SPRING GROVE — After two days of postponements because of bad weather, the Dallastown baseball team was finally able to begin its quest for a York-Adams League title on Wednesday afternoon.
The weather, which completely canceled last year’s playoffs, finally cooperated for the Division I champs when they squared off with Division III champion West York at Spring Grove High School.
While the Wildcats didn’t manage a ton of hits against the Bulldogs, there were no real worries, especially with a stout defense and Alex Weakland on the mound. The right-hander pitched a shutout, limiting West York to seven hits. The Wildcats, meanwhile, managed just seven hits of their own, but they took advantage of three errors and a handful of free passes to claim a 12-0 semifinal triumph.
With the victory, the Wildcats (18-2) will take on Division II champ Gettysburg (a 10-0 winner over Biglerville in the other semifinal), back at Spring Grove at 5 p.m. Thursday for the league championship.
Thursday’s clash will mark the second time the Wildcats and Warriors (18-2) have faced each other this season. The Dallastown boys rallied back from an early 3-1 deficit to earn a 15-3 triumph in a contest back in late March.
“There’s not really a whole lot that we can take away from the first time we played them,” Dallastown coach Greg Kinneman said. “Obviously, we played really well that day and were able to take advantage of some things to win big. But that was within the first week of the regular season.”
Strong effort by Weakland: Weakland, who allowed his coach to save his entire bevy of arms for Thursday’s title game, was able to wiggle out of small jams several times to preserve the shutout. His defense, meanwhile, played error-free ball behind him.
“I struggled a little bit early on,” Weakland said. “But as the game wore on I started hitting my spots more and my pitches started working better too.”
Evan Beach, Julian Bailey and Jase Graybill combined to drive in seven of the 12 runs the Wildcats scored.
Trent Ketterman collected three hits off of Weakland for the Bulldogs.
Kinneman won't commit to starter for Thursday: Kinnenman was noncommittal about his starting pitcher for Thursday. It could be Morgan Smith, who earned the win in the prior meeting with Gettysburg, or it could be any one of three other options.
“We’re not 100 percent sure on anything yet (for Thursday),” Kinneman said. “But we have three or four arms that we’re ready to roll out there if needed.”
While Weakland won’t be one of those arms, he knows that whoever gets the ball will be ready. And he has some advice for that person about facing Gettysburg.
“We just can’t go into it thinking that we’re going to do that same thing,” Weakland said. “I know that (losing 15-3) is probably big motivation for them, but that game was almost two months ago. And they’ve been hot since then .... I think they’ve won (17) straight since then.”
Wildcats on roll: The Wildcats have been on an impressive roll themselves. After rallying to earn a 9-8 victory against Penn Manor two weeks ago, the Wildcats have won their last three games by a combined 36 runs. Even more impressive is that all three of those triumphs were shutouts.
“It’s no secret that pitching and defense have been the backbone of this team for the past three or four years,” Kinneman said. “But right now the biggest thing is our approach at the plate. Today we scored a couple of runs early but it felt like it should have been more. And to their credit they didn’t leave the plan and we were able to put up some more runs.”
Warriors cruise: Gettysburg punched its ticket to the league final with a five-inning, mercy-rule triumph over Adams County rival Biglerville.
Zach Ketterman led the Warriors (18-2) by going 2 for 4, including a triple, with three runs scored. Also for excelling at the plate for Gettysburg were Ed Dylan (2 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored) and Dillon Gebler (1 for 3, two RBIs, two runs scored).
Gettysburg's Josh Topper and Alex Meckley combined to throw a one-hitter, striking out eight and walking three.
Biglerville dropped to 15-6.
Cumberland Valley 4, Red Lion 2: At Cumberland Valley, the Eagles plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 3-1 lead and never looked back.
For the Lions, Kyle Daughtery went 2 for 3, including a double, with one RBI and one run scored. Teammate Seth Glatfelter went 1 for 2.
Red Lion fell to 14-5. Cumberland Valley is 12-7.
Northern York 4, York Suburban 0: At Suburban, Eddie Ensor and Isaac Staats combined to throw a four-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking four in the nonleague contest.
For the Trojans, Trey Pridgen threw five innings, striking out four, walking one and allowing one earned run, but took the loss. Ian Korn threw the final two innings, striking out three, walking one and allowing zero earned runs.
The Trojans (3-16) committed four errors. Northern is 15-5.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.