SHILOH — You hear it all the time in every sport, from both coaches and players.
"We're just taking it one game at a time."
It's a cliche, of course, but like most cliches, it normally rings true.
That has certainly been the case during the 2018 York-Adams League high school baseball season.
With many games early this spring either rained out or postponed by snow, many area squads are finding their schedules filled up with games almost every night.
In that kind of scenario, teams can only "take it one game at a time." They have no other choice. The schedule is simply too condensed to look ahead.
So, when a team such as West York only has four games scheduled in a given week, as they do this week, it actually brings a bit of relief to coach Scott Erickson.
Playing five games a week has recently been the norm for Erickson and the Bulldogs, who are locked in a tight battle in the York-Adams Division II standings along with Gettysburg and Dover. The extra day of rest should help the West York coach adjust his pitching lineup to maximize his team’s potential.
So far, the season has gone pretty well for the Bulldog skipper and his pitchers, especially after starter Justin Wetzel nearly gave his coach six full innings of work on Monday. The left-hander allowed three runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings while fanning six to pick up the victory in West York's key 7-3 decision over Northeastern.
“We have a lot of guys that have been playing together for a while and they all work hard,” Erickson said. “We have eight seniors this year and we really only lost one starter from last year. Now our record (last year) wasn’t great, but we brought back a lot of experience and they know what to expect.”
Pitch-count issues: The packed schedule and the pitch-count rules that were enacted before the 2017 season can make life difficult for coaches.
Wetzel was a pitch-count victim Monday. The Bulldog ace had to be pulled after getting the second out in the bottom of the fifth. That’s when he hit pitch No. 100 for the day.
“We were hoping to get him through the sixth, but we had to pull him,” Wetzel said. “But I had to ask the guy I’m expecting to pitch Wednesday if he could go a couple innings, just in case.”
Erickson didn’t have to go to that extent. He brought in another lefty in Jacob Mease to finish things off. After walking the first batter he faced and falling behind on the next batter, Mease was able to get the final out on a fly ball to center to end a potential threat.
“Jacob came in and threw well and luckily shut them down,” Erickson said.
Mease’s performance on the mound wasn’t the only contribution that he made. Starting as the team’s first baseman, Mease collected two hits — a triple and a double — while driving in three of the team’s seven runs.
Colton Kubicki finished with two hits for West York, which produced four first-inning runs.
Tight race: The victory helped the Bulldogs keep pace in the standings with both Dover and Gettysburg. West York improved to 7-5 overall and 6-3 in the division. Gettysburg improved to 6-3 in the division and 8-3 overall after defeating York Suburban, while Dover remained at 7-3 and 5-3 with an off day.
The Eagles, however, have a showdown Tuesday vs. D-I leading Dallastown Tuesday before hosting Suburban Wednesday.
“Everyone is playing everyone tough around the league,” said Erickson, whose team will travel to Hershey Wednesday for a nonleague tilt. “In a lot of games, it's one hit here and one hit there that could really change things.”
Spencer Rhodes and Robbie Elzinga each tallied two hits for Northeastern (2-10, 1-7), while Wade Wolfgang collected a hit and a RBI.
Dallastown 5, Spring Grove 1: At Dallastown, Alex Weakland pitched a complete-game two-hitter, striking out 11. He didn't allow any earned runs. Peter Capobianco had two hits for the Wildcats, while Lee Kling drove in two runs and Cam Urey tripled. Zach Kauffman pitched a complete game for the Rockets, allowing four earned runs. First-place Dallastown improved to 11-1 overall and 8-1 in York-Adams Division I.
Red Lion 4, Central York 0: At Central, Red Lion's Tyler Burchett was dominant, pitching a two-hit shutout and striking out 13 while allowing four walks. Connor Dewees (two hits, RBI) and Austin Wildasin (two hits, double, RBI, run) led Red Lion's offense. Brendan Martyn pitched a complete game, but took the loss, allowing two earned runs, while striking out six. Red Lion improved to 7-3 overall and 7-2 in York-Adams Division I.
York Tech 6, Delone Catholic 5: Tech plated three runs in the seventh to rally for the win. Nathan Chronister pitched a complete game to get the win, allowing four earned runs while striking out seven. He also had two hits, including a double, with an RBI and a run scored at the plate. Kaden Rodgers (two hits, two runs) and Joey VonRohr (two hits, run) also excelled at the plate for Tech.
Kennard-Dale 5, Bermudian Springs 3: At York Springs, a four-run first inning proved pivotal for the first-place Rams, who improved to 8-3 overall and 6-1 in York-Adams Division III. Ethan Phillips pitched a complete game to get the win. Wyatt McCleary (two hits, run), Garrett Lowe (double, two RBIs, run) and Blaine Phillips (homer, two RBIs, run) paced the K-D attack.
Littlestown 5, Eastern York 4 (8 innings): At Littlestown, the home team walked off with an extra-inning win on Devin Peart's RBI single. Emmit Silar (three hits) and Jacob Bardo (two hits, two RBIs, run) led Eastern's offense.
Biglerville 13, York Catholic 0 (5 innings): At Biglerville, the Irish managed just two hits vs. Ben Bretzman in a meeting of York-Adams Division IV leaders that was cut short because of the 10-run rule. Biglerville improved to 9-2 overall and 7-1 in D-IV. York Catholic fell to 5-3 and 5-2. Brock Chronister had four RBIs for Biglerville.
Gettysburg 8, York Suburban 2: At Suburban, Tracy Carr (three hits, run) and Lucas Richardson (two RBIs) excelled in a losing cause for the Trojans.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.