VIDEO: Pitcher C.J. Czerwinski discusses his one-hit shutout in Red Lions' 3-0 win over Dallastown. The righty struck out eight and walked one in the victory. JACOB CALVIN MEYER, 717-505-5406/@jcalvinmeyer
RED LION — Red Lion pitcher C.J. Czerwinski walked the first batter of the game against rival Dallastown on Wednesday.
The College of Charleston recruit looked uncomfortable on the windy day and didn’t have control of his breaking ball.
That was only the first batter, though.
For the next 24 batters, Czerwinski was about as flawless as a pitcher can be. The future NCAA Division I hurler led the Lions to a 3-0 victory with a one-hit shutout. The win brings the Lions (3-1, 3-1) into a tie with Dallastown for first place in York-Adams League Division I.
“Dallastown is always a big rival for us,” Czerwinski said. “Beating them is always a great feeling, because they’re our crosstown rival.”
After the leadoff walk, the 5-foot, 11-inch, right-hander allowed only three Wildcats to reach base — all of which came in the first two innings. The three Wildcats reached base on a dropped fly ball, a dropped third strike after a wicked breaking ball went to the backstop and an infield single that was inches away from being an out after an impressive stop by shortstop Cole Daugherty.
“He makes my job pretty easy; I didn’t do anything,” said Red Lion head coach Kevin Lawrence. “C.J. threw the ball extremely well. He commanded the zone, and he made out pitches. They battled him tough in more than a couple at-bats, and he never gave in.”
After the choppy first seven batters, Czerwinski was perfect, retiring the final 18 batters in order. Staying under the mandated 100-pitch count, the senior allowed only the infield hit and the one walk while striking out eight.
“I thought C.J. was really good today,” said Dallastown head coach Greg Kinneman.
Czerwinski’s off-speed pitches: Czerwinski sported a solid fastball with movement, but it was his breaking balls that kept the Wildcats off balance.
“He can throw any of his pitches in any count,” Lawrence said.
Early in the season, pitchers often struggle with their off-speed pitches. Cold weather and a lack of repetitions can cause curve balls, sliders and change-ups to lack movement or accuracy in March and early April.
“I throw a lot of bullpens in January, February and March,” Czerwinski said. “I get the kinks out of my curve ball and slider in my bullpens.”
Getting stronger: Czerwinski said he usually gets stronger as the game progresses, and Wednesday was evidence of that.
“Usually I get into a zone in the third or fourth inning, and my breaking ball gets better and I can throw it anywhere I want and whenever I want,” he said.
Lawrence said Czerwinski’s success late in games can be attributed to his work in the offseason.
“He continues to take the weight room extraordinarily seriously,” Lawrence said. “When you see him out here having success, that’s been earned through a real commitment to things that nobody sees except for a few of us.”
Missed opportunities for Dallastown: Kinneman said the Wildcats (3-1, 5-1) “squandered” scoring opportunities in the first two innings. Dallastown had runners reach second and third in both the first and second frames, but the Wildcats couldn’t get timely hits.
“That’s when we lost the baseball game,” Kinneman said.
In the first inning, Czerwinski knocked down a hard-hit come-backer to prevent a run. In the second, he struck out three straight after the first two reached on a dropped third strike and an infield single. Four of Czerwinski’s eight strikeouts came in the second inning.
“If you’re facing a quality arm, you definitely have to take advantage of all the opportunities you get,” Kinneman said. “In the first two innings we should’ve scored two runs.”
Red Lion’s offense: In contrast, the Lions did come up with two-out hits with runners in scoring position.
Czerwinski singled to left-center field to score Channing Bratton, who led off the game with a walk, in the first inning.
“Instead of being a dead-pull hitter, he’s starting to use the entire field,” Lawrence said.
The Lions’ second run came on an error on a safety squeeze that scored Nate Hodgkinson. In the fifth inning, Hodgkinson singled home Cole Daugherty, who reached on an error, to put the Lions up 3-0.
Weakland update: Local baseball fans may have expected Dallastown ace Alex Weakland to pitch for the Wildcats. However, Kinneman said the Indiana University of Pennsylvania recruit is dealing with inflammation in his pitching arm and is working his way back to full strength.
Weakland threw 1 2/3 innings in Dallastown’s 2-1 win over South Western on Monday.
“We’re dealing with the big picture,” Kinneman said. “We want Alex Weakland in games 18, 19, 20 and beyond. We aren’t worried about games one through five.”
Struggles vs. Red Lion: The loss for Dallastown is the Wildcats’ fourth straight to Red Lion. With one more match-up between the Y-A powers this regular season, Kinneman said the recent struggles aren't a factor.
“We don’t circle Red Lion on our calendar,” Kinneman said. “We have 20 baseball games, and they’re two of the 20.”
Wolf excels in relief: After Dallastown starter Darren Sciortino was bounced after 1 2/3 innings, Carson Wolf threw well in relief. The junior allowed two hits and one unearned run in 4 1/3 innings.
“He’s thrown two great games,” Kinneman said. “He beat Governor Mifflin last Friday night, 4-1. He did everything we asked him to do today. He gave us a chance.”
Trust in CJ: Bratton, Red Lion’s catcher, said the Lions are confident when their ace is on the bump.
“We have full trust in C.J.,” Bratton said. “We know how he can pitch. We feel nice and easy at the plate. We don’t have as much stress on us.”
Eastern York 21, York High 2 (3 innings): At Small Field, Bren Taylor led the Golden Knights by going 3 for 3, including a double, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Also for Eastern, Dyson Renn went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and one run scored; Nate Dandridge went 3 for 4 with four RBIs and three runs scored; Jacob Bardo went 2 for 3 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored; Jake Myers went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and two RBIs; and Drew Dellinger doubled with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Spring Grove 11, Northeastern 10: At Spring Grove, the home team plated one run in the sixth and seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to erase a 10-3 deficit and stun the Bobcats. Brock Allison's RBI single was the game-winner. Ethan Zorbaugh (four hits, triple, three RBIs, three runs), Zach Kauffman (three hits, double, two RBIs, run), Dylan Shaffer (two hits, double, two RBIs, run) and Dylan Spangler (two hits, double, RBI, run) led the Rockets' attack. Northeastern was led by Andrew Srebroski (two hits, three RBIs), Wade Wolfgang (two RBIs, run), Spencer Rhoades (two RBIs, run) and Jaden Hennel (two RBIs, run).
York Catholic 9, Fairfield 8 (9 innings): At York, the Irish scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, with the winning blow a double by Anthony Catterall, who finished with three hits, including two doubles, and five RBIs. Nick Demarco added three hits and a run scored for the Irish, while Bryan Bullen and Ben Bullen each had two hits and a run scored.
South Western 8, Central York 4: At Central, Dawson Salisbury had three hits, including a double, with an RBI and three runs scored to lead the Mustangs. South Western's Ethan Stalnecker walked four times. Zach Reed pitched a complete game to get the win, allowing two earned runs while striking out nine. Central's Cannon Maye doubled with an RBI and run scored.
Biglerville 17, York Tech 8: At Spry, Logan Brewer led the Canners by going 3 for 4, including a triple, with four runs scored and three RBIs. Teammate Kyle Gillingham homered and collected four RBIs. For the Spartans, Cam Schanberger went 2 for 4, including a double, with two RBIs; Dylan Lawler went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and one run scored; and Joey Von Rohr went 2 for 4 with one run scored.
Gettysburg 6, Dover 3: At Gettysburg, Dillon Gebler had two doubles with two RBIs and a run scored to lead the Warriors. Marshall Mott got the win, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing two runs. Owen Kennell had two hits for Dover, while Konner Gibboney homered.
Kennard-Dale 11, Littlestown 0 (5 innings): At Fawn Grove, Garrett Lowe led the Rams by throwing a five-inning, one-hitter, striking out nine and walking five. He also connecting at the plate by homering with two RBIs, two runs scored and and two walks. Also for K-D, Jason Williams went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored, while Ryan Schubert homered.
West York 14, Bermudian Springs 11: At York Springs, Justin Wetzel led the Bulldogs by going 4 for 5, including a triple, with two runs scored and two RBIs. Also for West York, Marcus Hill went 2 for 3 with a double, with one run scored, one RBI and two walks; Trent Ketterman went 2 for 3 with a double, with two RBIs and two runs scored; Jeff Minot went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and one RBI; Corey Wise went 2 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored; and Christian Fletcher had two RBIs and two runs scored.
New Oxford 13, Susquehannock 1 (5 innings): At New Oxford, Blake Phillips led the Colonials by going 2 for 3 at the plate, including two doubles, with three RBIs and one run scored. Teammate Devin MacGregor went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and one RBI. For the Warriors, Noah Miller went 2 for 3 with a double and one run scored, while Josh Schmidt went 2 for 3.
Spring Grove 19, Northeastern 14: At Spring Grove, Hannah Shaffer (three hits, homer, double, four RBIs, two runs) powered the Rockets, who also got big games from Hannah Gartrell (three hits, homer, two RBIs, three runs), Hailey Kessinger (three hits, double, RBI), Krysten Moore (two hits, two RBIs, two runs), Bryn Sporer (homer, two RBIs, three runs) and Bailey Rapson (two hits, two RBIs, two runs). Northeastern was led by Haley Updegraff (three hits, homer, four runs, RBI), Jiselle Castano (three hits, double, three RBIs, four runs) and Peyton Eckenrode (three hits, two doubles, four RBIs, three runs). Spring Grove improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in York-Adams Division I. Northeastern fell to 3-1 and 2-1.
Eastern York 18, Dover 2 (4 innings): At Wrightsville, Maelynn Leber (homer, two doubles, four RBIs, two runs), Kelsey Felix (two hits, homer, three RBIs, three runs), Morgan Dobbeck (two hits, three runs, RBI), McKenzie Buchmyer (two doubles, two runs, RBI) and Haidyn Shaffer (two hits, triple, two runs, RBI) powered Eastern's 16-hit attack. Leber went three innings to get the win, allowing two hits and striking out seven. Julia Querry had two hits, including a double, and drove in both of Dover's runs.
Dallastown 13, Red Lion 7: At Red Lion, Tessa Thompson powered the Wildcats by going 3 for 4, including a homer and a double, with three runs scored. Also for Dallastown, Ashton Crump went 3 for 4, including a homer and a double, with three RBIs and two runs scored; Kelsie Merriman went 3 for 5, including a homer and a triple, with three runs scored and two RBIs; Allison Hoffman went 3 for 5, including a double, with one run scored and one RBI; and Elaina Winemiller went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. For the Lions, Taylor Radziewicz went 3 for 4, including a homer, with three runs scored and two RBIs.
New Oxford 6, Susquehannock 3: At New Oxford, Julie Hess led the Colonials by going 2 for 4, including a homer. Teammate Mikayla Hagerman went 2 for 2 with a triple, one run scored and one RBI. For the Warriors, Anna Bryan went 2 for 4, including a double and one run scored, while Emily Beran went 2 for 4.
Bermudian Springs 6, West York 5: At York Springs, Tori Murren led the Eagles by going 3 for 3, including a triple and a double, with one run scored and one RBI. Teammate Amanda Wormer went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and one RBI. For the Bulldogs, Alli Cullen went 1 for 1 with two RBIs, one run scored and two walks, while Adriana Coon had two RBIs.
South Western 7, Central York 6: At Central, Jordyn Resetar (three hits, two RBIs, run), Kalyn Thacker (three hits, triple, double, RBI, run) and Mackenie Maher (two hits, homer) powered South Western to the win. Brynn Weigle (three hits, triple, double, RBI, run), Emma Keller (two hits, triple, RBI, run) and Kelci Stonebraker (homer, two RBIs) led Central.
Fairfield 18, York Catholic 12: At York Catholic, Ryleigh Bolyard led the Green Knights by going 4 for 5 at the plate, including three doubles, with three runs scored and one RBI. Teammate Hayley Bolin went 3 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. For the Irish, Rebecca Baum went 3 for 5, including a homer and a double, with four RBIs and two runs scored. Also for the Irish, Kelleigh Pollock went 3 for 4 with a homer, three runs scored and one RBI, while Grace Gardini went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and two walks.
Littlestown 12, Kennard-Dale 6: At Fawn Grove, Katie Frock led the Thunderbolts by connecting for a homer and going 3 for 4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Teammate Bailey Smith had two doubles, three RBIs and one run scored. For the Rams, Jaeydn McKeon went 3 for 3, including a homer and a triple, with two RBIs and two runs scored; Lexie Kopko went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored; and Marguerite DeFranco doubled.
Biglerville 17, York Tech 16: At Spry, the Spartans lost a wild one despite big games from Kiara Rajotte (four hits, three doubles, three runs, three RBIs), Alissa Shue (four hits, four runs, two RBIs) and Zeyonee Hawkins (homer, triple, five RBIs, two runs).
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com.