TUESDAY'S PREP BASEBALL: Maryland recruit Koy Swanson helps Kennard-Dale to 4-0 start

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports

It would be hard to exceed Koy Swanson’s start to his high school baseball career.

The Kennard-Dale High School sophomore opened his season by combining with Pierce Ragland on a five-inning no-hitter in a 12-0 triumph over York Catholic. He also hit his first high school home run in that game.

“That’s just an unreal feeling,” Swanson said. “You’re riding adrenaline for the whole game and when you get home it’s like: ‘Did that just happen?’ It’s so exciting to see what the rest of the season holds.”

Koy Swanson

He followed that up on Tuesday by striking out 11 in six innings, while also driving in three runs at the plate, in the Rams’ 8-3 road win over their southern York County rival, Susquehannock.

Kennard-Dale improved to 4-0 on the season, having outscored their foes, 45-8. 

Oh yeah, Swanson has already committed to play NCAA Division I baseball.

Swanson secured a spot at the University of Maryland last summer after he impressed during a showcase event. The sophomore slugger won the MVP award at the Perfect Game Florida World Series, catching the Terrapins’ attention.

Within three weeks of his Twitter post that sparked the interest from Maryland’s coaches, Swanson was committed to play in College Park. He was so happy when he got the scholarship offer that he had to mute the phone so he could jump around in joy without the coaches knowing.

“It was an unreal experience for me,” Swanson said. “They did everything to comfort me, and I was so excited. It’s a feeling that you can’t ever get again.”

K-D head coach Blake Knecht credited Swanson’s work ethic and preparation, equally as much as his skills, as the reasons for his early success. Knecht added that the 6-foot, 1-inch, left-hander is already a leader on the team and makes his job easier by learning more about opposing players than he does before games.

“It’s not just what he does during the game,” Knecht said. “It’s all the offseason stuff he does and training with different teams. He deserves to be where he is. He’s earned that right, regardless of whatever his age is. He’s only going to continue to get better because he’s not going to stop working.”

For the season, Swanson had struck out 17 in 9 2/3 innings, while allowing three hits and two runs. At the plate, he's 6 for 13, including a homer and a double, with nine RBIs.

He's getting lots of help: While Swanson has starred in Rams’ wins, he’s not the only reason for the team’s strong start.

Seniors Ryan Schubert and Jason Williams recently committed to play at Keystone College and Penn State Schuylkill, respectively.

Against the Warriors on Tuesday, Schubert was 2 for 3 with three RBIs while Williams went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

After his freshman high school season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Swanson said he has enjoyed being part of a team with high school friends, compared to playing club ball in tournaments all over the country.

“It’s an unreal feeling. I’ve never experienced anything like this,” Swanson said. “It’s different for me, but I love it. I love hanging out with the guys. I’m having a lot of fun.”

Fueling a fire: Knecht added that with the lost season in 2020, the players realize that each game is a privilege to play.

The lack of a spring season last year has fueled a fire that Knecht and the Rams hope will result in continued success.

It’s been a special start to the season for K-D and its standout sophomore, but Swanson expects things to get even better, and it’s hard to blame him based on the early results.

“My feet are just getting wet now. I still have two more years of this,” Swanson said. “I’m really excited to see where this goes. I just want to keep playing and I want to do everything I can to make this team better.” 

OTHER BASEBALL

Dallastown 11, South Western 1 (5 innings): At Dallastown, Evan Beach led the Wildcats to the York-Adams Division I victory by throwing a complete game, striking out seven, walking none and allowing three hits. Beach also doubled and collected five RBIs at the plate. Also for the Wildcats, Colin Ahr went 2 for 3 with a double, one run scored and one RBI, Andrew Jones scored three runs and Chandler Powell doubled with two runs scored. For the Mustangs, Ty Cromer went 2 for 2, including a solo homer. Dallastown improved to 2-0 in D-I and 3-1 overall. South Western is 2-1 and 1-1.

Dover 5, New Oxford 2: At Dover, Ben Leib led the Eagles to the York-Adams Division II victory by starting on the mound and throwing 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two. Leib also went 2 for 3 at the plate with one RBI. Also for Dover, Aaron Eckard went 2 for 3 with one run scored, while Shane Klinedinst tripled with two runs scored. For the Colonials, Josh Bethas went 2 for 3. Dover improved to 1-1 in D-II and 2-1 overall. New Oxford is 1-2 both in the division and overall.

Central York 4, Northeastern 0: At Manchester, Grant Smeltzer led the Panthers to the York-Adams Division I victory by starting on the mound and throwing five innings, striking out 11, walking three and allowing two hits to pick up the win. Also for Central, Alex Barger went 2 for 3, including a double, with three RBIs, while Ethan Hall threw the final two innings of shutout relief, striking out three and walking none to pick up the save. For the Bobcats, Nathan Toomey started on the mound, throwing five innings while striking out 10, walking four and allowing three runs. Central improved to 3-1 in D-I and overall. Northeastern is 1-4 and 1-3.

Red Lion 17, York High 2 (3 innings): At Red Lion, the Lions plated 13 runs in the bottom of the second to take control of the nonleague contest. Individually for the Lions, Kyle Daugherty went 2 for 3, including a homer, with three runs scored and two RBIs. Also excelling for the Lions were Braylon Roberts (two hits, triple, two runs), Jacob Earnest (homer, two RBIs, two runs) and Christian Dennison (homer). Red Lion is 2-1 overall.

York Catholic 16, Hanover 1 (4 innings): At York Catholic, Josh Sutton led the Irish to the York-Adams Division IV victory by going 3 for 3, including two doubles, to go with three RBIs and two runs scored. Also for the Irish, Luke Strayer went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Ted Skehan went 3 for 4 with one RBI and one run scored, Luke Campbell went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored and Anthony Catterall went 2 for 3 with three RBIs. For the Nighthawks, Mason Smith hit a solo homer. York Catholic is 1-1 overall and in the division. Hanover is 0-3 and 0-1.

Delone Catholic 7, York Tech 6: At McSherrystown, Avery Kuntz led the Squires to the York-Adams Division IV victory by collecting two doubles, two runs scored, one RBI and two walks. Teammate Jake Sherdel started the game on the mound, throwing five innings, striking out five, walking one and allowing two earned runs to pick up the win. For the Spartans, Tyler Bond went 3 for 4 with one RBI, while Ethan Shimmel went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Dylan Lawler went 2 for 4. Delone is 2-1 in D-IV and overall. Tech is 0-4 both overall and in the division.

Camp Hill 15, Bermudian Springs 5 (5 innings): At Camp Hill, the Lions plated 13 runs in the bottom of the first to take a commanding lead and never looked back. For the Eagles, Brock Carpenter went 3 for 3, including a triple, with two runs scored, while Blake Young doubled with two RBIs. Bermudian is 1-2 overall.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.