York Revolution's weekend home sweep highlights strong start to season

The Revs are 6-3 after a week and a half and have won five straight games.

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

After a brief stumble out of the gate, the York Revolution have roared out to a strong start in 2023, improving to 6-3 with a weekend sweep in the first home series of the season.

The Revs have won five straight games and taken six of seven after dropping their first two contests, including three victories over the Staten Island FerryHawks this past weekend at newly-named WellSpan Park. York will remain at home for both series this week.

New manager Rick Forney’s tenure began with road losses of 5-4 and 6-3 to the Lexington Counter Clocks before the Revs held on for a 3-2 win to close their first series of the spring. They fell 7-2 at defending champion Lancaster last Tuesday before earning 10-4 and 5-3 victories over the rival Barnstormers. And the whole team was dominant against Staten Island, winning by scores of 4-0, 13-0 and 10-5.

York Revolution's Alexis Pantoja (1) against the Black Socks during their game at Fan Fest at WellSpan Park in York on Saturday, Apr. 22, 2023.

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With nine games down and 123 to play, York sits second in the Atlantic League’s North Division, a game behind the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. It’s way too early for any grand conclusions, of course, but in a league with plenty of roster churn throughout the season, fast starts make important statements.

The highlights: Left-handed pitcher Nick Racquet pitched seven shutout innings in Friday’s home opener at WellSpan Park, allowing two hits and no walks in the victory. He didn’t record a strikeout until the fourth inning but then set a new team record by fanning seven consecutive batters and finished with 10 punchouts. Through two starts, he’s 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA, five hits allowed and 17 strikeouts in 13 innings.

Alejandro Rivero has led the Revs’ offense with a batting line of .441/.537/.765 and slugged three of the team’s six home runs thus far. He also leads the squad with 15 hits, 13 RBIs and three hit-by-pitches in his 41 plate appearances. Rivero spent the previous two seasons in the low minors for the Chicago Cubs.

The lowlights: York’s two former Major Leaguers, Troy Stokes Jr. and Trent Giambrone, are off to slow starts at the plate. Stokes, one of the team’s few returning players from 2022, is 5 for his first 30 for a .167 average and holds a .598 OPS. Giambrone is 7 for 36 (.194) and has just two extra-base hits, although seven walks have contributed to a respectable .333 on-base percentage.

Pitcher J.T. Hintzen has been charged with two of the Revs’ three losses and surrendered 10 runs in 11 innings for an 8.18 ERA thus far. He’s been valuable despite the numbers, though. After taking the loss in the season opener, Hintzen made a spot start against Lancaster and worked into the sixth before the Barnstormers pulled away. And he allowed four runs in five innings Sunday before York’s offense picked him up.

With the team off to a strong start overall and only a miniscule portion of the season complete, it’s much too soon to look for any panic buttons. But a handful of players are still looking to find their rhythm.

Up next: The Revolution will host the Long Island Ducks (5-4) for a three-game series beginning Tuesday, with Thursday’s finale beginning at 11 a.m. Then Southern Maryland (7-2) will be in town Friday through Sunday. York will play Sunday’s game under its new second identity, Ritmo de York, a nod to the strong presence of Latin culture in the community. This will be the first of five Sunday home contests under the moniker in 2023.