YORK, PA – Spartan senior Drew Frankenfield (Blue Bell, Pa./Wissahickon) banged a game-winning single up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lift the York College baseball team to a walk-off 6-5 win over Messiah on a brutally cold Wednesday afternoon in York.
The Spartans swept the season series from the Falcons as York improves to 10-12 overall. The Falcons fall to 6-15 with the setback.
York started out strong as they struck for a run in the first courtesy of a Dustin Worthman (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) RBI single up the middle.
York tacked on a four-spot in the fourth with some help from the Messiah defense. The Spartans loaded the bases to start the inning and Frankenfield drove in York's first run of the inning after he got hit by a pitch. The Falcons made a pitching change and after a Adam Bartholomew (Haddonfield, N.J./Bishop Eustace) sacrifice fly made it 3-0, Falcon reliever Mitch McClure looked like he was going to get out of the inning without any further damage but a throwing error allowed two more Spartans to cross the plate as the Spartans had a 5-0 lead through four innings.
Ironically, the Spartans also scored four runs in the fourth inning in their March 20 win at Messiah.
Messiah climbed back into the game as they scratched out a pair of runs in the top of the fifth courtesy of a big Spartan error.
The Falcons' Jeremiah Eaton trimmed the Spartan lead to 5-3 with a big fly that hugged the rightfield line in the sixth as Messiah kept chipping away at the York lead.
Messiah kept their momentum going in the seventh with two more runs on two more Spartan errors in the seventh. It could have been much worse for the Spartans but junior Zach Philippi (Levittown, Pa./Harry S. Truman), who came into the game with no outs and the bases loaded, got three straight Falcons to keep the game tied.
Junior centerfielder Andrew Hershey (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) was the Spartan hero in the top of the eighth as Messiah was threatening again with runners at second and third and two outs. The Falcons' Zach Brubaker hit an absolute bullet to centerfield that looked like a sure hit and two runs but Hershey made a diving stab that kept the Falcons off the board.
Frankenfield opened the bottom of the eighth with a booming double to center followed by a walk. However, the Spartans couldn't get a bunt down and then couldn't get a clutch hit as Frankfield was left stranded on second to end the inning.
Mike Sarecky (Brookeville, Md./Sherwood) came on to pitch the ninth as was dominate as he needed just seven pitches to navigate the ninth setting the stage for a Spartan walk-off win.
The bottom of the ninth began with a booming double to right off the bat of Colbe Herr (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) as York looked primed to win the game. Derek Pitzer (York, Pa./Dallastown) attempted to bunt Herr to third but a poor bunt resulted in Herr being cut down at third. Justin Cohen (Severn, Md./Old Mill) singled to put runners at first and second but a strikeout brought Frankenfield to the plate with two outs.
Frankenfield fell behind 1-2 and took a close pitch on the outside corner before banging the sharp single to center that scored Pitzer with the game-winner.
Sarecky earned the win as he tossed the perfect ninth inning to improve to 1-1 overall. Josh Kohn (Derwood, Md./Col. Zadok Magruder) started and allowed two unearned runs on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks during his five innings of work. Philippi was very strong as he tossed the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one walk with a hit batter as he kept the Falcons off the board.
Paul Broomell suffered the loss as he allowed a run on three hits in his 0.2 innings of work. McClure was outstanding in relief of starter Peter Fisher as the left-hander tossed five scoreless innings, scattering five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. Fisher allowed five runs, three earned, in his three innings of work. He struck out one and walked another for Messiah.
Cohen led the Spartans as he went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Frankenfield finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Pitzer also had two hits for York.
The Falcons were held to just five hits in the game. Eaton went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored on his second home run of the year. Tyler Spence added a hit and an RBI off the bench for Messiah.
The Spartans return to action on Thursday as they travel to Susquehanna to face the Crusaders in a non-conference contest. First pitch is set for 3:30 pm.
Drew Frankenfield photo courtesy of Chelsea Bock - Athletic Communications Student Photographer