RED LION — Denny Dennison had just one destination in mind when he began running after belting a ball deep into the left-center gap at spacious Horn Field — home plate.
The Red Lion junior wasn't planning to stop until he touched them all.
Dennison's sixth-inning drive scored Cole Delp from second base to break a 3-3 tie with arch-rival Dallastown, but Dennison wanted to deliver an insurance run.
"I was determined to get home, that was my goal," he said. "Coach was kind of mixing up the signs over there at third, giving me the go-ahead, then the stop sign. But I looked back and saw that it was hit hard enough for me to score."
Dennison raced around third as the relay came to the cutoff man, but the throw to home was high, and Dennison dived in and touched the plate with the final run of the afternoon.
Triple and an error? Or inside-the-park home run? A case for could be made for either, but however it was scored, Dennison was just happy to be able to supply the game-winning blow in a 5-3 victory over his school's arch-rival on Monday afternoon.
"They (Dallastown) tied it in the top of the inning, but we always had it in our minds that we were going to come back and win (in the bottom half of the inning)," he said. "It's a huge victory. It was probably a must victory because they have (standout pitcher) Nick Parker out of the lineup (with an injury), and we wanted to get a jump on them."
Delp preceded Dennison's clutch, two-out hit with a ground-rule double to right field.
"I got a fastball on the outside, and I waited on it and drove it the opposite way," Delp said. "This was a very big victory. We knew we had to respond after they got the runs in the top of the inning."
Cameron Czerwinski, a sophomore, earned the victory in relief after taking over for starting pitcher Tyler Stabley in the top of the sixth. Stabley, a junior left-hander, used his off-speed pitch to check the Wildcats on four hits, all singles.
Czerwinski, a sophomore right-hander, walked the first batter he faced to force in a run, but retired the next batter to end the inning.
In the seventh, Czerwinski allowed one-out walk, but got the leadoff hitter on a line drive to right field and struck out the next hitter looking to end the game.
"He (Czerwinski) came with the bases loaded against York Suburban, he came in with the bases loaded against Central, and he came in with the bases loaded today," Red Lion head coach Kevin Lawrence said. "As good a pitcher as he is, and he's an excellent pitcher, he's a better young person. He's polite and he's respectful."
The Lions improved their impressive early-season record to 6-1, 5-1 in York-Adams Division I. They're tied for first with Central York. Dallastown fell to 3-4 and 3-2.
"Look at the back of coach's shirt, it says we over me," Lawrence said. "Our guys are starting to buy into that. Everyone makes a contribution."
Lawrence said every victory is important, but Monday's was a special one for the players.
"It's more important for them because they go to the same ice cream shops, and they eat at the same pizza parlors as the guys wearing the other uniforms," he said.
Dennison and Connor Dewees supplied two hits each for Red Lion.
Spring Grove 3, New Oxford 0: At Spring Grove, Brandyn Schuchart led the Rockets by throwing a shutout, striking out five, walking none and allowing two hits. Schuchart also went 2 for 3, including a double. Also for the Rockets, Jonathan Sager went 2 for 2 with one run, one RBI and one stolen base, while Derek Hoiles doubled with one run and one RBI.
Northeastern 12, York Suburban 1 (5 innings): At Manchester, the Bobcats won via the mercy rule. Alex Raymond and Mason Kling each drove in three runs for Northeastern, which totaled 11 hits.
Gettysburg 10, Eastern York 3: At Gettysburg, the Warriors moved to 6-0. Gettysburg scored the final 10 runs of the game. Michael Tempel and Ethan Ketterman each drove in three runs for the Warriors. Ketterman was also the winning pitcher. Brandon Knarr, Bryce Billet and Dyson Renn each drove in one run for the Golden Knights.
York Catholic 9, Hanover 4: At York Catholic, Dylan Hippensteel (triple, double), Will Catterall (two hits, three RBIs) and Luke Kordez (two hits) paced the Fighting Irish. Kevin Duncan got the win, allowing one run over four innings with three strikeouts and a walk.
Susquehannock 8, Bermudian Springs 3: At York Springs, the Warriors plated five runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead (6-3) for good. Peyton Reider led the Warriors by going 3 for 4, including a double, with two runs scored. Also for the Warriors, Dean Lochte went 2 for 3 with one run scored, while Ben Trego doubled.
Kennard-Dale 15, Littlestown 0: At Fawn Grove, the home team earned a four-inning, mercy-rule win. Ethan Phillips got the win, allowing one hit over the four innings with four strikeouts and a walk. Joey Thomas (three hits, triple, five RBIs, three runs), Ben Stewart (homer, three RBIs, run) and Carson Fish (two hits, two runs, RBI) paced K-D's 13-hit attack.
West York 4, Dover 3 (9 innings): At West York, the Bulldogs were able to take advantage of some Eagle miscues to score three unearned runs in a nine-inning victory. Leadoff hitter Zach Gettys went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored for West York. Andrew Chronister was the only Dover player credited with an RBI.
Central York 9, South Western 7: At Pleasureville, Central York got a pair of RBIs each from Nick Starr and Ben Ward. Central improved to 6-2 overall and 5-1 in York-Adams Division I.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.