Spartan Streak Reaches Seven with a Tight 6-5 Win

YORK, PA – The York College baseball team extended their win streak to seven games on Friday with a key 6-5 Capital Athletic Conference win over the University of Mary Washington on a brilliantly sunny day in York. The Spartans improve to 13-9 overall and 8-5 in the CAC while the Eagles fall to 14-5 overall and 7-4 in the league.

The Eagles reached Spartan ace Jason Christenberry (Yoe, Pa./Dallastown) for a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.  Seamus Bergen led off the frame with a single to left center field. The knock came on a 2-2 pitch in what proved to be some foreshadowing in the inning. Eric Rehbein followed Bergen with ringing double to right center, plating Bergen with the first run of the game. The problem for Christenberry was the double came on an 0-2 pitch as he had Rehbein deep in the hole. Will Wright kept the Eagles rolling with single to third followed by a throwing error that put runners at the corners. Another single, this one down the third base line by Alex Howell, plated Rehbein with the Eagles’ second run. Christenberry did a great job of minimizing the damage as he got a fly out and strikeout, holding the Eagles to just two runs.

The Spartans answered the Eagles with a pair of runs in their own bottom of the first. After Mary Washington starter Zach Goodwyn got the first two outs of the inning, Rick Shumway (Shippensburg , Pa./Shippensburg Area) drew a walk. He scored when Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) looped an opposite field double to left. Connolly came around to score on a wild pitch after a passed ball moved him to third two pitches earlier.

York took the lead in the second courtesy of a Jim Meehan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport South Manor Central) sacrifice fly and a Dustin Worthman (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) RBI double down the left field line as York took the 4-2 lead.

The Green and White tacked on a single run on a Shumway RBI single down the right field line in the fourth but the damage could have been much greater. The Spartans had runners at second and third with one out and only came away with the single tally.

The Spartans built the lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth as Worthman doubled with one out and scored on a Shumway RBI ground out.

The Eagles had a golden chance to score in the seventh as Bergen and Wright each singled. They moved up to second and third courtesy of a one-out wild pitch. Christenberry then coaxed the Eagles into a pair of pop ups to end the threat, keeping the four-run Spartan advantage intact, at least for the time being.

Mary Washington struck for a pair of runs in the eighth as Christenberry lost touch with the strike zone to start the inning. A pair of walks sandwiching a pop out chased the Spartans senior ace. Bergen made the walks hurt as he lifted a soft single just over the outstretched arms of Shumway in shallow right, giving the Eagles two runs in cutting the Spartan lead to 6-4.

After the Spartans went in order in the eighth, the Eagles reached reliever Chris Frankenfield (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) for a run on a Seth Jordan home run to left that just cleared the wall, cutting the Spartan lead to 6-5. After Frankenfield got a ground out for the second out of the frame, Santino Rosanova walked and Nick Espinoza singled sharply up the middle to put the tying and winning runs at first and second base. Spartan skipper Paul Saikia went to the bullpen one last time, summoning sophomore Brandon Ullom (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield) in an attempt to close out the game. Ullom threw a ball before getting a pair of strikes on designated hitter Shane Sixsmith. Ullom missed with his fourth pitch of the at-bat but then finished off the game as he painted the outside corner on the left-handed hitting Sixsmith, getting the sophomore looking for the Eagles’ 27th out of the game.

Christenberry earned the win despite not having his best stuff. He allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits with five strikeouts and four walks in his 7.1 innings of work. He improves to 5-1 with the win, as he needed 103 pitches to navigate through his outing.

Goodwyn suffered the loss as he falls to 2-3. He allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits with three walks and no strikeouts. Zach Hendrix was effective out of the pen for the Eagles as he allowed a run on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk in his 76-pitch, five-inning outing.

The top four in the Spartan order went a combined 7-for-17 in the game as Worthman, Kyle Cook (Pylesville, Md./North Harford), and Connolly each had two hits. Worthman and Connolly each contributed a run scored and an RBI in the win. Shumway finished 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI.

Bergen had an outstanding game for the Eagles as the shortstop was 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. His only out was a line drive out centerfield. Wright and Howell each added two hits to the 12-hit Mary Washington attack.

The Spartans conclude a busy week on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Gallaudet University to face the Bison in a CAC doubleheader. It will be the final times the two teams meet as conference opponents as the Bison are leaving the CAC at the conclusion of the academic year. Game one is slated for a 1:00 pm start in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Matt Monti swipes second base for the Spartans. Photo courtesy of Brent Duffy.