WRIGHTSVILLE — It's not easy for one player to dominate a competitive game in basketball.
On the baseball diamond, however, one player can make a huge difference.
Especially when that player is pitcher Colby Shimmel.
Shimmel was a key part of the Eastern York boys’ basketball team, which made a run into the PIAA Class AAA state playoffs a month ago. Now Shimmel is proving to be even more valuable for the Golden Knights' baseball program.
The 6-foot, 3-inch senior held visiting York Suburban to just four hits and three runs over seven innings while fanning 14. At the plate, the Eastern standout added a pair of hits, driving in a run and scoring the game-tying run.
Some much-needed help from teammate Mitchel Winter, who singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning, helped Shimmel and the Knights earn a 4-3 victory Monday afternoon.
First-place Eastern York (6-3 overall) improved to 4-1 in York-Adams Division III. Suburban fell to 4-5 and 3-3.
“We knew that we could come back,” Shimmel said after his team overcame a 2-0 deficit. “It was a close game. It just took a couple of hits in a row and a ball to fall and the tide turned in the late innings.”
Eastern coach Blaine Garner agreed.
“We bounced back and the kids answered,” Garner said. “We’ve been down a couple of other times this season and we know that you just can’t count this team out.”
Garner was particularly impressed with Shimmel, who needed just 95 pitches to earn the victory.
“Sometimes the pitcher does all the work,” Garner said. “And Colby can do that.”
As dominant as Shimmel was, the Trojans were able to cash in on seemingly every chance they had against the hard-throwing right-hander. A leadoff double by Josh Miller to start the game turned into a run. A passed ball and wild pitch allowed Miller to score, even though Shimmel fanned the final three batters of the frame.
The Suburban lead doubled when Thomas Merkle (two hits) singled in Ryan Day, who led off the fourth inning with a double.
“It may take us an inning or two to finally answer the call, but we are a patient enough team,” Garner said. “I know that we’ll come out and get the hits when we need them.”
That happened in the fifth. After stranding four runners in scoring position through the first four frames, the Knights erupted when Winter laced a double to left. Shimmel followed with another double to the gap in right center that made it 2-1.
Drake Renn followed with a two-out single up the middle, but Shimmel could not score on the play. That bit of momentary disappointment was wiped away a pitch later when Wyatt Smith ripped a single to right to tie up the contest.
“We have a lot of good players this year,” Garner said. “A couple of freshmen are starting for us this year and they’re doing a good job of just putting the ball in play.”
The home team took the lead in the sixth when Winter singled in Emmit Silar. After Shimmel was intentionally walked, cleanup hitter Brandon Knarr was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the final Eastern run.
The Knights' patient approach all game made Trojan starter Brendon Delridge labor through his four-plus innings of work. The right-hander needed 90 pitches before he was replaced after Shimmel’s double in the fifth drew Eastern within a run.
For the contest, the home team collected 11 hits and drew five walks. Shimmel, Winter, Renn and Smith each tallied two hits.
Monday’s triumph should provide a big boost for the Knights, who face a busy schedule over the next two weeks. With three more games remaining this week and four more the following week, Garner knows his team will be tested mightily.
But the Knights try not to let any obstacle get them down. That’s just the way they are, Shimmel said.
“We always keep it fun and light,” he said. “We have a mindset on winning, but we have fun while we do it.”
Spring Grove 2, Central York 1: At Spring Grove, Rockets starter Jon Sager allowed just four hits and one unearned run in his complete-game victory. Trent Baker provided an RBI for the Rockets, who only needed two hits to earn the win. Beau Burris was the tough-luck loser for Central, also throwing a complete game, giving up two runs, one earned, on two hits. He had five strikeouts. Spring Grove improved to 6-4 overall and 6-1 in York-Adams Division I.
West York 10, Dover 6: At Dover, Brandon Sheffer led the Bulldogs by going 3 for 5, including two doubles, with three RBIs and two runs scored. Also for West York, Anthony Kahley went 3 for 4, including a double, with one RBI, while Tyler Seiffert went 2 for 5. For the Eagles, Tad Pequignot went 3 for 4, including a double, with one run scored and one RBI.
Dallastown 2, New Oxford 0: At Dallastown, Bryant Holtzapple hit a solo homer to power the Wildcats. Teammate Avery Strayer threw a shutout on the mound, striking out four and walking two. Dallastown improved to 7-2 overall and 6-1 in York-Adams Division I. New Oxford's Nathan Breighner went 2 for 3.
York Catholic 10, Fairfield 2: At York Catholic, Brenden Kennedy went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and three runs scored for the home team. Will Catterall toseed 4 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits to get the win on the mound. He also helped his own cause by going 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
Hanover 10, York Tech 4: At Hanover, Kyle Krout led the Nighthawks by going 4 for 4, including two doubles, with two runs scored and two RBIs. For the Spartans, Matt Rossi tripled and doubled, with two RBIs, Tyler Smith went 2 for 3 with a double and Ben Leatherwood went 2 for 3.
Susquehannock 5, Kennard-Dale 2: At Fawn Grove, Josh Bobbitt led the Warriors by throwing six innings, striking out six and walking three to pick up the win. Teammate Connor Hood hit two doubles.
Red Lion 6, South Western 4: At Red Lion, the home team improved to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in York-Adams Division I. South Western fell to 5-5 and 4-2. No other details were reported.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.