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Spartans Sweep Captains in Big Regional Twinbill
YORK, PA - The York College baseball team picked up a pair of key regional wins as they swept Christopher Newport University in a non-conference doubleheader on an overcast Saturday afternoon in York. The Green and White edged the Captains 3-2 in the opener before doubling up CNU 6-3 in the nightcap.
The Spartans, winners of five straight, improve to 23-12 overall while the Captains fall to 24-17.
In game one, the Spartans struck for the first run in the bottom of the second. C.T. Stanley (Timonium, Md./Calvert Hall) led off the inning with a booming double to center field. After Joe Doyle (Stewartstown, Pa./Red Lion) ripped a line drive that was neatly snagged by a diving Luke Saunders at third, Rob Klinck (Stanhope, N.J./Lenape Valley Regional) walked to put Spartans at first and second. Matt Monti (Easton, Pa./Easton) singled to score Stanley with the game's opening run. Captain left fielder Connor Madden then made a huge defensive play, snagging a sinking line drive off the bat of Jim Meehan (Mastic, N.Y./Eastport South-Manor Central) and doubled up Klinck at second, ending the promising Spartan threat.
The Captains scored a pair in the top of the third as Madden had an RBI single and a Saunders recorded a run-scoring hit. The frame ended in bizarre fashion as Parker Neal reached first on an error but the runner at second ventured too far off the bag. When the Spartans threw behind him, the runner at third, Shannon Mark, broke for home and was thrown out, ending the inning.
York tied the game in the bottom of the third as a Newport error followed by a Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) RBI single to right allowed Rick Shumway (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area) to score, tying the game at two.
The Spartans got the game winner in the bottom of the sixth. Stanley began the frame with a single to right. He was sacrificed to second before Devin Harbold (York, Pa./West York) ran for him. Harbold moved to third with two outs on a wild pitch and scored when Monti lifted a shallow fly ball to center that fell between shortstop Neal and Mark, the centerfielder. York loaded the bases but would be unable to add any insurance as they took the one run lead to the seventh.
Senior pitcher Jason Christenberry (Yoe, Pa./Dallastown) allowed a one out single in the seventh but closed out the win for the complete game victory. Christenberry earned the win as he allowed two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in his seven innings of work. He improves to 8-2 for the season.
Josh Brinkman also went the distance for the Captains as he allowed three runs, two earned, on nine hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks. He falls to 7-4 with the loss.
Stanley, Monti and Meehan led the Spartan offense as they each had two hits. Monti had two RBI while Connolly plated the other Spartan run.
Saunders led the Captains as he was 2-for-3 with an RBI while Ben Lenda also had two knocks for CNU.
In the nightcap, the Captains jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, reaching Spartan starter Joey Couch (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) for single runs in the first and second innings.
The Spartans erupted in the bottom of the fourth for a five-run frame. The Spartans loaded the bases with no outs and got on the board courtesy of a Klinck sacrifice fly to center. Steve Tretter (Ephrata, Pa./Ephrata) laced a double to the right field corner to score a run, tying the game at two. Monti singled through the left side to plate York's third run and he was followed by a Meehan sacrifice to right, scoring Tretter. The Spartans got their fifth run of the inning on a big throwing error by pitcher Ian Lenda.
The Captains got a run back in the top of the fifth but it could have been much worse. Sophomore Brandon Ullom (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield) came on in relief of Couch with one out in the inning and Captains at second and third. Ullom got a strikeout and a ground out to keep the Spartans' two run lead intact.
York tacked on a key insurance run in the sixth as Meehan ripped an RBI single off the shortstop's glove to score Monti, who had singled and moved to second on a wild pitch earlier in the inning.
Ullom was outstanding in his 2.2 innings of work as he allowed just one hit with two strikeouts in picking up his third save of the season. Couch earned the win as he went 4.1 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk. Couch improves to 4-0 with the victory.
Lenda absorbed the loss as he allowed five runs, four earned, on four strikeouts and three walks in his 4.0 innings of work. He falls to 1-4 with the setback.
Connolly, Tretter, and Monti each had two hits. Connolly and Tretter each scored one run while Tretter also had an RBI. Monti dented the plate twice while he also drove in a run. Meehan was 1-for-2 with two RBI.
Shayne Kersey led the Captains as he was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Michael Romett also had two hits as he scored twice for CNU.
Prior to the game, York's seven Spartan seniors were honored for their contributions to the program. This four year class has won 97 games and counting as the Spartans push for their third NCAA Tournament appearance in four seasons.
The Spartans return to action on Monday afternoon when they travel to Johns Hopkins University to face the number one team in the nation in a non-conference contest. The Blue Jays sit atop the national polls with a sterling 34-3 record. Hopkins has won 27 straight games. First pitch from Baltimore, Maryland is set for 3:30 pm.
Photo of the Spartan seniors with their parents, courtesy of Robin Cook.