The West York baseball team could have used this season as a rebuilding year.
The Bulldogs graduated six senior starters from last year’s team, Scott Erickson stepped down as head coach and West York was moved down to York-Adams Division III.
Instead, West York has started the season 6-1 and is in first place in D-III, with tiebreaking wins over Kennard-Dale and Bermudian Springs.
“We’re still a young team,” said Justin Wetzel after West York’s 14-4 mercy-rule win over York High on Wednesday. “Only two seniors are playing right now, and a lot of these guys are in their first year seeing the varsity field.”
First-year head coach Erik Amspacher said the Bulldogs rely on the four players that played varsity on last year’s squad that went 12-8: Wetzel, Corey Wise, Trent Ketterman and Gabe Allen.
“We had a lot of seniors last year,” Amspacher said. “We’re pretty new ourselves to the varsity level. These kids have been together for a long time, though, through our Boys Club program. They gel well together.”
First-time head coach: Amspacher was an assistant at West York under Erickson and took over this season. He’s been a youth-league coach in West York, but this season is his first year as a head coach at the high school level.
“He’s a good guy,” said Wetzel, who went 1 for 2 with a walk and two RBIs on Wednesday. “He’s definitely a player’s coach.”
Wise said the players enjoy Amspacher’s “aggressive” strategy.
“He’s aggressive,” Wise said. “He likes having us run around the basepaths and getting on the board early.”
Wise does it all: A big part to the Bulldogs’ 6-1 start, Amspacher said, is Wise. The junior center fielder and pitcher hits in the No. 3 hole for West York.
“He’s the kid we can rely on,” Amspacher said. “We can put him anywhere on the field, and he’ll excel like he did today. … The biggest thing is his poise. It doesn’t matter if we’re up or down, he’s cool, calm and collected.”
On Wednesday against York High, Wise went 2 for 3 with a walk, three RBIs and a multi-run-saving diving catch. He also had the walk-off hit in West York’s win over Kennard-Dale earlier this season.
“This guy is just an athlete,” Wetzel said about Wise. “He’s the guy you want up at the plate in the clutch situations. He’s already got a walk-off (hit) under his belt this year, and he’s making plays out there like (the one today). I love having him behind me when I’m pitching. I love me some Corey Wise.”
Wise is a three-sport athlete at West York, but he said baseball is his main sport. The junior is also the quarterback on the football team and the point guard on the basketball team.
“I want to excel and play at the next level,” Wise said. “It seems like playing all these different sports makes me have more confidence in myself.”
Top pitchers: Amspacher said Wetzel, Wise, Allen and Christian Fletcher are the Bulldogs’ top four pitchers, with Wetzel as the team’s No. 1 starter.
“He’s our rock on the mound,” Amspacher said. “We know when Justin is out there that if we put up two or three runs, we’ll be good to go.”
Allen, who went 3 for 4 with five RBIs on Wednesday, was the winning pitcher against York High. He allowed four runs in four innings. Fletcher relieved Allen and didn’t allow a run of his own in the fifth.
Motivated by league placement: Wetzel and Wise both said the team is motivated by being moved down from Division II to Division III.
“We want to win the division,” Wise said. “We want to make a statement that we shouldn’t have been bumped down.”
“It’s definitely in the back of our heads,” Wetzel said. “We know we can compete with the teams in (Division II). We are competitors. We want to play the best and be the best.”
Dallastown 6, Central York 3: At Dallastown, the Wildcats improved to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in Y-A D-I. Carson Wolf went 4 1/3 innings to get the win. Evan Beach pitched 2 2/3 one-hit, shutout innings to get the save. Beach (two hits, triple, two RBIs, run) and Darren Scirotino (two hits, two runs, RBI) led the Wildcats offense. Central was led by Landon Ness (triple, two RBIs) and Grant Smeltzer (two hits, double, RBI).
Red Lion 8, Northeastern 1: At Manchester, Sean Glatfelter pitched six innings of seven-hit, one-run ball to get the win, striking out 11 and walking one. Nate Hodgkinson (two hits, two RBIs), C.J. Czerwinski (double, three walks, two runs) and Adam Naylor (double, RBI) led the Lions' attack. Robbie Elzinga (two doubles, run) led Northeastern. Red Lion improved to 5-1 both overall and in Y-A D-II.
York Catholic 4, Delone Catholic 1: At McSherrystown, Max Kile got the win, going 5 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. Anthony Catterall pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings to get the save. Kile and Catterall allowed a combined two hits, both by Jack Moore. Luke Cordaz (three hits, double, two runs, RBI), Chance Petteys (two hits, homer, RBI, run), Catterall (two hits, run) and Bryan Bullen (two hits, double) led the Irish attack. Delone's Jake Sherdel pitched a complete game, allowing three earned runs while striking out six.
Spring Grove 8, South Western 0: At Spring Grove, Mike Gorman pitched a three-hit shutout, striking out five and walking one. Owen Sporer (three hits, triple, three RBIs, run), Eli Tome (two hits, double, three RBIs, run) and Ethan Zorbaugh (triple, two runs, RBI) led the Rockets' attack.
Eastern York 8, Kennard-Dale 1: At Wrightsville, Evan Rishell led the Golden Knights, throwing 6 2/3 innings, striking out 13, walking three and allowing no earned runs to pick up the victory. Rishell also was 3 for 4, including two triples, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Also for Eastern, Emmit Silar went 2 for 3 with a triple, one RBI and one run scored; Owen Shimmel went 2 for 3; and Quinton McNew went 2 for 4 with one run scored. For the Rams, Tyler Nagel went 2 for 3 with a double. K-D fell to 5-2 both overall and in Y-A D-III. Eastern is 4-2 and 3-2.
Gettysburg 11, Susquehannock 0 (5 innings): At Gettysburg, three pitchers combined on a one-hitter for the home team. Dillon Gebler (three hits, two RBIs, two runs), Dylan Ed (three hits, double, RBI) and Zach Ketterman (two hits, double, two RBIs, run) led Gettysburg, which improved to 5-2 overall and 5-1 in Y-A D-II.
Fairfield 16, York Tech 7: At Fairfield, Colton Devilbiss led the Green Knights, going 2 for 5, including a double, with five RBIs and three runs scored. Teammate Jonas Holz went 3 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and one RBI. For the Spartans, Hunter Thomas went 2 for 3, including a double, with three runs scored; Zadin Zorbaugh went 2 for 2 with one run scored and one RBI; and Cam Schanberger had three RBIs.
New Oxford 10, York Suburban 3: At Suburban, Logan Strausbaugh led the Colonials by throwing a complete game, striking out six and walking one. Also for New Oxford, Josh Rickrode went 2 for 5 with two runs scored and one RBI, while Peyton Megonnell went 2 for 4 with one RBI. For the Trojans, Max Reinecker doubled and collected two RBIs.
Spring Grove 4, South Western 0: At Spring Grove, Hailey Kessinger led the Rockets by throwing a shutout, striking out eight, walking none and allowing just two singles. Krysten Moore hit a homer and collected two RBIs for Spring Grove, while Hannah Shaffer went 2 for 3, Bryn Sporer went 2 for 3 and Siera Guinard doubled. The Rockets improved to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in Y-A D-I.
Kennard-Dale 15, Gettysburg 4 (5 innings): At Gettysburg, Jaeydn McKeon led the Rams by going 3 for 4, including two triples, with three runs scored and two RBIs. Also for K-D, Marguerite DeFranco went 3 for 3 with a double, three RBIs and two runs scored; Alexis Hurley went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and one run scored; and Lexie Kopko tripled with three RBIs. For the Warriors, Rachel Keller went 2 for 3 with one run scored. K-D improved to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in Y-A D-III.
Susquehannock 5, Eastern York 4: At Wrightsville, the Warriors knocked off the first-place team in Y-A D-II. Eastern fell to 4-3 overall and in D-II. Susquehannock is 3-4 and 3-4. Caroline Folfas went the distance to get the win, allowing one earned run and four hits. Kelsey Gemmill (two hits, two RBIs), Madeline Marzullo (two hits, double, run), Anna Bryan (two hits, run), Folfas (RBI) and Emily Beran (triple, run) led Susquehannock's offense. Maelynn Leber (homer, two RBIs) and Kelsey Felix (double, run) paced Eastern. Leber also didn't give up an earned run in three innings of relief.
West York 19, York High 0 (3 innings): At West York, Savannah Bortner led the Bulldogs, going 3 for 3, including a double, with three runs scored and one RBI. Also for West York, Alli Cullen went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and two RBIs; Haley Krewson went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and two RBIs; Alexis Colon went 2 for 3, including a triple, with four RBIs and one run scored; Adriana Coon went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored; Natalie Hirn went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and one RBI; Hannah Harlacher went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and one run scored; and Breanna Harvey homered and scored two runs.
Central York 17, Dallastown 0 (3 innings): At Dallastown, Emma Keller led the Panthers, going 3 for 3, including two doubles, with five RBIs and two runs scored. Also for Central, Briana Smith went 2 for 3, including a homer, with five RBIs and two runs scored; Brynn Weigle went 3 for 4 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs; Emily Smith went 3 for 3 with one RBI; and Kelci Stonebraker homered with three runs scored. For the Wildcats, Elaina Winemiller went 1 for 1 with one walk.
Delone Catholic 10, York Catholic 0 (5 innings): At McSherrystown, Maggie Rickrode pitched a four-hit shutout, striking out seven without a walk. Lauren Little (four hits, homer, five RBIs, three runs), Katie Ernst (homer, double, three RBIs, run) and Rickrode (homer) led Delone's offense. Kelleigh Pollack had two hits for York Catholic. Delone improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in Y-A D-IV.
New Oxford 14, York Suburban 0 (5 innings): At Suburban, Paige Dill threw all five innings on the mound, striking out eight, walking one and allowing one single. She also was 2 for 4 with one run scored. Also for New Oxford, Mikayla Hagerman doubled with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Julie Hess went 2 for 2 with two runs scored and one RBI.
Northeastern 13, Red Lion 3: At Manchester, Haley Updegraff (three hits, double, triple, four runs), Jiji Castano (three hits, two homers, six RBIs), Belle Bortner (four hits, two RBIs, two runs), Marissa Kipp (two hits, double) and Madison Wright Stone (two hits) paced Northeastern, which improved to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in Y-A D-I.
West York 3, Gettysburg 2: At Gettysburg, the Bulldogs clinched at least a share of the York-Adams Division II championship with the win. It's West York's first boys' tennis championship since 1967. The Bulldogs swept the singles matches behind Augie Citrone, Jack Citrone and Jacob Landis.
Dallastown 5, Dover 0: At Dover, the Wildcats rolled behind straight-set singles wins from Jonathan Burns, Sebastian May and Noah May. Dallastown got doubles wins from Jack Lynam/Daniel Wu and Dylan Patel/Vincent Villani. Dallastown improved to 12-0 overall and 7-0 in Y-A D-I. The Wildcats have now clinched at least a share of the D-I title.
York Suburban 3, Red Lion 2: At Red Lion, the Trojans received singles victories from Parker Lando and Drew Thompson. In doubles, Robbie Bell and Ben Kenlen combined to win the No, 1 match. For the Lions, Luke Zeidman won a singles match, while Shreeji Patel and Alex Baldwin combined to win the No. 2 doubles match.
Littlestown 3, York Catholic 1: At Littlestown, the Thunderbolts received singles victories from Nate Remington, Jason Anderson and Jimbo Arnett. For the Irish, John Marinelli and Dom Marinelli combined to win the No. 2 doubles match in three sets.
York Catholic 19, Spring Grove 4: At Spring Grove, Sydney Mentzer led the Irish by scoring six goals. Also for YC, Ella Linthicum had two goals and three assists, Kelly Nguyen and Maddie Williams each scored two goals, and Natalie Neiman and Grace Gulley each scored one goal and added one assist. For the Rockets, Emma Randisi scored all four goals. The Irish improved to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in Y-A action.
Kennard-Dale 10, South Western 9: At Hanover, Megan Halczuk led the Rams by scoring six goals and adding one assist. Also for K-D, Amelie Gamache and Mackenzie Young each scored two goals and added one assist, while Autumn Kraemer scored two goals. For the Mustangs, Ella Baker scored four goals, while Jordan Gertz scored three goals.
Susquehannock 10, New Oxford 5: At New Oxford, Addison Roeder led the Warriors with five goals and one assist. Also for the Warriors, Kenna Hancock scored two goals, Ariana Prediger had one goal and one assist and Rachel Oestrike added two assists. For the Colonials, Lauryn Beckner scored two goals.
Dover 10, York Suburban 9: At Suburban, Paige Lantz led the Eagles by scoring six goals and adding one assist. Also for Dover, Riley Lawton had one goal and two assists, Kaitlyn Digi scored two goals and Katie Sweitzer made 15 stops in goal. For the Trojans, Lulu Mooney and Kamille Wasilewski each scored three goals.
Central York 19, Dallastown 7: Abby McFerren (five goals, four assists), Liz Rader (four goals, assist), Maddy Kurland (four goals), Kata Kaja (three goals), Hannah Cunningham (two goals) and Emily Foxwell (goal, assist) paced Central to the win. Dallastown’s Abigail Alex scored two goals.
Susquehannock 12, New Oxford 4: At Glen Rock, Allen Clapp led the home team to the victory by scoring seven goals. Also for the Warriors, Gavin Held had three goals and one assist, Benjamin Wilson added five assists, Benjamin Tomasic scored two goals and Alexander Martuszewski added three assists. Susquehannock is 7-1 overall and 6-1 in Y-A action.
Red Lion 13, Eastern York 3: Elijah Workinger (three goals, four assists), Zach Mentzer (two goals, four assists), Ben Hornberger (two goals, two assists), Michael Wilburn (three goals) and Coulson Bittner (two goals) led Red Lion. Gage Barton had two goals for Eastern. Red Lion is 5-2 overall and 4-2 in Y-A action.
York Suburban 19, Dover 0: Dominic Corto (nine goals, two assists), Evan LeCates (four goals, four assists) and Jason Mills (two goals, two assists) powered the Trojans, who improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in Y-A play.
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com.