May 7, 2010

Comeback Bid Falls Short as Ferrum Downs Spartans 7-5 in 10

YORK, PA  - The York College baseball team saw a stellar 2010 regular season come to a disappointing conclusion as the Ferrum Panthers downed the Spartans 7-5 in 10 innings on a sun splashed Friday afternoon in York. The Spartans, who have now lost two straight after a 10 game win streak, end the regular season with a mark of 28-14 while the Panthers close out 2010 with a mark of 25-13.

The Panthers jumped on Spartan ace Jason Christenberry (Yoe, Pa./Dallastown) for a pair of runs in the top of the first. Lead off hitter Jason Butterworth coaxed a walk after it looked like Christenberry got him looking twice only to have the calls go Butterworth's way. Christenberry then got a fly out before Justin Franklin crushed a Christenberry offering deep into the centerfield batting cages, giving the guests an early 2-0 lead.

The Spartans got on the board in the bottom of the frame as Dustin Worthman (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) was drilled in the back with the first pitch from Panther starter Tyler Milstead. Worthman moved to second on a failed pick off attempt, then to third on a Kyle Cook (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) ground out to second beforing scoring on a Rick Shumway (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area) sacrifice fly to right.

The Green and White tied the game at two in the bottom of the fourth on a clutch C.T. Stanley (Timonium, Md./Calvert Hall) RBI double to right center, scoring Cook with the Spartans' second run of the day.

The Panthers recaptured the lead in the fifth as Franklin was in the middle of it again. This time the first baseman sliced a home run to left as the line drive just cleared the wall for a three-run bomb, giving Ferrum the 5-2 lead.

York chipped away with two runs in the sixth as they loaded the bases with no outs. After a double play ground ball scored the first run of the frame, Stanley came through again with a two-out single to score Cook with the Spartans' fourth run.

York tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Shumway launched a solo homer to left off Michael Bakeyfield, knotting the game at five.

The Panthers had first and third with two outs in the top of the ninth but reliever Brandon Ullom (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield) got out of the jam with a strikeout, giving the Spartans a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Spartans had a chance in the final inning of regulation as Matt Monti (Easton, Pa./Easton) was standing on second with two outs. Worthman hit a little hump back line drive to short that shortstop Paul Jaglowski made an over the shoulder catch, retiring Worthman and forcing extra innings.

Franklin started out the tenth for Ferrum with a double to left center. He was retired on a fielder's choice but the Panthers would eventually put runners at the corners with one out. Travis Crump lifted a sacrifice fly to right, scoring pinch runner Steven Cauley, breaking the tie with two outs. Peter Byron then singled in a big insurance run as the Panthers captured the two run lead.

The Spartans made some noise in the tenth as Cook walked and Shumway singled to put runners at first and second. Mike Connolly (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) then popped up his bunt attempt for the first out of the inning. Stanley, who blistered the ball all day, hit an absolute bullet to third baseman Daniel Alverez. Alverez picked the shot on one hop, stepped on third and then completed the double play and the season by throwing out Stanley at first.

Baskeyfield earned the win in relief as he allowed a run on four hits with two strikeouts and a walk in four innings of work. He improves to 2-0 with the win. Jon Wilson earned the save as he allowed a hit and a walk in the tenth before being bailed out by Alverez's double play to end the game. Milstead allowed four runs, three earned, on three hits, four walks and a strikeout in five innings of work, as he received a no decision.

Christenberry pitched the final game of his career at Jaquet Field as the senior allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits with six strikeouts and an uncharacteristic four walks in his 8.2 inning outing. Ullom suffered the loss out of the pen as he allowed two runs on three hits with a strikeout in his 1.1 inning stint. He is now 1-1 for the campaign.

Franklin was a huge part of the Ferrum offense as he was 4-for-5 with five RBI and two runs scored. His two home runs were his 15th and 16th of the year. He entered this week tenth in the nation in home runs and ninth in the nation in home runs per game. Alverez went 2-for-5 with a run scored, as he was the only other Panther to record multiple hits.

Shumway finished the game 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored including his sixth round tripper of the year. Stanley was 2-for-5 with two RBI.

The Spartans must now play the waiting game to see if they will earn an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament. The tournament field will be announced on Monday, May 17 and the tournament begins on Thursday, May 20 at eight regional sites. Please turn to www.ycpspartans.com for the most up-to-date information on the Spartans' post-season hopes.

Photo: CT Stanley had two hits and two RBI in Friday's season finale.

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