DOVER — “This powerful juice attracts baseballs to bat barrels and provides super human power.”
So read the note card on the Gatorade jug in the Dover High School baseball dugout on Wednesday afternoon.
True or not, the Eagles used those good vibes to come from behind and top visiting Susquehannock 10-3 in a game that was was pivotal for the District 3 playoff hopes of each team.
The Warriors (6-9), aided by a pair of errors by Dover, jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Eagles pitcher Ben Leib in the top of the first. Dover, however, was not deterred. The Eagles (9-8) fought back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by cleanup hitter Owen Kennell.
Susquehannock threatened again in the top of the second but Leib worked out of the jam. From that point on, he was nearly unhittable.
“I kept my pitch count pretty low, and in that second inning I felt like I really settled in,” Leib said.
In the bottom of the third, the Eagles tied the game on an inside-the-park homer from catch Andrew Chronister.
“That was really big,” Dover coach Mike Santoro said. “We’ve had a really hard time the last three or four games getting going on offense. We haven’t been able to score early and then that shot really got everybody real focused.”
Leib allowed just one base runner on an error in the fourth, but otherwise retired the Warriors in order.
Putting up crooked numbers: In the bottom of the inning the Eagles struck again, and this time put up a crooked number. Dover scored three times in the fifth, buoyed by RBI singles by Chronister and Kennell, who each finished the game with three RBIs.
Susquehannock tried to mount a two-out rally in the top of the fifth but couldn’t bring home a runner from third.
“He was able to mix in the curveball and the changeup and really kept them off balance from that second inning on,” Santoro said of Leib.
The score remained 5-2 until the bottom of the sixth, when the Eagles put up a five spot to give Leib some insurance before he took the mound in the seventh to try to finish the complete game.
Sure enough, those insurance runs came in handy. The Warriors got a run back with two outs in the seventh on a C.J. Munch RBI single. Josh Schmidt followed with a double to put runners on second and third with two outs before Leib struck out Owen Bortner to end the game.
Leib allowed one earned run on nine hits to go along with two strikeouts and no walks.
District 3 implications: The win was vital for a Dover team that sat 19th in the District 3 Class 5-A power ratings entering the evening. Only 14 teams qualify for the district 5-A playoffs.
“We talked about it yesterday,” Santoro said of the playoff race. “We sat them down and we printed out the rankings for them. We showed them a few different scenarios where it’s possible for us to make it in there, but we still need to root for some other teams, too.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, came in at No. 11 in the District 3 4-A ratings, and the district takes only 10 playoff teams. Coach Chad Farmer says he believes his team now needs to win four of its last five games to reach the postseason.
“We just have to come out and hit them hard again,” Farmer said. “We’ve bounced back when we’ve needed to and I think we will again.”
Central York 8, Red Lion 4: At Red Lion, in a game under the lights, the Panthers surprised the home team. Red Lion fell to 8-4 both overall and in Y-A D-I. Central is 5-12 and 4-9. Red Lion committed five errors leading to five unearned runs. Central played errorless ball. Ryan Pepler (two hits, two runs, RBI), Landon Ness (two hits, two RBIs) and Reid Hershner (two hits, double, four runs) led Central's attack. Adam Naylor (three hits, Nathan Hodgkinson (triple, double, RBI), Channing Bratton (two hits) and Cole Daugherty (homer, two walks) paced Red Lion.
Dallastown 7, Spring Grove 2: At Spring Grove, Riley Thomas led the Wildcats by going 3 for 4, including a double, with two RBIs. Also for first-place Dallastown (14-2 overall, 12-1 in Y-A D-I), Cole Bankert went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and one RBI; Chase Hoecke went 2 for 4 with three RBIs; Peter Capobianco doubled with one run scored; and starting pitcher Carson Wolf threw 5 1/3 innings, striking out four, walking three and allowing one run. For the Rockets, Owen Sporer went 2 for 3 with one run scored.
Kennard-Dale 11, York High 0 (5 innings): At York High, Tyler Nagel led the Rams by going 2 for 2, including a double, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Also for K-D, Wyatt McCleary went 2 for 2 with a double, one run scored and one RBI; Jason Williams went 2 for 2 with two runs scored; Garrett Lowe homered with two runs scored and two RBIs and starting pitcher Matt Tracey threw four innings, striking out three, walking none and allowing three hits to pick up the win. K-D is 11-4 overall and 10-4 in Y-A D-III. For the Bearcats, Jose Alejandro Rodriguez doubled.
York Catholic 4, York Tech 3: At York Catholic, Tony Staub led the Irish by going 2 for 3 with two runs scored and one RBI. Also for York Catholic, Anthony Catterall started the game on the mound, throwing 5 2/3 innings, striking out three, walking three and allowing one earned run to pick up the win. The Irish improved to 10-6 overall, 10-4 in Y-A D-IV. For the Spartans, Joey VonRohr went 2 for 4 with a double, while Gus Giacopelli went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Eastern York 3, Bermudian Springs 2: At York Springs, the Golden Knights improved to 11-5 overall and 9-5 in Y-A D-III. Evan Rishell pitched a complete-game eight-hitter, striking out six and walking one. Rishell also had two hits, two walks and two runs scored. Bren Taylor (two hits, RBI, run) and Emmit Silar (two hits) also excelled for Eastern. Tyler Reinert had two hits for Bermudian.
Northeastern 2, South Western 1 (10 innings): At Manchester, the Bobcats won on Bryce Snyder's walk-off bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th. The game was scoreless until the 10th, when the Mustangs scored once in the top of the inning, before Northeastern scored twice in the bottom of the frame. Northeastern's other run scored on an error. Robbie Elzinga had two of Northeastern's four hits and scored a run. Aaron Fry had two hits for South Western. Snyder pitched seven two-hit shutout innings, but got a no-decision, striking out four. Elzinga pitched the final three innings to get the win, allowing one run. South Western's Zack Reed pitched seven, four-hit shutout innings, striking out 11 in a no-decision.
Littlestown 6, West York 5 (9 innings): At West York, the Thunderbolts plated the go-head run in the top of the ninth. Jacob Thomas led the Thunderbolts by going 2 for 2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and three walks. Also for Littlestown, Blake DiPietro went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs, while Austin Kipple went 2 for 4 with two runs scored. For the Bulldogs, Corey Wise went 2 for 5 with one run scored, while Seth Eyler had two RBIs and Jeffrey Minot doubled with three RBIs. First-place West York fell to 11-4 overall and 11-3 in Y-A D-III.
Gettysburg 8, York Suburban 1: At Gettysburg, the Y-A D-II champion Warriors improved to 12-2 overall and 11-1 in the division. Josh Topper went 6 2/3 innings to get the win, allowing six hits and one earned run. He struck out five without a walk. Marshall Mott (three hits, RBI, run), Zach Ketterman (two hits, two runs, two walks), Dillon Gebler (two hits, three RBIs, two runs) and Logan Moseley (two hits, double, two RBIs) led the Warriors' offense.
Spring Grove 5, Dallastown 1: At Spring Grove, the Rockets maintained their hold on first place in Y-A D-I. Spring Grove's Hailey Kessinger pitched a complete game four-hitter, striking out nine without a walk. Hannah Gartrell (two hits, double, two RBIs, run), Siera Guinard (two hits, double, run) and Chloe Sullivan (double, RBI) led the Rockets' attack. Spring Grove is 14-1 overall, 12-1 in D-I. Samantha Parker had two hits for Dallastown (11-6, 8-5), while Ashton Crump homered. Dallastown's Kelsie Merriman pitched a complete-game six-hitter, allowing four earned runs.
West York 7, Littlestown 6: At West York, the Bulldogs plated two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a walk-off homer by Jaylin Belton to take the victory over the Y-A D-III leaders. Belton finished with two hits. Breanna Harvey excelled for the Bulldogs, going 2 for 4, including a triple, with two RBIs and two runs scored. Also for WY, Alexis Colon went 3 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI; Dorian Ilyes went 2 for 4 with two RBIs; Kourtney Hartzel went 2 for 3 with one run scored; and Natalie Hirn went 2 for 4 with one run scored. For the Thunderbolts, Bailey Smith went 3 for 4, including a homer and a double, with five RBIs and one run scored. West York is 10-6 overall and 8-6 in Y-A D-III. Littlestown fell to 12-4 and 12-2.
Eastern York 11, York Suburban 0 (6 innings): At Wrightsville, Maelynn Leber led the first-place Golden Knights (9-4 overall, 8-4 Y-A D-II) by throwing a shutout, striking out nine, walking one and allowing one single. Leber also went 3 for 4 with one run scored. Also for Eastern, McKenzie Buchmyer went 3 for 4 with a triple, a double, five RBIs and two runs scored; Kelsey Felix went 3 for 4 with a triple, two runs scored and one RBI; and Morgan Dobbeck went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs.
Dover 7, Susquehannock 6: At Dover, the home team scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the win. Kayla King had three hits and three RBIs for the Eagles, while also pitching a complete game to get the win, allowing three earned runs. Jessica Parr added three hits, including a double, and two RBIs for Dover. Grace Wetzel (two hits, RBI), Caroline Folfas (two hits, run), Melanie Tomasic (two hits, RBI) and Madeline Marzullo (two hits, two runs) led Susquehannock.
York Catholic 5, York Tech 2: At York Catholic, Rebecca Baum led the Irish by throwing a complete game, striking out 12, walking three and allowing two hits. Baum also went 1 for 2 with one run scored and two walks. Also for the Irish, Grace Gardini went 3 for 3 with two runs scored, Kelleigh Pollock went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and Annabella Ebel and Rebecca Marinelli each went 2 for 3 with one run scored.
Central York 16, South Western 11: At Central, Madison Kurland (five goals, assist), Abby McFerren (goal, four assists), Liz Rader (three goals, assist), Abby Carlisle (two goals), Sydni Cravens (two goals) and Emily Foxwell (goal, assist) led Central. South Western was paced by Ella Baker (three goals), Caitlyn Coates (three goals), Katie Yocum (two goals, assist) and Jordan Gertz (two goals). Central improved to 13-3 overall and 10-2 in Y-A action. South Western fell to 8-5 and 6-5.
Reach Clay Sauertieg at email@example.com. This story was updated for a correction in a the West York softball game.