YORK, PA – The York College baseball team captured the 2014 Capital Athletic Conference regular season championship with a 13-6 win over Frostburg State University on a breezy Wednesday afternoon in York.
The Spartans improve to 18-3 overall and a sterling 13-1 mark in conference play. The win secures the top seed in the CAC Tournament, as the Spartans will be at home throughout their stay in next week's conference tournament. The Bobcats fall to 9-7 overall and 9-5 in the league as they are still in the running for one of the top three seeds and a first round home game in the tournament.
The Spartans last won the regular season title in 2007 as they split the crown with Mary Washington but won the tiebreaker and earned the right to host the tournament.
The regular season title is the fifth for the Spartans as they also captured the title in 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2007. York has not won the tournament title since 1999.
The Bobcats got off to a great start in the game as they banged out three hits in their first three hitters to get an early 1-0 lead. Spartan starter Dan Gurganus (Prince Frederick, Md./Huntingtown) buckled down and got the next three hitters to escape a bigger inning.
The Bobcats got another run in the top of the third on a Dylan Shupe RBI double to left center with two outs.
Frostburg State went to the bullpen in the second as starter Kenny Georgius was coming off a complete game victory just three days ago against Christopher Newport. Austin Poretz relieved Georgius and freshman Scott Steffy (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) promptly greeted Poretz with a double to right center. J.J. Oleniacz (Great Falls, Va./Langley) laid down a bunt and Poretz bounced off the mound and fired the ball to third. Steffy was ruled out and it looked like the Spartan rally was going to fizzle. Poretz drilled Andrew Hershey (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) with a pitch to put Spartans at first and second. Brad Wenzel (Blandon, Pa./Fleetwood Area), the reigning CAC Player of the Week, laced a double to right to score Oleniacz and get York on the board. Colbe Herr (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) singled to left, scoring Hershey, tying the game at two. Hershey would get picked off and Poretz got out of the inning with a ground out to avoid any more damage.
After a quiet fourth inning, the Spartans broke the game open in the fifth. Hershey started the rally off with a one-out double. Wenzel then drilled a line drive off pitcher Ryan Callahan that caromed into right field, allowing Hershey to score the go-ahead run. After a Herr single, Stephen Miele (Allentown, Pa./Salisbury) doubled down the right field line to score Wenzel and move Herr to third. After a ground out, Colin Porter (Hanover, Pa./South Western) stroked a 1-2 pitch to center for a clutch two out, two run single to give York a 6-2 lead.
In the sixth, Oleniacz started off another rally in the single when he ripped a hustle double inside the first base bag with one out. Hershey got hit by another pitch and Wenzel followed with single down the line in right to score Oleniacz. Herr then blew the game wide open with a three-run shot deep to right, giving York the 10-2 lead.
York tacked on a single run in the seventh on a Hershey RBI single.
The Bobcats finally got to Gurganus in the eighth as Kam Stewart picked up a sacrifice fly and Ricky Brady followed with a three run homer to right.
York got a single run back in the eighth as Logan Countryman (Baltimore, Md./Loch Raven) had an RBI ground out.
Patrick Pitman (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East) got the final out of the eighth and then pitched a one, two, three ninth inning to finish off the Spartans' regular season championship.
Gurganus earned the win as he improves to 5-0. He allowed six runs on 11 hits in 7.2 innings of work. Gurganus struck out five and walked one, as he is the first Spartan hurler to reach five wins for the year. Pitman retired all four batters he faced in the win.
Callahan absorbed the loss out of the pen for the Bobcats. He tossed two third of an inning as he allowed four runs on five hits with a strikeout. He falls to 1-1 with the loss. Georgius didn't get a decision as he tossed two hitless innings as he struck out three and walked one before getting lifted.
The Bobcat bullpen combined to allow 13 runs on 16 hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Herr paced the Spartan offense as he went 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored. Wenzel added three hits, three RBI and two runs scored as he continues a torrid stretch at the plate. Hershey finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. Porter added a pair of knocks and two RBI for the Green and White. Oleniacz added tow hits and two runs scored.
Tipton led the Bobcats with four hits and two runs scored. Brady was 1-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored on his fourth home run of the year. Kevin Kean added two hits, an RBI, and a run scored. The Bobcats got seven of their 11 hits from the top three players in the lineup.
The Spartans step out of conference on Thursday as they will travel across the river to face Franklin & Marshall College in a 4:00 pm contest in Lancaster.