SPRING GROVE — Matt Brooks was determined to finish what he started on Tuesday afternoon.
Spring Grove's star pitcher got the ball at the beginning of his team's game against Dallastown and planned to still be on the mound when the clash of the York-Adams Division I unbeatens ended.
"I don't think he would have let me take the ball from him," Rockets' head coach Kevin Stiffler said. "He's a big-time pitcher, and we're lucky to have him."
Brooks' back tightened up a bit and his pitch count soared to 71 after just three innings. However, he needed a total of just 15 pitches to complete the fourth and fifth innings and was still standing 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate when the game concluded two innings later..
Brooks got his complete game, and Spring Grove won, 5-2, to improve its York-Adams League Division I record to 5-0. Dallastown slipped to 4-1 in the league. The Rockets are 5-2 overall, while Dallastown is 4-2 overall.
Brooks stuck out five and walked four while yielding six hits, Both runs the right-hander yielded were unearned.
"I just kind of had to bear down at times," Brooks said. "My curveball was kind of low the whole night. I couldn't find that too well, but the fastball on the outside was working."
Brooks admitted to being a little nervous going into the game.
"They're always a good match-up," he said of the Wildcats. "It was a different type of nervousness in that I was just excited to get out there."
Brooks got some offensive support early when the Rockets scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Spring Grove did it without a base hit. The Rockets parlayed five walks with a hit batsman. The Rockets added single runs in the third and fifth innings, and both runners who scored got on base with a walk. Dallastown pitchers yielded 11 walks and hit two batters.
"Avery Strayer has been really, really good for us all year. He's generally a strike-throwing matchine, and certainly that's not the way things started out today," Dallastown head coach Greg Kinneman said. "I thought we battled. We outhit them, 6-4, and I thought we played really well defensively all day long."
Kinneman gave kudos to Brooks for his performance.
"Hats off to Matt, he pitched really well today," Kinneman said. "He's a competitor and he's able to command two or three pitches."
Cody Somerville cracked a double for the Wildcats, and Austin Piety doubled and drove in two runs for the Rockets.
Dallastown turned inning-ended double plays in the third and fourth innings.
Brooks used 126 pitches.
"Last Tuesday was the last time he threw," Stiffler said. "We've been trying to keep him on a pitching-once-a-week schedule. He only threw five innings the week before, so we felt that he felt strong coming in today." .
Northeastern 7, Susquehannock 3: The Northeastern baseball team solidified its hold on first place in York-Adams Division II. The Bobcats improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the division. Susquehannock fell to 3-4 and 1-3. Adam Kipp and William Kopp combined on a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and three walks. Kipp got the win, allowing zero earned runs over four innings, while Kopp got the save. Kipp also had a two-run double, while Alex Raymond was 3 for 4, driving in a run and scoring a run. Northeastern slugged 13 hits and played errorless defense. Connor Hood doubled for Susquehannock.
Eastern York 10, Bermudian Springs 0 (6 innings): At York Springs, the Golden Knights erupted for six runs in the top of the second to set the tone for their mercy-rule victory. Mitchel Winter, Bren Taylor and Drake Renn all had doubles for Eastern. Bermudian was held to just four hits.
South Western 3, Central York 2: At Hanover, Central scored two runs in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead, but South Western plated three runs in the fourth to grad the lead which the Mustangs never relinquished. John Youngman had two hits for South Western, while Josh Shekells drove in both Central runs. Elzir Stroman doubled for Central.
Kennard-Dale 16, Dover 1 (5 innings): At Fawn Grove, K-D jumped on top 11-0 after two innings. Garrett Lowe homered for the winners, who banged out 11 hits. Joey Thomas, Ben Lowe and Dustin Harden doubled. Harden also got the win on the mound.
New Oxford 6, Red Lion 5 (8 innings): At New Oxford, trailing by a run heading into the bottom of the eighth, Devin Chesney’s walk-off single ultimately helped the hosts snatch the victory. Tanner Myers singled home Andrew Wright to make the score 5-5 before Corban Czap singled and Josh Schultz was intentionally walked to load the bases. That’s when Chesney singled down the third-base line to win the game. Roger Shultz was 3 for 4 for Red Lion.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.