Austin Tosses Spartans Past Panthers
YORK, PA-The York College baseball team began its season-ending three game homestand with a 4-2 non-conference victory over Ferrum College on Thursday afternoon in York. The Spartans improve to 13-27 overall while the Panthers fall to 10-22. Both squads are suffering through tough seasons after finishing second (Ferrum) and third (York) at last year’s NCAA Tournament south regional. The game also marks Ferrum’s first appearance at Jaquet Field.
The Spartans got on the board first in the third. The inning began with a pair of outs. Freshman Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional) then drew a walk to begin the uprising. Next, sophomore Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) reached on an error by first baseman Kevin Marshall, prolonging the inning for York. Junior Ryan Poff (York, Pa./Spring Grove) got the Spartans on the board when he stroked a single through the left side, scoring Klinck. Senior Dennis Maxim (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) then plated Connolly and Poff with a long double to left center, giving York the 3-0 lead.
Connolly and Maxim were in the middle of York’s next run in the fifth. Connolly singled with one out. He stole second and then scored when Maxim laced a two-out single to center as the York led grew to 4-0.
The Panthers broke up the shutout in the sixth as the Spartan defense contributed to the Panther rally. Michael Nolte opened the inning with a single to second. Gabe Mocada then hit a tailor made double play ball to third. Spartan third sacker Steve Pokopec (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) tossed the ball wide of second, allowing Nolte to go to third. Spartan rightfielder Maxim corralled the ball but his throw attempting to get Nolte at third sailed into the dugout, allowing Nolte to score and Mocada to advance to third. The Panthers then ran themselves out of a bigger inning as Mocada was tagged out at home attempting to steal. One pitch after Mocada was out, Travis Crump singled to left center. Spartan starter Matt Austin (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) got a flyout and Crump was caught stealing to end the inning.
Another Spartan error aided the Panthers in the seventh as Jesse Fuller reached on a muffed throw to start the frame for Ferrum. Fuller advanced to third on a single and scored on a safety squeeze from Eric Harrell. Austin then picked off Nick Baker at second and got a ground out to end his day.
Spartan sophomore Chris Frankenfield (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) relieved Austin in the eighth and got the final six outs to earn his second save of the year. Frankenfield allowed one hit with a strikeout and a walk in his two innings of work.
Austin earned the win as he tossed seven innings, allowing two unearned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and one walk. He improves to 4-3 with the victory.
Brian Mays suffered the loss as he falls to 0-5. Mays allowed four runs, just one earned, on nine hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. Nick Entsminger tossed a scoreless eighth inning as allowed one hit.
The Spartans were led by Poff and Maxim as they each had big days. Maxim was 2-for-4 with three RBI while Poff was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Connolly added two hits and two runs scored. The threesome combined to go 7-for-12 in the game with four RBI and three runs scored. Pokopec also had a pair of hits for the green and white.
Baker and Jason Butterworth led the Panthers as they each had a pair of hits. Fuller and Nolte each scored a run while Harrell had the Panthers’ lone RBI in the game.
The two teams conclude their two brief two-game series on Friday afternoon as they square off at 1:00 pm.