YORK, PA – As streaks go, the York College baseball team’s 16 game win streak was one of the best in school history. On Wednesday, that streak came to a tough end as the Stevenson University Mustangs used a two-run ninth inning to edge the Spartans 6-5 in Capital Athletic Conference play on Wednesday afternoon. The Spartans fall to 16-3 overall and suffered their first conference loss as they fall to 7-1. The Mustangs improve to 12-10 overall and 8-2 in the CAC as they are now just a half game back of the Spartans in the standings.
The Spartans looked golden heading into the ninth inning as closer Kyle Cook (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) came into the game to close the door. Cook was one out away from recording his fifth save of the season when Dustin Tarlow doubled to left, scoring pinch runner Jake Sodeman from first base tying the game at five. Justin Anderson then hit a sinking line drive that fell just in front of a diving Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) in left field, allowing Tarlow to score the game winning run.
The Spartans did not go down in the ninth without a fight as
they loaded the bases with two outs but would be unable to push the
equalizer across the plate. Mustang senior Wade Keenan would earn
his first save of the season as he walked the tight rope but
escaped the ninth unscathed.
The Spartans have the early innings to blame for the loss as they struggled defensively in the opening two frames.
The Mustangs reached Spartan starter Andy Rosenzweig (Glen Rock, Pa./Susquehannock) for a pair of unearned runs in the first. Tarlow began the inning with an infield single to short. He stole second and scored on a Spartan error. Rosenzweig got the next two outs but Griffin Stewart singled up the middle to score the second run of the frame.
The Spartans responded in the bottom of the first inning as Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional) and Cook each had an infield hits to open the inning. On Cook’s knock, Mustang third baseman Max Eckert threw the ball away attempting to get Cook, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Klinck scored on Connolly’s sacrifice fly but York would be unable to plate Cook as they trailed 2-1 through the first inning.
Shoddy defense hurt the Spartans in the top of the second as a pair of York errors allowed the Mustangs two runs as they seized a 4-1 lead. All four of the Mustang runs in the first two innings were unearned.
The Spartans clawed their way back into the game in the bottom of the third as they got some help from Stevenson starter Derrick Nason. The right-hander walked Klinck and allowed him to move to third on a wild pitch. After Cook singled to put Spartans at first and third, Nason uncorked another wild pitch to allow Klinck to score, cutting the York deficit to 4-2. Ryan Poff (York, Pa./Spring Grove) then drew the Spartans to within one as he flicked an RBI single to right center, scoring Cook.
The Spartans tied the game in the fourth as junior catcher Jim Meehan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport-South Manor Central) jacked a one out solo homer to deep left, knotting the game at four. The tater was the first in Meehan’s career and came at a good time for the Green and White.
York took a 5-4 lead one inning later as Poff hit a no-doubt-about-it solo homer to deep lead off the sixth. The Spartans had a chance to get more in the fifth but a base running mistake cost the Green and White an opportunity for a bigger inning.
That set the stage for the fateful ninth inning and the end of the Spartan streak.
Nason earned the win as he went eight-plus innings to pick up the win as he allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits with four walks and a strikeout. He improves to 4-2 with the victory. Keenan walked one and allowed one hit to earn his second career save with his work in the ninth.
Rosenzweig deserved a better fate as the sophomore fought his way through his six inning outing. He allowed four unearned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks despite not having his best stuff. Junior reliever Chris Frankenfield (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) was stellar in his two innings as he allowed one base runner, a walk, while he struck out two in his hitless appearance. Cook suffered the loss as he allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts as he falls to 2-2.
Anderson led the Mustangs as he was 2-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored. Tarlow was 2-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Stewart and George Papuchis each contributed two hits to the 11-hit Stevenson attack.
Poff paced the Green and White as he banged out three hits in five at-bats with two RBI and a run scored. Klinck was 2-for-3 with two runs scored while Cook was 2-for-4 with a run scored. CT Stanley (Timonium, Md./Calvert Hall College) was the other Spartan with multiple hits as he was 2-for-3 including his fifth double of the year.
The Spartans finished the game with 11 runners stranded while the Mustangs left six on base.
The Green and White look to get back on the winning side of the
ledger on Thursday as they travel to DeSales University to face the
Bulldogs in a non-conference contest. First pitch from Center
Valley, PA is set for 3:30 pm.
Photo: Ryan Poff homered in Wednesday's game against Stevenson