YORK, PA – The York College baseball split a Capital Athletic Conference doubleheader with Stevenson University on a beautiful sun-splashed Saturday at Jaquet Field in York. The Spartans won a game-one pitcher's dual, 1-0 in eight innings, before the Mustangs avoided the sweep with a 10-4 win in game two.
The Spartans now stand at 5-9 overall and 2-3 in the CAC while the Mustangs are 12-8-1 overall and 4-4 in the league.
In game one, the two starting pitchers dominated the game. York's Tommy Moran and Stevenson's Drew Liebert were brilliant all game long as the contest was played at a brisk pace.
The two starters benefited from outstanding defense most of the game. York had runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the second but the Mustangs turned a crisp double play to end the threat.
Stevenson got something going in the fourth. Justin Anderson singled to left to start the frame. Moran then walked Zac Stavish to put Mustangs at first and second. Anderson was erased a third on a fielder's choice for the first out. Tom Goulian then singled to right but Spartan right fielder Drew Frankenfield gunned down Stavish at the plate to preserve the shutout. Moran got a ground out to short to end the frame.
The Mustangs had another golden opportunity in the sixth. Anderson started the uprising with a one-out single to center. Back-to-back singles from Scott Merkel and Stavish, loading the bases with just one out. The next play proved to be a game-saver for the Spartans as Goulian lifted what appeared to be an RBI single to center. However, Spartan centerfielder Steve Tretter froze Anderson at third with a deke and was able to get the force play at home with a great throw, turning an RBI single into a fielder's choice out at the plate
York looked like they had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh. Designated hitter Justin Cohen singled with one out. Andrew Hershey pinch ran for Cohen and moved to second on the only error of the game as Goulian mishandled potential double play ground ball. The error wouldn't hurt the Mustangs as Liebert got a line out and a soft ground out to end the inning, sending the game to an extra frame.
After the Mustangs went quietly in the eighth, the Spartans put together the game-winning rally. Adam Hegedus started the frame with a single to left center. Senior Dustin Worthman sacrificed Hegedus to second for the first out. Colin Porter then walked and Tretter followed with a sharp single to left. Tretter's single was hard enough to not allow Hegedus to score as the bases were loaded for Frankenfield. The Spartan junior, after being down 0-2 in the count, laced a sharp single to right center, scoring Hegedus and ending the Spartans' three-game losing streak.
Moran threw his first career complete game shutout as the senior tossed eight innings, allowing eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks. He improves to 2-1 with the victory.
Liebert was almost Moran's equal as he allowed the one run on nine hits with four strikeouts and two walks in his 7.1 innings of action. He falls to 4-2 with the loss.
Tretter led the Spartan offense, as he was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Frankenfield finished with a hit and an RBI. Hegedus went 1-for-1 with a run scored off the bench for York.
Anderson paced the Stevenson offense, as he was 3-for-4. Five other Mustangs had singles in the game.
Game two did not start off well for the Spartans as the Mustangs touched starter Dan Gurganus for an unearned run in the top of the first.
York had a chance to do something in the bottom of the first as Worthman walked to lead off the first. After a fly out to left, Tretter hit a bullet to third on a hit and run and Worthman was easily doubled up. If the ball had gotten to the outfield, Worthman would have likely been able to score.
The Spartans threatened again in the second as back-to-back two-out singles from Adam Bartholomew and Hershey put Spartans at first and second. Dan Solomon then lined a single up the middle. Bartholomew went sent home but the throw beat him to end the inning.
Stevenson manufactured a run in the top of the third as Brad Blum singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a ground out to second and finally scoring on an RBI ground out by Josh Morris.
York finally got on the board in the bottom of the third on a Frankenfield RBI single up the middle, drawing York to within 2-1.
After a quiet fourth inning, the Mustangs reached Gurganus for three runs in the top of the fifth. Anderson had the big blow in the frame with a two-run double down the left field line. Tony Prescott scored Anderson with a two-out double deep off the right field wall.
York got one back in the bottom of the fifth as Frankenfield had a sacrifice fly, scoring Worthman who had doubled to lead off the inning.
The Green and White chipped into the Stevenson lead a bit further in the sixth as Hershey started the rally with a one-out bunt single. Solomon banged out a single down the left field line, moving Hershey to third. Unfortunately for York, Solomon hesitated on going to second and was thrown out for a huge second out. Freshman Derek Pitzer roped a single to right center, scoring Hershey with York's third run. Stevenson's Andrew Haab entered the game in relief of DJ Milliken and got a strikeout to end the Spartan threat.
The Mustangs got five runs off three different Spartan pitchers in the top of the seventh to take away out doubt of the outcome as they pulled away for the six-run win.
York got the game's final run in the bottom of the seventh off a Bartholomew sacrifice fly.
Stevenson's DJ Milliken earned the win as he threw 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. He improves to 2-0 with the win.
Gurganus started and took the loss as he allowed five runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk in his five-inning stint. The Spartan bullpen didn't provide much relief as they combined to allow five runs on eight hits in two innings of work.
Goulian led the Mustangs, as the shortstop was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Anderson added two hits, two RBI and two runs scored while Prescott finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI. Josh Morris also had a pair of hits for the Mustangs while he added an RBI and two runs scored.
Frankenfield led the Spartans with two hits and two RBI. Worthman, Hershey and Solomon also had two hits each for the Green and White.
The two teams conclude their series on Sunday afternoon as they square off for a nine-inning affair. First pitch from Jaquet Field is slated for 1:00 pm.
Tommy Moran photo courtesy of Theresa Dark, Athletic Communications Student Photographer