For four-plus innings, West York found itself without a hit against Dallastown pitcher Sam Deardorff.
Trailing 4-1, the Bulldogs were stymied at the plate and running out of time to find a solution to get back into the game.
Then, in one swing, Brett Kinneman flipped the game on its head and got West York (2-0 overall, 2-0 York-Adams Division II) moving in the right direction. His RBI single with one out in the bottom of the fifth finally got the Bulldogs in the hit column and also plated Evan Zinn, starting a rally that ignited the team's offense en route to a 7-4 victory over the Wildcats (1-1 overall, 1-1 Division I) at Sunset Lane Park on Monday evening.
West York starting pitcher Logan Stover followed Kinneman's single with a liner up the middle that scored two more runners, thanks to an error by the Dallastown center fielder, allowing Stover to advance to second. Tyler Seiffert kept the hot bats going, singling home Stover and giving the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead, one they would never relinquish. It also knocked Deardorff out of the game.
"It was the third time we saw (Deardorff)," West York head coach Roger Czerwinski said. "Like Brett, the third time he saw him go 'round and I think we were able to capitalize on some other things and it became more of a relaxed atmosphere for our kids."
Brandon Sheffer added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth for the Bulldogs, scoring Sam Eyler and Cash Gladfelter, to give his team some breathing room. The double came in his first-ever varsity at-bat.
Gladfelter, who came on in relief of Stover in the sixth inning, closed the game out for West York, leaving two Dallastown base runners stranded on first and third.
West York opened up a 1-0 advantage after the first inning thanks to a Gladfelter walk, a passed ball and an error, but the Wildcats finally got to Stover in the top of the fourth, tagging him for four runs on three hits. The big blow came from catcher Bryant Holtzapple, who came up with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing triple to give Dallastown its first lead of the day at 3-1. He later scored to make it 4-1, but that was all the offense the Wildcats could muster.
Stover earned the win, throwing 5 1/3 innings, surrendering four runs, all earned, on five hits and a walk, but striking out eight. He struck out at least two batters in each of the first three innings, keeping the Dallastown hitters off balance with a steady mix of fastballs and off-speed and breaking pitches.
"I had three pitches working today, out of my four," he said. "My change-up felt good. It was running a lot, and my slider was real good in the beginning. I kind of lost it in the fourth, but my fastball, it was spotty, on and off ... But, I just felt good today. First time really being on the mound other than New Oxford, I threw a couple. It feels good to be at home and throw."
Gladfelter struck out two in relief of Stover in the 1 2/3 innings he threw, while also scoring all three times he got on base, despite not recording a hit.
On the losing end of the decision, Deardorff worked 4 1/3 innings for the Wildcats, giving up five runs, four earned, on only three hits, but five walks. He struck out four.
Branden White came on in relief, pitching the final 1 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on only one hit, but issuing two walks.
Holtzapple had the big offensive game for Dallastown with his three RBIs, while Riley Hamberger recorded the only multi-hit game for either side, going 2-for-2.
But, if there was one aspect of the game that cost the Wildcats a potential road victory, it came in the field.
"Errors," Dallastown head coach Scott Altland said. "Three errors that cost us. I know it cost us at least three runs. That was the big point in the game. Not picking that ball up in center field. We had an error in the first inning that cost us a run and the last inning, we didn't get that double play turned."
Red Land 10, Northeastern 7: At Manchester, the Bobcats couldn't hold on to 7-6 lead heading into the sixth inning, when Red Land plated four runs to win the non-league contest. Five errors hurt Northeastern, which allowed just four earned runs. Devin Blymire (two hits, one RBI), Brady Dolan (three hits, two RBIs), Jonah Latshaw (three hits, one RBI) and Trae Beyer (one hit, two RBIs) led the Northeastern offense. Eric Dressler had two hits and five RBIs for Red Land.
Kennard-Dale 14, Fairfield 4: At Fawn Grove, Dustin Harden picked up the win on the mound with relief help from Cody Arnold. K-D had just seven hits, but was helped by four Fairfield errors and eight walks allowed by Fairfield pitchers.
Steel-High 5, York Tech 0: At Steelton, the Spartans couldn't plate a run in the non-league contest. Tech was outhit, 8-6, and committed three errors, compared to none for Steel-High. The Rollers scored all their runs in the first two innings.
Susquehannock 5, Delone Catholic 1: At Glen Rock, the Warriors took the non-league contest to improve to 2-2. Delone fell to 0-1. No other details were reported.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.