District 3 playoff reset: Surprises on diamond headline early York-Adams action

Only three local baseball teams remain alive, and it's not the list one would have expected.

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

The Red Lion baseball team was 3-7 just over a month ago. Now the Lions are the last team standing from the upper half of the York-Adams League.

Such is the chaos of single-elimination district playoffs.

The Lions, who needed nearly every win from their 9-1 finish to the regular season to earn a No. 9 seed in District 3 Class 6A, went on the road and beat rival Central York last Friday in the first round of the tournament. Then came a stunning upset Monday at top-seeded Central Dauphin, where Jason Krieger pitched eight shutout innings and singled home the game’s only run in the top of the final frame.

A Red Lion baseball player emerges from a cloud of dirt after sliding safely into home plate during a game in 2021. This year's Lions have made an improbable run to the District 3 Class 6A semifinals.

There’s a fine line between thrills and spills at this time of the year. And so many of the Lions’ YAIAA peers have been on the wrong side of a wild finish. 

Back-to-back county tournament champ Susquehannock was stunned by Shippensburg last Friday, as a two-run homer in the seventh lifted the No. 14-seed Greyhounds to a 3-1 upset of the No. 3-seed Warriors in the Class 5A first round. Division I winner Dallastown led 5-3 entering the final inning with its ace on the mound Monday, only for No. 11-seed Manheim Township to score four runs and knock out the No. 3-seed Wildcats, 7-5. And league runner-up Delone Catholic drew a 2A first-round matchup with Halifax, which walked off the Squires for a 1-0 victory Monday.

Susquehannock’s Jarryn Andrews, right, steals second during York-Adams League baseball championship action against Delone Catholic at Red Lion Area Senior High School in Red Lion, Monday, May 15, 2023. Susquehannock would win the game 6-3. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The only local teams joining Red Lion in Thursday action are both in Class 4A. Top seed and York-Adams Division III champion Bermudian Springs earned a first-round bye and handled Middletown, 7-0, on Monday afternoon. And No. 6-seed Hanover knocked out No. 3 Kennard-Dale, 8-3, to join Bermudian, No. 5 East Pennsboro and No. 7 Northern Lebanon in the semifinals.

The Eagles will host East Pennsboro at 1 p.m. Thursday, with Hanover earning a surprise 4:30 home game as the higher seed against Northern Lebanon. Red Lion, meanwhile, will visit Cedar Cliff at 4:30; the Lions suffered a 6-3 loss to the Colts all the way back on March 31.

All three squads are also guaranteed to play again next Tuesday, either for a district championship or for third place and a state tournament spot. At least one of Bermudian Springs and Hanover will reach states in 4A, while Red Lion will have two chances to get the one win it needs.

Red Lion's AJ Lipscomb looks to catch the ball as Dallastown's Carter Alwan slides safely back to fist in a pickoff attempt during baseball action at Red Lion Area Senior High School in Red Lion, Thursday, April, 8, 2021. Red Lion would win the game 4-2. Dawn J. Sagert photo

In an odd scheduling twist, all five District 3 tournaments currently in action have a full slate on Thursday. Only a handful of games have been moved to a different day due to graduations and other end-of-year school commitments. Most brackets are at the quarterfinal stage, while baseball has reached the semifinals.

Here’s where everything stands entering a jam-packed Thursday night.


York-Adams teams went 2-5 Monday, and three more groups will open their district tournaments Thursday, bringing the league’s total to five remaining contenders. Seasons are over for Central York and Northeastern in Class 6A, Susquehannock and New Oxford in 5A and Eastern York in 4A.

Dallastown, the 6A No. 7 seed, shut down Penn Manor for a 3-0 triumph Monday. The Wildcats will need another brilliant performance from senior ace Gabby Fowler against No. 2 Central Dauphin on Thursday afternoon. The Rams went 18-1 during the regular season and scored 10.9 runs per game.

South Western cruised past Palmyra, 9-4, in Class 5A action Monday. The No. 3-seed Mustangs have another do-or-die game Thursday against No. 6 Greencastle. Sophomore pitcher Jayda Koontz showed no signs of slowing down from a brilliant campaign in her first playoff outing.

South Western's Kelsey Smith (30) against Littlestown's Adyson Popoff (14) in the 2023 YAIAA softball championship in Spring Grove on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

League champion Littlestown earned the top seed in 3A and the first-round bye that came with it. The 21-1 Thunderbolts will host No. 4-seed Upper Dauphin, which improved to 17-4 with an 11-0 handling of Annville-Cleona on Tuesday. Littlestown made a point this season to lighten the load on ace pitcher Chelsey Stonesifer, and the Bolts will now look to the senior to carry them on a deep run.

In Class 2A, No. 1 Delone Catholic and No. 2 Fairfield have home games against Newport and Brandywine Heights, respectively. Should both teams advance, they’ll square off next Tuesday for the third time this season, this time with a district crown and state tournament berth on the line.


Five local schools remain, and at least two are guaranteed to advance to the district semifinals. 

No. 3 Central York and No. 6 South Western will square off in the Class 3A bracket at 5 p.m. Thursday, while No. 2 Susquehannock will host No. 7 New Oxford in the 2A quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Friday. Both matchups were lopsided in the regular season — the Panthers handled the Mustangs, 17-7, on April 17, while the Warriors beat the Colonials 20-2 on March 30.

Central York's Cameron Diehl (14) against Hempfield during their lacrosse game in Springettsbury on Wednesday March 22, 2023.

Red Lion had a chance to make it three intra-league bouts this week but was knocked out at home Tuesday by Carlisle. So it will be the No. 10 Thundering Herd taking on No. 2 Dallastown in a Thursday clash. The Wildcats played their regular-season home games on a temporary grass field due to construction at the main stadium, but this 5 p.m. contest will be held at York Suburban.

York Catholic and Eastern York bowed out of the Class 2A bracket with five-goal losses Monday and Tuesday, respectively.


Class 3A No. 2-seed Red Lion and No. 7-seed South Western will square off Thursday night at York Suburban for a spot in the district semifinals and state tournament field. The Mustangs beat the Lions 11-8 on March 28 and 13-8 last Wednesday in the York-Adams League semifinals. South Western was knocked out at this stage last year by Hempfield and is eager to return to states.

South Western's Allie Dunn (5) against Red Lion's Julia Bradley (11) in the YAIAA girls lacrosse semi-final in Springettsbury on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

In 2A, No. 6-seed York Catholic will have revenge on its mind when it visits No. 3-seed Wyomissing. The Spartans handled the Irish, 14-2, in a Saturday morning contest March 25, and only reigning district champion Twin Valley has come out on top against Wyomissing this season. York Catholic has won eight of its last nine, highlighted by a YAIAA championship.

Kennard-Dale reached the 2A quarterfinals with a 10-8 win Tuesday at Red Land. The Rams’ reward is a Thursday visit to No. 1-seed Hershey, which is 19-0 this season with only one win by less than seven goals.


Red Lion pulled off the school’s second stunning upset in as many days with Tuesday’s 3-2 comeback at Hempfield. The No. 10-seed Lions dropped the first two sets to a talented Black Knights squad but rallied to win three straight and advance. 

Northeastern will host Cedar Crest in the 3A quarterfinals Thursday, with York Suburban welcoming Northern York to begin its run in the 2A bracket. York Catholic has a road match against Manheim Central, which is seeded third in the district bracket but leads District 3 teams at No. 3 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll (York Catholic is ranked seventh, with Suburban eighth).

Saturday’s high school schedule, while headlined by the state track and field and boys’ tennis finals, also includes Central York boys’ volleyball hosting Governor Mifflin at 11 a.m. as both teams get a late start on Memorial Day weekend.