Three Run Wesley Ninth Trips Spartans in Home Opener
YORK, PA – The York College Spartan bullpen allowed four runs over the final two innings to turn a 4-2 lead into a gut-wrenching 6-4 Capital Athletic Conference loss to Wesley College on a beautiful early spring Wednesday afternoon in York. The bullpen performance wasted a brilliant seven innings of work from senior right-hander Chris Frankenfield (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) as he suffered the no-decision.
The Wolverines improve to 5-4 overall and 2-1 in the CAC while the Spartans fall to 2-6 overall and 0-3 in the league. The Spartans have now dropped four straight.
The contest started off well for the Green and White as Frankenfield cruised through the top of the first. In the bottom of the frame, sophomore Dustin Worthman (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) led off the inning with a single to right center. Kyle Cook (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Worthman to second. He came around to score when Rick Shumway (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg) ripped a double to the left center gap, giving York the 1-0 lead.
York added to the lead in the bottom of the third courtesy of a Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) two-out, two-run single as the Spartans took a 3-0 lead.
The Wolverines got on the board in the fifth. It started with a walk to Billy Crowe with one out. Frankenfield looked like he has Crowe struck out twice during the at-bat but did not get the call, allowing Crowe to reach. After a ground out to first advanced Crowe to second, Rob Benedict ripped a single up the middle to score the Wolverines’ first run of the game.
The hosts got that run back in the bottom of the sixth on a Matt Monti (Easton, Pa./Easton) RBI single that scored Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional), giving York the 4-1 lead.
Wesley got another run off Frankenfield in his final inning of work as he departed with a seemingly safe two run cushion.
Freshman Joey Couch (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) relieved Frankenfield and was touched for a run on two hits as the Spartan lead was trimmed to 4-3.
The ninth inning proved to be a house of horrors for the Spartans. Tommy Moran (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) relieved Couch in search of the save and was promptly greeted by a Ryan Ziolkowski single up the middle. Ziolkowski advanced to second on a passed ball and then was safe when Crowe attempted to sacrifice him to third. Crowe’s bunt stuck right in front of the plate. Spartan catcher Jim Meehan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport-South Manor Central) lunged out from behind the plate and immediately recognized Ziolkowski was in no-man’s land between second and third. Meehan made a beeline toward the runner but his throw attempting to get Ziolkowski at second was the to the first base side of the bag, allowing the runner to be safe, putting runners at first and second with no outs. Moran then walked Steven Jacobs to load the bases for the Wolverines. Benedict came up and gave the Wolverines the lead with an RBI single to right center, plating Ziolkowski and Crowe with the tying and winning runs. Grant Morlock closed out the scoring with an RBI ground out as the Spartan pen allowed four runs on four hits with two walks in the final two innings of the game.
Kyle McGuire earned the win in relief for the Wolverines as he tossed two shutout innings. He walked one as he improves to 1-1 for the campaign. Ryan Doran started and allowed four runs on nine hits with three walks and a strikeout in 5.2 innings of work.
Moran absorbed the loss as he allowed three runs on two hits with two walks in his third of an inning of work. He is now 0-1 for the season. Frankenfield allowed two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks as he was saddled with the no-decision. He threw 95 pitches, 55 for strikes as he coaxed Wesley into 13 ground ball outs in his stint.
Benedict paced the Wolverine offense as he was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Ziolkowski added two hits and two runs scored while Crow was 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
Worthman led the Spartans as he was 4-for-5 with two runs scored. Connolly added two hits and two RBI while Monti was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Spartans return to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Dover, Delaware to face the Wolverines in a conference twin bill. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 1:00 pm.
Photo: Senior Chris Frankenfield twirled seven standout innings for the Spartans. Photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com