SPRING GROVE — When Dallastown won the York-Adams League baseball championship last year, Alex Weakland was a spectator.
This year, Weakland was a star.
A sophomore, who has the poise of a senior, Weakland pitched a four-hit shutout in the biggest start of his career and Dallastown made it back-to-back titles with a 2-0 victory over Gettysburg. The right-hander struck out five and walked three.
"Alex has pitched in some really big games for us, and he doesn't seem to waver," Dallastown head coach Greg Kinneman said. "He's an extreme competitor. When I went to see him in the seventh inning, the first thing he said to me is 'let me finish the game.'"
Kinneman completed the visit without making a change.
Weakland rewarded his coach's confidence by getting a hitter to ground into a double play, which he started. After a single by Gettysburg's Logan Carbaugh, Weakland closed out the Warriors with his fifth strikeout.
Following the final out, Dallastown's players raced out of the dugout and joined the players on the field in jumping on a celebratory pile near the mound. Shortly after that, Weakland and his teammates got together in the outfield for a team picture. He later talked about his outing.
"Everything was working. I was mixing pitches, and Holtz (Dallastown catcher Bryant Holtzapple) called a great game back there, and the defense was great behind me," he said.
Weakland took the mound for the first time with a 2-0 lead after Dallastown struck for both of its runs in the top of the first.
"They gave me a little cushion, and that's all we needed," he said. "I did what I've been doing since I was 6 or 7 years old. Just play baseball and have fun doing it."
Weakland's teammates provided him with a huge boost by playing errorless ball behind him, turning two double plays in the process.
"We did not defend well last night against York Catholic," Kinneman said. "Tonight, we came back and did an excellent job. Tye Golden had an uncharacteristic rough night for himself last night. That bothered him, and as you saw, he came back and made every play that came his way today."
Golden also had two of the Wildcats' six hits, a single in the first and a double in the fifth.
Following his single, Golden raced to third on Nick Parker's double to right-center field. Holtzapple's sacrifice fly delivered Golden with the first run, and Joe Capobianco's single brought in Parker with the second, and final, run of the game.
"That's one thing we've been doing lately, getting guys on base early and scoring runs," Golden said. "There was a lot of doubt among some people about us because of losing pitchers (to graduation and injury). Being able to see the younger guys step in and do the job is awesome."
Dallastown erased any doubts with another title.
Kinneman said that both championships are sweet for different reasons.
"Last year was really sweet because it was our first year at Dallastown with this coaching staff, and we were trying to turn the program around. To do it in that amount of time, last year was really special," he said. "This year is just as sweet. We started the year 3-4, and now we've won 14 straight games. If someone would have told me we would have been sitting at 17-4, although I believed in them (the players), I still would say, I'm not so sure of that."
Gettysburg''s Josh Topper was the hard-luck losing pitcher.
Topper gave up six hits, three in the first inning. He struck out five and walked just one.
Zach Ketterman supplied two of the Warriors' hits.
Gettysburg (14-7) threatened to score in the third inning when it had runners at first and third with one out. Weakland got out of the jam by getting a Warriors' hitter to ground into a double play.
Northern York 10, York Suburban 2: At Suburban, Lucas Richardson led the Trojans with a homer and two RBIs. Teammate Collin Slenker went 1 for 2 with one run scored.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.