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No. 1 Seed York Gears Up For Run At CAC Title
YORK, Pa. – The York College baseball team gets set for the 2014 Capital Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament as the No. 1 seeded Spartans will face off against the No. 6 seeded St. Mary's College (Md.) Seahawks on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. from Jaquet Field.
York enters the conference tournament with a 14-2 record in the CAC and a 20-5 overall record. The Spartans are currently ranked 24th in the ABCA Coaches Poll and 23rd in the D3baseball.com Poll.
As the No. 1 seed, York will be the host school and Jaquet Field will be the site for the final three days of the tournament, starting on Friday, April 18 and ending on Sunday, April 20. First round games will be played at the home fields of the top three seeds.
The Spartan offense, which ranks 16th out of 350 teams in the nation with an 8.8 runs-per-game average, boasts the second-best batting average (.347) and slugging percentage (.489) in the CAC. The Green and White rank second in the conference in home runs with 17 and hold the third highest total in doubles with 65 and triples with eight.
The Spartans are led offensively by one of the hottest hitters in the CAC in senior Brad Wenzel (Blandon, Pa./Fleetwood Area) who is currently riding a 15-game hit streak and has recorded a hit in 22 of the 24 games he has played in this season. On this current streak, Wenzel has compiled 33 hits with 25 RBI and has struck out just eight times in his last 63 at bats.
Wenzel's .436 batting average and 35 RBI both rank second in the CAC.
York has also gotten stellar offensive production from its designated hitter, junior Derek Pitzer (York, Pa./Dallastown). Pitzer's 14 doubles on the season lead the team and is the second highest total in the CAC. The junior also leads the team in extra-base hits with 18, and his .418 batting average is good for fourth in the conference.
Other notable offensive leaders for the Spartans include senior Colin Porter (Hanover, Pa./South Western) who ranks third in the CAC with 34 RBI and fourth with a .509 on-base percentage. York's No. 3 hitter in the lineup, senior Colbe Herr (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin), ranks third in the CAC with four long balls and also ranks inside the top 10 with a .600 slugging percentage and a .390 batting average. The Spartans' leadoff man, senior Andrew Hershey (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor), has scored the second most runs in the conference with 39 and sits inside the top 10 in home runs with four, total bases with 63, stolen bases with 10, batting average (.390) and slugging percentage (.600)
The Spartans' ace on the mound, junior Dan Gurganus (Prince Frederick, Md./Huntingtown), has compiled a 5-0 record over 42 innings of work, with a team-best two complete game performances. Gurganus has allowed 16 runs on 39 hits with 22 strikeouts and 12 walks. The junior hurler's 16 runs allowed is the second lowest total in the CAC.
York has also received quality outings from senior David Walker (Hanover, Pa./South Western) and freshman Elliot Mortimer (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall). Walker holds a 4-2 record over 41 innings of work. He has allowed 18 runs on 43 hits with 21 strikeouts and 15 walks. Mortimer owns a record of 4-0 over 42 and two-thirds innings pitched. The freshman has surrender 12 runs on 49 hits with a team-leading 28 strikeouts to just five walks.
The Seahawks enter the CAC tournament with a conference record of 8-8 and an overall record of 18-17. St. Mary's has won four of its last six games, including a 9-5 win in its last contest against Washington College.
SMC ranks in the middle of the pack among CAC schools offensively, ranking sixth in total hits (303) and RBI (148), and seventh in batting average (.278) and on-base percentage (.358).
The Seahawks rank dead last in the conference with only one home run on the season, but rank first with 43 sacrifice hits.
St. Mary's leading hitter, senior Alex Lenovitz, has 38 hits on the season, good for a .330 batting average with 19 RBI and 21 runs scored. Juniors Brandon Eady and Jared Eaker have both added some pop to the Seahawk lineup as they each have totaled 34 hits. Eady is hitting .318 with a team-leading 23 RBI and 12 runs scored, while Eaker is batting .324 with 17 RBI and 19 runs scored.
The Seahawks' top gun on the mound, senior Sam Beatty, has compiled a 6-2 record with one save and three complete games through a conference-leading 70 and one-third innings of work. Beatty has racked up a CAC-best 64 strikeouts while surrendering 25 runs on 58 hits with 20 walks.
Sophomore Michael O'Neill has also been a solid force on the mound for St. Mary's, compiling a 6-2 record through 49 innings pitched. O'Neill has allowed 22 runs on 54 hits with 17 strikeouts and 25 walks.
York swept the regular season series with St. Mary's, winning both games by scores of 7-0 and 4-2. In those two games, the Spartans out-scored the Seahawks 11-2, but the two squads were even with 15 hits each.
Follow the entire 2014 Capital Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament at theTOURNAMENT HOMEPAGE for the latest scores and live streaming of games on the final three days of the tournament.
Dan Gurganus photo courtesy of Taylor Gamber