April 16, 2009

Christenberry's Masterful Performance Vaults Spartans Past Seahawks

YORK, PAJason Christenberry (Yoe, Pa./Dallastown) carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning Thursday as he led the York College baseball team passed visiting St. Mary’s 6-0 in the first round of the 2009 Capital Athletic Conference tournament. Behind the junior’s strong performance, the Spartans improve their mark to 24-7 on the year while the Seahawks fall to 13-17.
      Christenberry put together a brilliant outing as he went 8.2 innings, struck out ten, walked three, and only surrendered on hit as he faced 32 Seahawk hitters.
      After a full eight innings of no-hit ball, the Seahawks reached the Spartan starter in the ninth as Matt Baden knocked a double. Baden, the Seahawks’ #3 hitter, connected for a low line-drive that landed just out of the reach of a sprawling Ryan Poff (York, Pa./Spring Grove) for St. Mary’s first hit of the afternoon. Christenberry recorded the next two outs, a shallow fly ball to Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) in left followed by his tenth strikeout of the game, before being lifted for a congratulatory applause by the Spartan home crowd.
      Senior left-hander Jake Hughes (Schwenksville, Pa./Souderton) secured the shut-out victory, recording the final out of the contest via York’s eleventh strikeout.
      The Spartans’ got on the board early tallying in their half of the first. With two outs, Connolly and Poff knocked back-to-back singles allowing Matt Austin (Shrewsbury, Pa./Susquehannock) to step to the plate with a R.B.I. opportunity. York’s designated hitter delivered for the Spartans’ first run of the contest as Connolly raced-in on Austin’s single to right.
      York tacked on another in the fourth as Matt Monti (Easton, Pa./Easton) plated Poff for the home squad’s second run of the game.
      The Spartans busted the game open in the fifth, tallying four runs on four hits. The bottom half of the frame began inauspiciously as catcher Jim Meehan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport-South Manor Central) recorded an infield single by way of a swinging bunt. Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional), who would go on to make a fine defensive play in the top of the eighth to then preserve Christenberry’s no-hitter, laid down a sacrifice bunt to push Meehan to second. Kyle Cook (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) followed Meehan’s lead as he reached first by way of a slow-rolling infield hit. With runners at the corners and only one out, Connolly dumped a jam-shot just inside the right field line, plating Meehan as York scored with merely one ball barely getting out of the infield.
      Poff changed that trend as he followed Connolly with runners on first and second. With one swing, the senior put the Spartans up 6-0 with a tremendous home run blast that quickly exited over the left field fence. Poff’s fifth jack of the year would prove to be the final runs of the contest.
      Christenberry was able to cruise through the majority of the latter innings as he did not allow a runner past first base after the second inning all the way until the ninth.
      Connolly put together a 3-for-4 afternoon with a R.B.I. and two runs scored. Poff went 2-for-3, including his three-run round-tripper. Cook and Monti each added 2-for-4 performances for the Spartans.
      Jon Gill is saddled with the loss for the Seahawks. Gill went a full six innings, surrendering eleven hits and all six Spartan runs. Mikel Iraola came on for Gill in the seventh and tossed two scoreless frames.
      The Spartans will return to action tomorrow, Friday, April 17, in the next leg of the CAC tournament as they host Stevenson University. First pitch from Jaquet Field is slated for 3:30 pm.

GAME BOX

Jason Christenberry photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh