Red Lion took control of the York-Adams League Division I baseball race with a strong pitching performance from Tyler Burchett and a 1-0 victory against the visitin Wildcats. Burchett also drove in the winning run. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
Red Lion’s Tyler Burchett recognized his moment Monday night at Horn Field, and he wasn’t about to let it get away.
After he had dominated Dallastown on the mound for as long as he was allowed to, and after he made a game-saving defensive play a half inning before, there was only one thing left to do.
With the two teams locked in a thrilling scoreless tie, Burchett belted the Lions’ only extra-base hit, a double deep into the long left-field corner that scored Connor Dewees from first base and gave the Lions an exhilarating 1-0 walk-off win in eight innings under the lights.
“I knew I was hitting the ball as soon as I stepped in. I wasn’t letting it go,” Burchett said. “I had a similar situation (a chance for a game-winning hit) when I was 12, with my travel team. And I did the same exact thing. I just knew it was going to happen.”
The win is crucial for the Lions. It pulls them even with the Wildcats in the York-Adams Division I standings with matching 10-2 marks. Dallastown falls to 13-2 overall, while Red Lion improves to 10-4.
Dallastown, the defending York-Adams League and Division I champion, is no doubt tired of seeing Burchett, who has now beaten the Wildcats the two times he’s faced them this season. Those two wins now vault the Lions to the top of the Division I standings and puts them in control of their championship fate.
“(The Lions) put themselves in a position where the next few games become even more meaningful now,” Red Lion head coach Kevin Lawrence said. “Both teams played extraordinarily well. (Dallastown's) Nick Parker threw a whale of a game, as did Tyler Burchett.”
Key defensive play by Burchett: The Wildcats initially looked like they might be able to survive Burchett’s dominance Monday by making him throw pitches and holding his offense at bay as long as possible.
In fact, Dallastown was set up to take the lead in the top of the eighth with its best threat of the night.
After Burchett put the first Wildcats batter away to start the frame, he reached his pitch limit for the night and had to be placed by C.J. Czerwinski.
Dallastown’s Darren Sciortino welcomed the reliever to the game by ripping a triple down the right-field line. Parker would reach base on an intentional walk in the next at bat before taking second and setting up the Wildcats with runners on second and third with one away.
Burchett, now playing first base, set up his bottom-half heroics by making a slick fielding play on a Cam Urey bunt attempt to gun down Sciortino at the plate and save a run. Parker took third on the play and Urey would reach second.
Czerwinski, however, escaped the jam by striking out Chase Hoecke to end the inning.
“It was a huge win, we needed this for counties and everything,” Burchett said. “Team played great defense, made some plays when they needed to. And C.J. came in and closed it out in a tough situation.”
Burchett-Parker duel: The only other time Dallastown would have a runner get past second would come in the seventh. Peter Capobianco and Trent Rowland would record two of the three hits Burchett allowed on the night to eventually set up a first-and-third situation with two outs. But Burchett’s 12th and final strikeout of the night finished the frame.
Burchett went 7 1/3 innings, and only registered one walk.
Just as it was the first time they met earlier in April, Monday’s game was a pitchers' duel between Burchett and Parker.
Parker’s performance was also nothing short of spectacular. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two hits while striking out eight and walking five while earning the no-decision. He was replaced by Morgan Smith, who ended up with the loss after an inning pitched with one hit and one walk.
Parker put the Wildcats into position to threaten in the seventh by masterfully pitching his way out of the sixth. The Lions put runners on first and second with one out before Parker locked in and got the next two batters to strike out.
Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com.