SPRING GROVE — The Dallastown-York Catholic York-Adams League baseball semifinal started out like it was going to be a slugfest.
That's before Jake Gates came in to restore order for the Division I champion Wildcats.
Dallastown's senior right-hander entered in relief in the second inning and worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one run before turning things over to Michael Carr.
Carr struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh to end the game.
The Wildcats won 11-5 to gain a spot in the Y-A championship game. They'll bid for their second straight title when they take on Gettysburg at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Spring Grove. Gettysburg beat Susquehannock in the other semifinal, 6-5.
Gates wasn't overpowering (one strikeout), but he made York Catholic's batters hit to get on base.
"Jake Gates was huge today," Dallastown head coach Greg Kinneman said. "He came into a game that we were losing, 4-2, and when he left in the seventh inning, we were winning, 11-4."
Gates allowed four hits and walked two batters.
"I think the biggest thing with Jake Gates is that he just competes," Kinneman said. "Even when I had to take him out at the end of the game, he was not happy."
Gates relied primarily on his fastball to keep the York Catholic offense in check.
"Obviously, I didn't have a lot of time to warm up," he said when asked how it felt coming on in relief rather than starting the game. "When I'm starting, I have 30 to 35 minutes to warm up, but other than that, it wasn't much different."
Gates had plenty of offensive support from his teammates, who pounded out 15 hits.
"I don't think we played very well at all defensively (four errors)," Kinneman said. "That was not like us in any way, shape or form. But in terms of how we swung the bats and our approach at the plate, I thought we did a really good job."
Bryant Holtzapple led the winners (now 16-4) by collecting three hits in four at bats while scoring two runs and driving in one. Nick Parker, Joe Capobianco, Chace Miller and Julian Bailey supplied two hits apiece. Dallastown's Tracy Carr slugged a solo home run over the left-field fence in the fourth inning.
Chris DeMarco had two hits for Division IV champion York Catholic, which scored three times in the second inning to erase a 2-1 Dallastown lead and go on top, 4-2. However, the Fighting Irish (10-8) scored only one more time in their next five at bats.
"We talked going in that we had to throw strikes, field cleanly and put the ball in play," York Catholic head coach Joe Gurreri said. "We did two of three. They (the players) are going to learn from this."
While York Catholic prepares for the District 3 playoffs, Dallastown will get ready to play Gettysburg for the second time this season. The Warriors won the first meeting early in the season, 6-4.
"Anytime, you lose to a team at some point in the year, you love to have the opportunity to play them again," Kinneman said. "We're not out for any sort of revenge. We're going to come here tomorrow, just like they're going to come here, and try to win a playoff baseball game."
Adams County Warriors beat York County Warriors: At New Oxford, Michael Tempel led Division II champion Gettysburg to the Y-A semifinal victory by going 4 for 4 with two runs scored. Also for the Adams County Warriors, Jay Geesaman went 2 for 2, including a double, with one run scored, while Zach Ketterman went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and one RBI.
For the York County Warriors, Chase Summers and Dean Lochte each went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, while Hunter Sentz went 1 for 1 with one RBI and two walks.
Gettysburg improved to 14-6 overall. D-III champion Susquehannock dropped to 16-5.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.