YORK, PA-Johns Hopkins’ catcher Rob
Sanzillo hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to give
the visiting Blue Jays a 7-6 regional victory over York College on
Wednesday afternoon in York. The Spartans fall to 28-10 with the
setback while the 16th-ranked Blue Jays head into the Centennial
Conference championship tournament with a record of 30-8.
Both teams threatened in the first as the Blue Jays had runners at second and third with one out. Brett Izzo hit a ball up the middle that Spartan shortstop Jeff Young (Wilmington, DE/Brandywine) ranged far to his left, scooped up the ball and threw a strike to first, retiring Izzo and the Jays. The Spartans loaded the bases in the bottom of the first thanks to an Anthony Anzalone (Rocky Point, NY/Rocky Point) single and walks to Mike Santoro (Manalapan, NJ/Manalapan) and Bryan Bednarczyk (Columbia, MD/River Hill). Blue Jay starter Brian Duddie then coaxed Ryan Poff (York, PA/Spring Grove) into an inning-ending ground out to third.
The Blue Jays broke the scoreless tie in the third. Nate Adelman drew a lead off walk for Hopkins. He advanced to second when Spartan starter Jason Christenberry (Yoe, PA/Dallastown) hit Jonas Fester with a 0-1 pitch. Jon Solomon then laid down a sacrifice bunt that Christenberry threw in to the Spartan bullpen, allowing Adelman and Fester to score. Solomon advanced to third on the error and scored when Rob Sanzillo banged a double high off the right field wall. Sanzillo scored when Ian Christie doubled to right center, capping the four run inning for JHU.
The Spartans finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Young led off with a single and advanced to third when Santoro doubled to right field. Bednarczyk was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Poff singled to center, scoring Young and getting York on the board. Freshman Mike Connolly (Selden, NY/Newfield) then laced a long single down the left field line, scoring Santoro and Bednarczyk as the Spartan deficit shrunk to 4-3. With Poff on second and Connolly on first with no outs, York was unable to get the tying run across as Blue Jay reliever Chez Angeloni got two strikeouts and a ground out to stymie the Spartan threat.
York tied the game in the bottom of the seventh as Poff drilled a double off the wall, scoring Young who had singled earlier in the inning. The Spartans again left two runners in scoring position as they were unable to climb on top.
The Blue Jays recaptured the lead in the top of the eighth as Adelman singled to left with two outs, scoring Christie with the tie-breaking run. Johns Hopkins added an insurance run when the Spartans committed an error with two outs, allowing Benchener to score from second.
The Spartans didn’t quit in the eighth. Pinch hitter Evan Vonatski (Eastport, NY/Eastport-South Manor Central) singled to left with one out and advanced to second on a Blue Jay error. Vonatski moved to third on a wild pitch and came home when Anzalone’s ground ball went through the legs of second baseman Christie. Blue Jay closer Brian DeLeo was summoned from the pen but he proceeded to walk the next three hitters he faced to force in a run and tie the game. Marco Simmons relieved DeLeo and coaxed Bednarczyk to hit into a 5-3 double play, ending the Spartan inning.
That set the stage for Sanzillo who lifted a Randy Bond (Brandywine, MD/Riverdale Baptist) offering to left center field, just over the fence and out of the reach of Poff who was steaming over over from center. Two feet closer to center and Poff would have had a play on the ball.
Simmons got the Spartans in order in the ninth as he earned the win. He improves to 1-0 with his 1.2 innings of perfect relief work. Duddie started and tossed three scoreless innings, scattering three hits and walking two with three strikeouts. Angeloni was the one Blue Jay hurler who got roughed up by the Spartans as he allowed three runs on four hits with two strikeouts in his inning of work.
Bond suffered the loss for York as he falls to 1-3. He allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Sophomore Jake Hughes (Schwenksville, PA/Souderton) was the most effective Spartan reliever as he tossed three perfect innings for the green and white. Christenberry didn’t figure in the decision as he allowed four runs, two earned, on three hits with three strikeouts, a walk and two hit batters in his three innings of action.
Sanzillo led the Blue Jay attack as he was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Christie added a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored while Adelman was the third Blue Jay with multiple hits as he was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Spartans received two hits and two RBI from both Poff and Connolly while Dennis Maxim (Port Jefferson Station, NY/St. Anthony’s) was 2-for-3 for York. Young added two hits and two runs scored in his final game at Jaquet Field.
The Spartans now conclude their season on the road starting Saturday evening as they face the Methodist Monarchs in a regional tilt. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm in Fayetteville, NC. The green and white then finishes the regular season on Sunday with a twinbill at North Carolina Wesleyan.