Three Infield Hits Down Spartans in the Bottom of the Ninth at Etown

ELIZABETHTOWN, PA-The York College baseball team suffered a tough 4-3 loss at Elizabethtown College on Thursday afternoon in Elizabethtown, PA. The Spartans fall to 2-9 overall while the Blue Jays improve to 6-4. Elizabethtown used three infield singles in the ninth to post the win after York tied the game in the top of the ninth

The Blue Jays opened the scoring in the bottom of the second as Brandon Watson walked to open the inning. Tom Semanek singled through the right side to advance Watson to second. Spartan starter Jason Christenberry (Yoe, Pa./Dallastown) coaxed a pop up to short from Ben Yeager but Spartan shortstop Kyle Cook (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) dropped the ball on the infield fly, allowing Watson to go to third and Yeager to advance to second. Christenberry got an RBI ground out and then finished off the inning with a strikeout, keeping the damage to just one run.

The Spartans got on the board in the top of the third. Senior Dennis Maxim (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) singled to left to start the uprising. With one out, Maxim stole second and then advanced to third on a ground out. Ryan Craig (Rocky Point, N.Y./Rocky Point) singled to center, scoring Maxim with the Spartans’ first run.

York took a 2-1 lead in the sixth as Craig singled with one out. He stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on a Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) RBI single to right.

The green and white had a chance to add an important insurance run in the seventh as Maxim went the other way and doubled to left field. Maxim advanced to third on a passed ball with no outs but Blue Jay reliever Adam Hartzell got a strikeout, a ground out and a line out to leave Maxim stranded at third.

The Blue Jays took the lead in the eighth inning as Jake Hughes (Schwenksville, Pa./Souderton) relieved Christenberry. Hughes began the inning by walking Eric Luff, the ninth hitter in the Blue Jay lineup. After Hughes got a strikeout, Rodney Francis doubled to right, advancing Luff to third. Sam Heaps then singled up the middle, plating Luff and Francis. Hughes got out of the inning without any further problems but the damage was done.

York answered in the top of the ninth as Steve Pokopec (York, Pa./Northeastern) singled to lead off the frame. Greg Case (Branchville, N.J./High Point Regional) pinch ran for Pokopec and stole second with one out. He scampered to third when catcher Tom Semanek’s throw was errant on his stolen base. Case then tied the game at three when Tim Frisch (New Freedom, PA/Susquehannock) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, plating Case with the Spartans’ third run.

Elizabethtown began the game-winning rally with a Yeager infield single to second to lead off the inning. He was sacrificed to second, putting the winning run in scoring position. Luff then singled to third, putting runners at first and third with two outs. Frisch came in from third base to relieve Hughes on the hill and Francis greeted the Spartan senior with a cue shot that traveled about 60 feet down the third base line. Spartan third baseman Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional) had no chance on the perfectly placed hit as his throw was late as Yeager crossed the plate with the winning run.

Chris Minakowski came in to pitch the ninth and he earned the win despite blowing the save for the Blue Jays. He allowed a run on a hit with one strikeout as he improves to 1-0. Blue Jay starter Matt Kutz went three innings, allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout. Heaps tossed three innings allowing a run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Hartzell tossed two innings, allowing two Spartan hits with two strikeouts.

Christenberry was strong in his seven innings of work. He allowed one unearned run with four strikeouts and three walks during his stint. Hughes suffered the loss as he allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk in his one inning. Hughes falls to 1-1 with the loss.

Watson led the Blue Jay offense as he was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Francis was 2-for-4 with a run scored as he drove in the game-winner. Heaps was 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI while Yeager was 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Craig and Maxim each had a pair of hits for the green and white. Craig was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Maxim was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Connolly added one hit and an RBI to the Spartan offense.

The Spartans are scheduled to make their 2008 home debut on Saturday afternoon as they host Gallaudet in a CAC twinbill. Game one is scheduled to start at 12:00 pm at Jaquet Field.

GAME BOX