Bolstered by seven former York-Adams League players, the York College baseball team heads into its 2017 season hoping for a bounce-back campaign.
A slew of injuries put a damper on the 2016 season, when the Spartans struggled to a 10-26-1 overall mark, including a 6-12 record in the Capital Athletic Conference.
After winning the CAC regular-season title in 2014, the Spartans have struggled in conference play the last two seasons, going a combined 12-24.
Spartan head coach Mike Scappa enters his sixth season leading the Spartans. He's compiled an overall mark of 97-104-1.
Powered by an experienced pitching rotation and infield, York is aiming to make a deep playoff run in 2017.
York-Adams players: Several of the local players are expected to play key roles this season for the Spartans. Here's a look at the seven former Y-A athletes on the York roster:
►Kennard-Dale High School graduate Colin Crowell returns at shortstop after starting 36 games a year ago. The junior hit .317 last year, scoring 24 runs, with 17 RBIs and a team-high 12 doubles. He finished with a .401 slugging percentage and a .382 on-base percentage. Crowell had a .963 fielding percentage in 162 chances
►Bermudian Springs graduate Michael, a third baseman, enters his senior season after hitting .280 in 23 games, starting 21. He scored 12 runs, added nine RBIs, two doubles and a homer. He sported a .347 slugging percentage and a .393 on-base percentage.
►Susquehannock grad Luke Knott is expected to back up Moore at third while also standing in as the DH, following 23 appearances and 16 starts last year, when he hit .224, with 14 runs scored and 10 RBIs. He hit two doubles and a homer as a sophomore.
►York Catholic grad Patrick Clement played in 32 games in 2016, starting in 29, while hitting .230 with 17 runs scored, 17 RBIs and six doubles. The junior outfielder had a .290 slugging percentage and a .342 on-base percentage.
►Providing depth in the outfield will be sophomore Clayton Hoff, another Bermudian grad. Hoff hit .256 in 17 appearances last year with 10 runs scored, five RBIs and a home run.
►Dover grad Mitchell Slater, a senior, will provide depth at catcher. Last season, Slater appeared in three games, going 1 for 4 and scoring a run with two RBIs.
►Central York grad Alex Myers is hoping to make an impact this season as a freshman right-handed pitcher.
Other top returning position players: Among the other top players returning for York are:
►Zach Hossler, a junior second baseman who started all 37 games last season, hitting 322, with a team-best 40 runs scored, 17 RBIs, seven doubles and three homers. Hossler also had a .428 slugging percentage and .392 on-base percentage.
►Seth Brosius, a junior catcher/outfielder, who started all 37 games in 2016, hitting .311 with 27 runs scored, 24 RBIs, eight doubles, one triple and three homers. He had a .437 slugging percentage and a .376 on-base percentage.
►Logan Countryman, a senior outfield who started 31 games, appearing in 33. He hit .262 with 26 RBIs, 24 runs scored, six homers and three doubles. He boasted a .434 slugging percentage and a .366 on-base percentage.
Pitching outlook: York is expected to be supported heavily by its senior-laden rotation, which was mangled by injuries a year ago.
Elliot Mortimer and Randy Frankenfield are two seniors highlighting the group.
Mortimer started the first game of the year, but suffered a season-ending injury. He was the 2014 CAC Rookie of the Year when he went 6-3 with a 3.05 ERA, striking out 49 and walking 15 in 73.2 innings. Frankenfield started six games last year, going 1-2 and striking out 30, while giving up 32 hits, 21 runs and 17 walks with a 4.60 ERA.
Sophomores Will Grega and Jeff Noss lead the bullpen. Grega appeared in 13 games, going 2-2 with two saves. In 33.1 innings. He finished with a 5.67 ERA. Noss appeared in eight, six as the starter as a freshman. He went 0-4 with a 6.93 ERA in 24.2 innings.
Schedule: Another difficult schedule is in store for the Spartans, starting with a six-game trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that includes match-ups with Johnson & Wales, Methodist, John Jay and Lehman.
York's home opener will come on March 7 against Johns Hopkins at 3 p.m., before starting conference play on March 8 at home against Frostburg State.