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Central, Susquehanna leagues feature some changes for 2022 adult baseball season

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
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With the turn of the calendar to May, the local sandlots have again come alive with action in the Susquehanna and Central leagues.

Both leagues opened the 2022 seasons this past Saturday.

Over the next three-plus months, the 17 teams – nine in the CL and eight in the SL – will vie to compete for the individual league crowns, as well as the York County Championship trophy and Tom Kerrigan Memorial Tournament crown.

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Here’s a brief preview of what to expect in the two leagues this season.

Central League: After having 10 teams a season ago, the Central League is back to a nine-team circuit in 2022.

That’s because the Brew Crew, a new entry a season ago, was unable to find a permanent home and the club decided against the option of playing an exclusive all-road schedule for a second season in a row.

The return to nine teams means the CL will again feature a bye for one team on normal playing nights, which are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Each CL team will play 32 total games – 24 in the league, as well as eight interleague contests with the SL.

The reigning CL and YCC champions from Mechanicsburg return after becoming the first organization outside of York County proper to claim the YCC title. The Cardinals will be challenged for supremacy by a slew of rivals, including Glen Rock, Stoverstown, Manchester, Mount Wolf, Jefferson, Vikings, Pleasureville and Dillsburg.

Glen Rock is one of three squads under new management, with veteran Andy Rosenzweig taking over for Mike Knott. Ben Weaver also starts his first year at Pleasureville, while Mike Spangler, who took over for Tim Thoman in the middle of last season, will begin his first full season leading the Tigers organization.

Ryky Smith is seen here in last year's York County Championship Series against Mechanicsburg. The Pistons have won the past five Susquehanna League crowns.

Susquehanna League: The Susquehanna League returns with the same eight teams that have been in the circuit over the past few years.

Despite that, a number of changes in team leadership highlight the biggest changes in 2022.

The league welcomes new managers Eric Adamson (Felton), Matt Fagnani (York Township), Bubba Jacobs (Stewartstown) and Kevin Keesey (Conrads).

Those four will have their work cut out for them if they hope to chase the all-time wins record held by current Windsor manager Natt Neff, who has totaled more than 400 victories as he enters his 23rd season at the helm.

East Prospect enters as winners of the last five Susquehanna League pennants. The Pistons again return most of the talent that has kept them atop the league standings over the past half-decade, but they did suffer a season-opening 6-5 loss to Township.

The Pistons will initially have to play without skipper Mark Toomey, who is battling an illness. Steve Kline is filling in for Toomey.

Last year’s run to the title was far from easy for EP. Windsor gave the Pistons a run for their money a year ago. Hallam, Stewartstown, York Township, Jacobus, Conrads and Felton round out the circuit.

The SL will feature a total of 30 games for the eight squads – seven three-game series against the league teams, in addition to nine interleague battles with the CL.

Notes: In addition to interleague play, the two leagues will participate in the annual all-star game on Saturday, July 16.

The York County Championship Series between each league’s regular-season champs is slated for early August before the leagues complete their postseason tournaments.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.