GRANTHAM, PA – The York College baseball team dropped a tight 4-2 decision to Messiah College in a non-conference contest in Grantham, PA on Tuesday afternoon. The Spartans fall to 13-17 overall while the Falcons are now 8-19.
The first five innings of the game was a pure pitchers dual as Spartan starter Josh Miller was outstanding while Falcon starter Zach Adams matched him zero for zero in the first three innings. Davin Okerblom relieved Adams in the top of the fourth and kept throwing up zeros of his own through the fifth inning.
The Spartans finally broke the scoreless deadlock in the sixth. Freshman Derek Pitzer started the inning with a lead off double to left center. Jimmy King then beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt for a single to put Spartans at the corners. Junior Nic Long squeezed home Pitzer for York's first run but Adams got out of the inning without any further damage courtesy of ground out to first and a fly out to center.
The Falcons threatened in the sixth but Miller coaxed the Falcons into three straight pop ups to get out of the inning.
Messiah finally broke through in the top of the seventh. Derek Drake led off the inning with a triple down the right field line. Spartan head coach Mike Scappa brought in freshman Andrew Tucci and the righthander got a strikeout for out number one. The Falcons would then get a walk, a single, a Spartan fielding error, and back-to-back RBI singles as they chased Tucci after taking a 4-1 lead. Sophomore David Walker came in to close out the inning as he got a strikeout and a fly out to end the frame.
The Spartans responded quickly in the top of the eighth. Pitzer drew a one-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a balk. King then reached on an error, allowing Pitzer to score, drawing York to 4-2. The Spartans loaded the bases with two outs but wouldn't be able to push home another run as they left stranded the trio.
York got two runners on in the ninth but wouldn't be able to tie the game as they dropped another close contest.
Drew Mininger got the win in relief for the Falcons as he allowed an unearned run on a walk in his 1.1 innings of work. Jon Lapp got the save as he threw the final inning, allowing one hit with a strikeout and a walk.
Miller got a no-decision as the freshman threw well as he allowed a run on seven hits with three strikeouts and one walk in his seven-plus innings of action. Tucci took the loss as he falls to 0-1. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits with a strikeout. Walker was stellar in relief as he threw 1.2 innings of hitless baseball. He struck out two and walked one.
The Falcons received two hits from Sam Tajiri, Ryan Brown and Drake. Brown and Paul Mellinger each had an RBI in the win.
York was limited to six hits including two by senior Steve Tretter. Pitzer went 1-for-3 as he scored both of York's run.
The Spartans left 13 runners stranded in the loss.
The Spartans return to action on Friday to open up their final Capital Athletic Conference series of the regular season. The Green and White travels to Mary Washington for a single game on Friday followed by a double-dip on Saturday. First pitch from Fredericksburg on Friday is set for 3:30 pm.
Nic Long photo courtesy of Zach Rogers - Athletic Communications Student-photographer