Christenberry Tosses Gem in Opener as Spartans Split with VJC

Christenberry Tosses Gem in Opener as Spartans Split with VJC

YORK, PA-The York College baseball team concluded their Capital Athletic Conference regular season with a doubleheader split with Villa Julie College. The Spartans won game one 5-0 and the Mustangs captured a wild come-from-behind 10-9 victory in 11 innings in the nightcap. The Spartans are now 10-21 overall and 7-11 in the league. The Mustangs now stand at 18-16-1 overall and 7-11 in the league. By virtue of their game two victory, the Mustangs hold the tiebreaker with the Spartans and will be the fifth seed in the CAC tournament while the green and white will be the sixth and final seed in next week’s tournament.

In game one, sophomore Jason Christenberry (Yoe, Pa./Dallastown) was simply outstanding. The right-hander tossed a three-hit shutout as he picked up his first win of the year. Christenberry struck out seven and did not walk a batter in his best performance of the year.

Christenberry got all the runs he needed in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Anthony Anzalone (Rocky Point, N.Y./Rocky Point) opened the frame with an opposite field single. Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) then bounced into what looked like a tailor-made 3-6-3 double play but Mustang first baseman Buddy Briedenbaugh threw the ball into left field, allowing Anzalone to move to third and Connolly to second. Both runners moved up a few pitches later as starter Johnny Jackson threw a wild pitch, allowing Anzalone to race home with the game’s first run. York would be unable to plate Connolly as Jackson got a strikeout and fly out to end the inning.

Connolly added to the lead in the bottom of the third as he launched a solo home run to deep right, his second tater of the year.

York pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fourth as Mike Santoro (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan) led off the inning with a triple to right center. The Mustangs pulled the infield in and Jackson got a ground out and a foul out as he looked like he was going to extricate himself from the jam. Fortunately for the green and white, Ryan Craig (Rocky Point, N.Y./Rocky Point) laced a double to right center, plating Santoro with York’s third run.

The green and white closed out the scoring in the bottom of the fifth as Dennis Maxim (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) jacked a mammoth two-run homer to deep right center as the Spartan lead grew to 5-0.

Johnson suffered the loss as he falls to 3-2. He allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks.

Craig led the Spartan offense, as he was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and one RBI. Maxim was 1-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored while Connolly was 1-for-3 with a run scored and RBI. Ryan Poff (York, Pa./Spring Grove) and Santoro each contributed a hit and a run scored in the game.

Wade Keenan, Breidenbaugh, and Griffin Stewart each had singles for the Mustangs.

In game two, the Mustangs reached Spartan starter Matt Austin (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) for a single run in the first. Kyle Van Beek opened the game with a double that drew chalk down the left field line. Keenan grounded out to short as Van Beek advanced to third. He then came home on a Brett Steele sacrifice fly to right.

The Spartans had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the first as they loaded the bases with two outs. Craig hit a bullet to short that Ryan Baione made a nice play on to get the third out of the inning, keeping York off the board.

The Spartans reached Breidenbaugh in the third as Connolly singled to lead off the inning. Poff was hit by a pitch before Breidenbaugh got Maxim to hit into a 1-6-3 double play, leaving Connolly at third. He would not be there long as Craig hit an absolute bullet into the hole at short, scoring Connolly and tying the game at one.

The Spartans took the lead in the fifth as Poff stroked a one-out double to center and came home on a Maxim single to left as York. After Santoro reached on an error and Maxim moved to third, Craig laced a single to right, plating Maxim with York’s third run. Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional) followed with a single to left, scoring Santoro as the Spartan lead grew to 4-1.

The Mustangs got those three runs back and more in the sixth. Austin was cruising as he had two outs in the inning. Keenan singled and then Kyle Cook (Pylesgrove, Md./North Harford) misplayed a ball for an error, opening the floodgates for the Mustangs. Villa Julie made York and Austin pay for the error as they scored five runs, all unearned in the inning as they took a 6-4 lead.

The Spartans answered in fine fashion in the bottom of the frame as Connolly walked with one out. Poff then sent a single to left, moving Connolly to second. Maxim then launched a double off the 14-foot high wall in right center, tying the game at six. Maxim missed a three-run homer by about a foot. Maxim would be stranded at third, as York would be unable to plate him with the tiebreaking run.

Villa Julie had chances to break the tie in both the seventh and eighth innings but Spartans reliever Jake Hughes (Schwenksville, Pa./Souderton) wiggled out of danger, keeping the Spartans in the game.

Unfortunately for York, the Spartans would not be able to convert their two scoring chances to break the six-all tie. In the seventh, York had runners at second and third with one out and failed to score. In the ninth, they had the winning run at second with one out but Keenan to two strikeouts to end the frame, setting the stage for the Mustangs’ tenth inning uprising.
The tenth began with a single to left by George Papuchis. Jim Smith then drove a double to deep right center, scoring pinch runner Andrew Chase with the game-winning run. The Mustangs added two more runs in the frame as they took the 9-6 lead.

The Spartans would not go down quietly as they answered the Mustangs’ three-spot with three runs of their own. Poff led of the inning with a single to right. He moved to third when Maxim doubled. Santoro singled home pinch runner Greg Case (Branchville, N.J./High Point Regional) and Maxim moved to third. Santoro was sacrificed to second, putting the tying run in scoring position. After a strikeout, Cook came through with a doubled down the left field line, tying the game at nine.

Villa Julie pushed across the game winning run in the top of the 11th off reliever Michael Roberts (Oceanside, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial). Smith began the rally with a single up the middle that Cook made a great stop on but threw the ball away, allowing Smith to advance to second. Baione then doubled off the wall in right, allowing Smith to score the game-winner.

Reliever Derrick Nason, who beat the Spartans on Wednesday, set the Spartans down in order in the bottom of the 11th to earn the win.

Nason earned the win for the Mustangs as he improves to 6-1. He threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout. Keenan threw 3.1 innings of shutout relief, allowing two hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks. Breidenbaugh went 4.1 innings in his start, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks and a strikeout.

Roberts took the loss as he allowed one unearned run on two hits in one inning of work. He struck out one as he falls to 0-1. Hughes allowed three runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings of work. He struck out two and walked two others. Austin deserved a better fate as he gave up six runs, of which only one was earned, in 5.2 innings of action. He allowed seven hits and walked one in the no-decision.

Smith and Baione led the Mustangs’ game two offense. Smith was 4-for-6 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Baione was 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Van Beek, Keenan, and Papuchis each contributed two hits to the Mustang attack.

Maxim paced the York offense, as he was 3-for-6 with three RBI and two runs scored. Klinck was also 3-for-6 as he added an RBI. Poff was the third Spartan with three hits as he was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Craig chipped in with two hits and two RBI.

The Spartans return to action on Sunday afternoon as they host North Carolina Wesleyan in a non-conference game. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 pm. Prior to the contest, York will honor their three seniors as part of Senior Day pre-game ceremonies.