May 15, 2009

Spartan Bats Quiet as 2009 Comes to a Close

SALISBURY, MD – The York College baseball squad saw their 2009 season come to a quiet end as the Green and White fell to Washington & Jefferson, 4-1, in a consolation bracket game on Friday in Salisbury. The Spartans end their season with a mark of 28-16 while the Presidents advance to face Johns Hopkins in the consolation semifinals Friday night.

The Spartan offense started off strong. Sophomore Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J/Lenape Valley Regional) drew a one-out walk in the top of the first. He came around to score three pitches later when senior Ryan Poff (York, Pa./Spring Grove) lashed a double to right-center, allowing Klinck to score standing, giving York the early 1-0 lead. Poff eventually moved to third on a ground out but would be stranded, foreshadowing the offensive struggles York would experience over the next eight innings of play.

Spartan starter Chris Frankenfield (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) was brilliant in the opening innings for York. The junior right-hander allowed just three batters to reach through the first three innings of action.

Unfortunately, the Spartan offense couldn’t give Frankenfield more of a lead. The Green and White had two runners on in the third and another runner in the fourth but York couldn’t build on its one-run advantage.

The Presidents finally reached Frankenfield in the fourth as Neil Pascarella hit an opposite field home run to the short porch down the left field line, tying the game at one. Pascarella’s homer appeared to be a lazy fly ball that continued to carry and barely cleared the wall about 314 feet from home plate.

The Spartans ran into some bad luck in the fifth as Dustin Worthman (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) singled with one out. He was then erased on a double play on a Spartan hit-and-run. With Worthman taking off on the pitch, Klinck hit a one hop shot to second baseman Aaron Klinec who made a nice pick on the ball, stepped on second and cut down Klinck at first to complete the deflating double play.

Frankenfield worked his way around a lead off double in the bottom of the fifth to keep the game deadlocked at one. He would not be that lucky in the sixth as a pair of Spartan miscues greased the skids for the Presidents’ rally. W&J’s Jim Pasquine opened the inning by reaching via an error. He then moved to second when Spartan catcher Jim Meehan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport-South Manor Central) tried to pick Pasquine off first and the ball got past Spartan first baseman CT Stanley (Timonium, Md./Calvert Hall College). Pasquine advanced to third on a fly ball to right and then scored on a Mark Tomchick sacrifice fly.

The Spartans got two runners on base in the top of the seventh but much like the previous six innings, could not get that clutch two-out hit to plate a run.

The Presidents added a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh from Mike Kennedy and an unearned run in the eighth to provide for the Spartans’ final 4-1 margin of defeat.

Frankenfield took the hard-luck loss as he falls to 3-2 for the year. Frankenfield went seven strong innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits with one strikeout and no walks. Senior Jake Hughes (Schwenksville, Pa./Souderton) made his final appearance in the Spartan grays as he allowed an unearned run on a hit with two strikeouts and a walk in his one inning stint.

Pat Kennedy was outstanding on the hill for the Presidents. After allowing the first inning run, Kennedy got himself out of multiple jams, buying time for the late blooming W&J offense. Kennedy improves to 7-2 with the win as he tossed eight innings, allowing just one run on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Mitch McClay tossed a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to earn the save, his third of the year.

Pasquine led the President offense as the leftfielder was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Mike Kennedy was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored on his third home run of the year. Pascarella was 1-for-4 with this fourth tater of the year.

Poff finished his Spartan career with two more hits including his 24th double of the year. Poff was 2-for-4 with the Spartans’ lone RBI. Poff ends his stellar four year run with a school record 266 hits while his 65 career doubles is one short of two-time All-American Matt Day’s career total. Poff’s double today did tie Day’s single-season record of 24, established in 2002.

Klinck scored the Spartans’ lone run as he was 1-for-3 while four other Spartans had singles in the game.

The Spartans must say goodbye to Poff, Hughes, Matt Austin (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock), and Scott Livengood (Waynesboro, Pa./Waynesboro) but welcome back seven everyday starters for the 2010 season including their top three starting pitchers. The Spartans’ 28 wins tie for the third highest total in the last ten years, behind the 2002 team that won 34 games and the 2007 squad that won 32.

GAME BOX

Photo: Ryan Poff doubles in York's only run in the top of the first.