YORK, Pa. – The York College baseball team suffered a difficult 3-2 setback to #4 Salisbury University in a Capital Athletic Conference tilt Friday afternoon in York. The loss drops the Spartans to 11-5 overall (7-6 CAC) while the Sea Gulls improve to 22-4 (11-2 CAC).
Despite the disappointing loss, senior pitcher Tommy Moran tossed a terrific game against the top-five Salisbury squad. He went 7.1 innings and only allowed a trio of runs – two of which came in the same inning – on ten hits and two walks while striking out five. From the fourth through the seventh frames, Moran only allowed three base knocks including 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and sixth.
Salisbury did all of their damage in the second and third innings, beginning with a pair in the top of the second. Quinn Griffith led off the top half with a single through the right side of the Spartan infield. After a Kyle Hayman fly out to Steve Tretter in center, Johnny Schiotis ripped a triple to left center to plate Griffith for Salisbury's first run. Schiotis then came home on a Matt Beck sacrifice fly to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. That advantage could have been more if not for a quality Spartan relay to close out the second. Ken O'Neill belted a shot to center, which Tretter initially lost in the sun. Alertly, the senior centerfielder picked up the ball and fired it into shortstop Colin Porter who threw to Justin Cohen at third to catch O'Neill trying to stretch his effort into a triple.
With two outs in the top of the third, Salisbury tacked on what would prove to be the winning run. Tyler Bennett singled to center and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Now in scoring position, Chris Connor singled through the right side to bring home Bennett for Salisbury's third run of the contest.
York posted a serious threat in the bottom half of the inning. Loading the bases, designated hitter Derek Pitzer came up for the Spartans with two out. The rookie left-handed stick knocked a shot to left center field but the effort hung up too long as centerfielder Bill Root corralled the third out to end the Spartan threat.
The top of the fourth began with a tremendous play from leftfielder Jimmy King to help Moran and the Spartans. Schiotis ripped another shot, this one seemingly destined for the left field corner and two bases. However, King had other ideas as he laid out full stretch to snag the liner.
It looked as if King's effort may have invigorated the Spartans as Cohen led off York's half of the fourth by smacking a double into left center. Colbe Herr then reached on a Salisbury error and after a successful sacrifice bunt from Nic Long moved Cohen and Herr to second and third with just one away, the Green and White looked as if they might get something going. Following a Spartan groundout, leadoff man Dustin Worthman was intentionally walked to jam the bases. Cohen would then come home for York's first run of the game courtesy of an Andrew Levy wild pitch. Unfortunately for the hosts, that was all they would muster in that frame but the Spartans were now down just two at 3-1 through four.
In the latter portion of the seventh, the Green and White cut deeper into the Salisbury lead, scratching across a run. Tretter knocked triple into right center field to lead off the Spartans' half. Following a walk to Drew Frankenfield, and a subsequent pitching change for Salisbury, Pitzer put the ball in play allowing Tretter to come home on a Sea Gull error. York's run in the bottom of the seventh brought their deficit to a mere one at 3-2 Salisbury.
Unfortunately for York, that is as close as they would come. Neither squad pushed across any more runs as the one-run final went Salisbury's way.
For the game, Worthman went 2-for-3 and posted a pair of walks while Cohen was 2-for-4. Moran, who takes the hard-luck loss, falls to 4-2. Rookie left-handed hurler Dan McNamara came on in relief for Moran and threw 1.2 of hitless baseball.
Salisbury's Andrew Levy secured the win on the bump to move to 5-1 for the season as he tossed 6.1, allowed five hits, walked four, and struck out three. Danny Druzgala threw 1.2 in relief and Stephen Miller picked up his second save of the year with a hitless ninth. Connor went 2-for-4 with an R.B.I. while Schiotis posted a 1-for-4 day with an R.B.I. and a run scored.
The Spartans and Sea Gulls return to Jaquet Field on Saturday for a CAC twinbill. Game one first pitch is slated for 12:00 pm.
PHOTO: Tommy Moran on the hill for the Spartans during York's game against Salisbury on Friday, April 6. Courtesy of Zach Rogers - York College (Pa.) Athletic Communications Contributing Student Photographer.