McSHERRYSTOWN — Because Jake Krevetski had control of his curve ball, York Catholic was able to seize a District 3-AA playoff victory over Delone Catholic on Thursday afternoon.
The Fighting Irish senior outdueled another senior right-hander, Hunter Keith, helping the Irish earn a spot in the district semifinals with a 2-1 victory.
York Catholic will clash with Upper Dauphin on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the district title game. The time and location for the semifinal contest have not yet been announced.
Thursday's game was the rubber one between York Catholic and Delone Catholic this season. Neither of the previous contests was a pitchers' duel. The Fighting Irish won the first game, 13-5, and the Squires took the second game, 11-1. Krevetski worked in all three games.
"The first game, I threw pretty good, the second game my curve ball wasn't working like it was today" he said. "I threw a lot of curve balls today. They were swinging and missing, and when they did put the ball in play, we were making good plays."
Krevetski's teammates backed him with near-flawless play (one error).
York Catholic head coach Joe Gurreri called Krevetski's performance "outstanding"
"We talked about throwing the first pitch for a strike and making sure he got his curve ball over. Last game, we didn't do that. Today, we did," Gurreri said.
Krevetski struck out five and walked two while allowing six hits. He used 98 pitches. Keith recorded six strikeouts and three walks and gave up five hits while delivering 82 pitches.
Delone coach Doug Arnold said that Krevetski's ability to throw his curve ball for strikes kept his hitters off balance.
"He was throwing it in any count," Arnold said. "We only hit two or three balls hard. Hats off to him."
Along with his pitching, Krevetski delivered a leadoff double to left-center field in the second inning with his team trailing, 1-0. Delone left fielder Mike Rider almost made a shoestring catch on Krevetski's drive, but when Rider hit the ground, the ball popped out of his glove. Andrew Polson went in as a courtesy runner for Krevetski and Polson ended up scoring the tying run on a Brenden Kennedy's bunt, followed by a throwing error.
York Catholic broke the tie in the fifth. Ryan Deporter delivered a one-out single to left and Dillon Hippensteel followed by beating out an infield hit. An error on the play allowed Polson (who went in as a pinch runner for Deporter) to take third . The next hitter struck out for the second out, with Hippensteel taking off for second base. Delone's catcher threw the ball to second, but the Squires weren't able to get the tag on Hippensteel and Polson raced home with what turned out to be the winning run.
York Catholic, which returned just one starter (Krevetski) from last year's team that advanced to the state Class A playoffs, is one victory away from qualifying for the state AA playoffs. (The Fighting Irish changed classes this season)."
"It's very gratifying to see what these guys have done this season," Gurreri said. "Our whole infield is freshmen and sophomores. These kids are baseball players. They work hard and they love to play baseball."
Krevetski, who will attend York College, ranked the victory second only to winning the District 3-A title in 2013.
"It's been fun seeing the new guys and seeing what we what could do this year," he said."
York Catholic will carry a 12-6 record into Tuesday's game. Delone Catholic, which won the York-Adams Division IV title, closes its season at 13-9.
Austin Roth and Mike Rider each had two hits for the Squires, and Keith pitched well enough to win most days.
"I thought he (Keith) was outstanding," Arnold said. "He mixed his pitches well."
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.