. Glen Rock is the only team to beat Red Lion this season.
“Our guys have done a really good job of just focusing on one game at a time and really coming out and just playing,” Guise said. “If you look at our stats, our guys do a tremendous job of making others pay for their mistakes.”
The RL boys managed just four hits on Monday, yet were able to scratch across six runs with the aid of four Glen Rock errors as well as four walks.
Leadoff man Reid Anderson and No. 3 hitter Brandon Ritchey combined to score four runs despite just one hit between them.
“We take advantage of our opportunities to score,” Guise said. “And we just play good baseball.”
Guise didn’t have a great idea of just how this season would turn out a month ago. While the Legion season was wiped out a year ago because of COVID-19, many of the players in the league did take part in some baseball.
Red Lion’s high school team, however, wasn’t lights out, finishing with a record just above .500, although the Lions did knock off rival Dallastown twice this season.
Since the Legion season began, however, Guise has been nothing but pleased with what he’s gotten out of his players. He was empathic about his love for each and every player in his program.
Morris shines on mound: And it begins with Monday’s starter, Chase Morris, who allowed just four hits and a run, while fanning seven, over six innings.
“He is the single best teammate I’ve every coached,” Guise said. “He’s the best. He’s a kid that kind of got bounced around varsity and JV this year, but he’s been fantastic.”
Guise, who is also the sports information director at York College, has been around most of his players for the past seven to nine years. That’s due largely to the fact that his son, Shane, a York College recruit, is also on the roster.
“This is a group I’ve had since most of them were like 10 years old,” Guise said. “It’s just a really, really awesome group of kids. I just feel so blessed to be able to coach them and spend the summer with them. It’s a lot of fun.”
Earning the No. 1 seed: While other teams will have to cram makeup contests this week, Guise and his team have just one last game left to play, against Northeastern.
Monday’s win clinched the No. 1 seed for RL in next week’s single-elimination league tournament, slated to be played Tuesday through Thursday. The two finalists in that draw will earn berths into the Region 4 Tournament.
Despite holding the best record in the league, Guise isn’t overly concerned that a bad night next week may end his team’s season prematurely. In a word, it all comes down to one thing — confidence.
“The confidence that this group has is just awesome to see,” he said. “They know how much I believe in them and I just love this group of guys. And I tell them that all the time. It’s something where they know that I’m super confident in them. Sometimes I just remind them that they’re fine and just keep playing.”
OTHER LEGION GAMES
New Oxford 2, Spring Grove 0: At New Oxford, Jesse Bitzer led the home team to the victory by throwing a one-hit shutout, striking out nine and walking two. Aaron Smith went 2 for 3 for New Oxford, while Adam Pascoe and Mason Weaver each went 2 for 4. For Spring Grove, Dieter Luta started the game on the mound, throwing 5 2/3 innings, striking out three, walking one and allowing one earned run. New Oxford is 9-2.
Shiloh 10, Northeastern 3: At Shiloh, Anthony Rios led the home team to the victory by going 2 for 3 with two RBIs, two stolen bases, one run scored and two walks. Also excelling for Shiloh were Dylan Sechrist (hit, two runs, RBI, three walks), Marcus Ropp (double, two stolen bases, run) and Matt Knisley (5 2/3 innings pitched, six strikeouts, one walk, two earned runs, win). For Northeastern, Quinn Shindler went 3 for 4 with one run scored, while Owen Wilhide went 2 for 4 with one run scored and three stolen bases.
Gettysburg 7, Bermudian Springs 4: At York Springs, the visitors plated three runs in the top of the seventh to help them secure the road victory. Individually for Gettysburg, Wyatt Sokol went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Zach Williams tripled and doubled, with three RBIs and one run scored. For the home team, Carter Stuart went 2 for 4, including a double, with three RBIs.
Pleasureville 9, Hallam 4: At Hallam, Ian Korn led the Hawks to the interleague victory by belting a homer, to go with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks. Also for Pleasureville, Tommy Bramley went 2 for 3, including a double, with two runs scored, one RBI and two walks; Spencer Butz went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and three stolen bases; and Anthony Catterall went 2 for 4 with one RBI. For the Express, Evan Rishell went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, Kerry Clark went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Eric McNeil went 2 for 4 with one RBI. Pleasureville improved to 3-13 in the Central League, while Hallam fell to 12-6 in the Susquehanna League.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com. Steve Heiser and Dave VanO'Linda contributed to this report.