YORK, PA – In the opening round of the 2010 Capital
Athletic Conference Tournament, the second-seeded York College
baseball team suffered a hard-to-swallow 8-5 loss at the hands of
visiting Mary Washington Wednesday afternoon. The defeat drops the
Spartans to 17-11 on the season and more significantly gives the
Green and White their first loss in the double-elimination
tournament. The Eagles improve to 19-10 with the victory.
The Spartans started out exceptionally well as the opened up a 4-0 lead after five complete innings.
Senior catcher Jim Meehan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport-South Manor Central) put the Green and White out front with a solo shot in the top of the third before the Spartans added three more in the fifth.
Matt Monti (Easton, Pa./Easton) led off the bottom of the fifth with a single through the left side. Meehan, who had homered in his previous at-bat, banged a double to right field pushing Monti to third. After a Dustin Worthman (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) line out to left, Kyle Cook (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) drove in Monti from third with a sacrifice fly. Now with two out, Eagle starter Eric Rehbein plunked Rick Shumway (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area) to set up first-and-third. Clean-up man Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) then delivered the clutch two-out hit with a double to center scoring both Meehan and Shumway, which gave the Green and White a 4-0 advantage.
On the mound, Spartan starter Jason Christenberry (Yoe, Pa./Dallastown) cruised through the first six innings, as the home squad looked well on their way to a first round triumph. York's ace allowed a mere three hits during the first six frames, facing just two more than the minimum.
However, the seventh inning changed the entire ballgame. Mary Washington exploded for six runs on six hits in the top of the stanza and ran Christenberry from the contest.
The Eagles recorded three straight hits before Nick Espinosa provided their first run with a sacrifice fly. Seth Jordan then singled through the right side to plate Mary Washington's second tally.
With the bases juiced, rookie right-hander Joey Couch (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial), who had replaced Christenberry, yielded a one-out double to Jackson Clement, driving in three for the Eagles.
Seamus Bergen, UMW's lead-off man, then executed a flawless suicide squeeze. Clement broke for home as Bergen put down the bunt. The Spartans attempted to get Clement at the plate but were not able to get him before he hit home for the Eagles' sixth and final run of the inning.
York responded well as they got one back in the bottom of the frame. Worthman led-off with a double and was pushed to third on a Cook groundout. The Spartan designated-hitter then came home on a Zach Hendrix balk, cutting the lead to 6-5.
Much to the dismay of the home fans, the Eagles stretched their lead to two once again in the top of the eighth on another Espinosa sacrifice fly. Then, in their half of the ninth, Mary Washington scratched across their eighth and final run on a Bergen single to bring in Shane Sixsmith.
For the game, Clement, the Eagles' #9 hitter, recorded a 2-for-3 performance, drove in three runs, and scored once. Will Wright posted a 3-for-5 afternoon and scored a pair of runs while Santino Rosanova went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Hendrix, who had come on for Rehbein to begin the sixth, garnered the win as he scattered four hits, struck out three, and only allowed one run.
Meehan went 2-for-4 for the Spartans including his homer in the third. Joe Doyle (Stewartstown, Pa./Red Lion) also posted a 2-for-4 performance at the plate while Connolly went 1-for-4 with two RBI. Christenberry suffers just his second loss despite the brilliant showing over the first six innings of work. Couch pitched 1.2 for the Green and White and Brandon Ullom (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield) finished the contest by pitching the ninth.
The Green and White will now have to traverse the difficult CAC Tournament without dropping another game. The Spartans, who now face elimination for the remainder of the playoffs, return to action on Thursday as they host St. Mary's in a second-round tilt at 3:30 p.m.
Photo: Joe Doyle leads off second in Wednesday's loss to Mary Washington - courtesy of Scott Guise