EMIGSVILLE — Experience is normally a key trait for high school sports teams
Typically, the more the better.
That has not necessarily been the case so far this season for the Central York baseball team — especially for its pitching staff.
While the Panthers have a lot of seasoned players around the diamond this season, some of coach Mike Valencik's pitchers are inexperienced.
Brendan Martyn, who started Monday’s home battle with West York, didn’t pitch a lot of innings last year for the Panthers. Neither did Brandon Walters, who came on to relieve Martyn in the third inning.
That lack of experience didn’t show up in the scoreboard. The home team raced out to an early four-run lead before hanging on for a 4-3 victory.
“I guess that doesn’t matter,” Valencik said of pitching experience. “Not if we want to go out and win.”
So far, the Panthers have done nothing but that. They defeated Northeastern this past Friday and are now 2-0 on the season.
Against the Bobcats, Valencik gave the ball to a pitcher (sophomore Landon Ness) who had no prior varsity experience. While Martyn pitched for Central last year, his innings count was described by Valencik as "not many."
“Our pitching staff is relatively unproven,” Valencik said. “Brendan … I don’t know how many innings he had last year, but not many. Landon, who started against Northeastern, didn’t have any. And Brandon Walters, the guy who finished today, none.”
Walters was effective in a reliever role Monday. The right-hander came in with two outs in the top of the third to put the lid on a West York rally. He struck out Trent Ketterman with the bases loaded to preserve what was a 4-2 advantage at the time.
Walters earned the victory for his club after allowing one run and three hits over 4 1/3 innings.
“Brandon coming in there and shutting the door was big,” Valencik said. “It was a just a good team win.”
Valencik is pleased with the progression of his team.
“Our kids are really learning how to win now,” he said. “They believe in themselves and they’re buying into what we’re doing. And you can see it. There’s no more deer-in-the-headlights looks anymore.”
Sandy Paulino, who batted ninth Monday, had a big two-run single as part of Central’s four-run second.
Some positives for West York: While Central walked off the field with smiles, the Bulldogs can still take some positives from the setback. West York pitchers allowed only six hits — four of which came in that second frame. Justin Wetzel, who started, followed up his rocky second inning by retiring the next eight batters in order.
The Bulldogs also rallied back from a 4-0 hole with a two-spot in the top of the third. A double and four singles with one out cut the deficit in half.
But when West York needed that one big hit in the game, the Bulldogs came up empty each time. The visitors stranded runners on third base three times over the final four innings.
“We just came up a little short,” Bulldog coach Scott Erickson said. “Just one more hit or one more ball to get through the infield, and we could have had a couple more runs to score.”
Wetzel, Jacob Mease and Zach Gettys each collected two hits for West York (1-2). Gettys, the team’s leadoff batter, stroked two doubles as part of a nine-hit attack.
Gettysburg 6, Dallastown 4: At Dallastown, the Warriors jumped out to a 5-0 lead and then held on. Logan Carbaugh (two hits, three RBIs), Jay Geesaman (three hits, triple, RBI) and David Buxton (two hits) led Gettysburg's attack. Alex Weakland had two hits and a run scored for Dallastown, while Tye Golden doubled.
Spring Grove 4, Dover 3: At Spring Grove, the Rockets rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to erase a 2-1 deficit and earn the one-run win. Connor Reed and Austin Piety each drove in two runs for Spring Grove, with Dalton Hoiles and Reed belted triples. Wil Fetrow, Zach Atland and Alan Hansel each had one RBI for Dover.
Susquehannock 6, York Catholic 0: At York Catholic, Conor Miller led the Warriors to the victory by throwing a complete game on the mound, striking out nine, walking one and allowing three hits. Hunter Sentz went 3 for 3, including a double, with two RBIs and one run scored for Susquehannock, while Josh Bobbitt went 1 for 1 with two RBIs and one run scored.
South Western 10, York Suburban 0 (5 innings): At Hanover, the Mustangs led 1-0 heading into the fifth inning before erupting for nine runs in the frame, en route to the shutout, mercy-rule win over the Trojans. Adam Reed, Jimmy Harris, Micky Hoover and Luke Small each had two RBIs for South Western. Austin Yancheski allowed just one hit in five innings for the Mustangs to get the win, while striking out four.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.