Wenzel's Walk Off Lifts Spartans to 6-5 Win over Hopkins

Wenzel's Walk Off Lifts Spartans to 6-5 Win over Hopkins

YORK, PA – York College senior first baseman Brad Wenzel (Blandon, Pa./Fleetwood Area) stroked a bases loaded single to right center to score a pair and give the Spartans a 6-5 walk-off win over Johns Hopkins in non-conference action on Monday in York.

The Spartans improve to 23-7 overall while the Blue Jays lost in walk off fashion for the third time in five games. The Blue Jays are now 18-13 overall.

Wenzel's heroics wouldn't have been possible had the Blue Jays not staged a comeback of their own as Hopkins scored a single run in the ninth to force extra innings and then again in the tenth to take the one run lead.

It was a game that was back and forth for most of the afternoon with neither team being able to gain any significant offensive traction.

The Spartans kicked off the scoring in the first as Andrew Hershey (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) stroked a double to left center to lead off the inning. Wenzel singled to put Spartans at first and third. After Blue Jay starter Colin Friedman got a strikeout, Derek Pitzer (York, Pa./Dallastown) banged into a fielder's choice that scored Hershey from third.

The Blue Jays got a two out rally to get on the board in the second. After Spartan starter Dan Gurganus (Prince Frederick, Md./Huntingtown) retired the first two Blue Jays. Jake Rodgers singled through the right side to start the rally. Conor Reynolds then hit a sinking line drive to left center that eluded a diving Hershey, allowing Rodgers to score and Reynolds to roll into third with a triple.

The Blue Jays took the lead in the fourth when freshman catcher Mike Orgielewicz ripped a two-out, two-run double down the left field line to score Mike Denlinger and Reynolds as Hopkins took a 3-1 lead.

The Spartans tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs. Wenzel started the uprising with a one out double to right center. Colbe Herr (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) slammed a single to left, scoring Wenzel, cutting the Spartan deficit to 3-2. Herr stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a Stephen Miele (Allentown, Pa./Salisbury) single to right, tying the game at three.

The Green and White got their fourth run bottom of the seventh as Hershey was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. Wenzel sacrificed him to second and Hershey then moved to third on a wild pitch. Friedman got a big strikeout but Pitzer banged a single through the right side to score Hershey and give the Spartans a one run lead.

The Blue Jays tied the game for the third time in the top of the ninth as Gurganus hit Reynolds with one out. After Orgielewicz flew out to center, Reynolds stole second and then moved to third on a wild pitch. Reynolds tied the game when Frank Schiff hit a hump back liner over Gurganus' head that second baseman J.J. Oleniacz (Great Falls, Va./Langley) couldn't get to in a do or die play.

The Spartans would threaten in the bottom of the ninth as Oleniacz reached on an error to lead off the inning. After Hershey sacrificed him to second, the Blue Jays walked Wenzel to create a force out situation. On Friedman's last pitch of the game, he coaxed Herr into a fly out to center. Reliever Ross Lazicky came on hit Pitzer to load the bases but he struck out Miele as the game headed to extra innings.

The Blue Jays got to Spartan reliever Tyler Alexander (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) for a run as Tom Mee singled to center to start the top of the tenth. Mee was sacrificed to second and Alexander got a strikeout for the second out of the inning. Raul Shah drew a walk to put Blue Jays at first and second. Richie Carbone then hit a sinking line drive to left that Logan Countryman (Baltimore, Md./Loch Raven) had to dive for. Countryman looked like he had made an incredible play but the ball came out of Countryman's glove when he hit the ground. With the ball coming out of Countryman's glove, Mee scored the winning run easily. Alexander got a fly out to end the frame but the damage was done as it looked like the Spartans were going to suffer a third straight heartbreaking loss.

That set the stage for Wenzel to give York a huge boost with the game-winner. The inning began with Colin Porter (Hanover, Pa./South Western) reaching on a throwing error. Lazicky got a fly out for the first out of the inning. Scott Steffy (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) reached on an infield single as the Spartans had something going. After a fielder's choice erased Porter at third, Hershey ripped a single to left but he hit it too hard for Steffy to be able to score. Wenzel then came up and hit the 2-1 pitch to right center for the walk off win.

Wenzel led the Spartans with three hits, two RBI and a run scored. Hershey contributed two hits and two runs scored while Steffy also had two hits and a run scored. Pitzer was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Orgielewicz led the Blue Jays with two hits and two RBI. Reynolds contributed two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. Schiff was also 2-for-4 while he notched an RBI. The bottom three in the Blue Jay order combined to go 6-for-12 with four RBI and two runs scored.

Alexander picked up the win as he tossed one inning, allowing a run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout. Gurganus was stellar for the Green and White as he tossed nine innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits with six strikeouts and no walks in the hard-luck no decision.

Lazicky suffered the loss as he allowed a pair of unearned runs in the tenth inning. He surrendered three hits with a strikeout as he falls to 0-2 with the loss. Friedman got a no decision as he allowed four runs on seven hits in 8.2 innings of work. Friedman struck out three and walked three others for JHU.

The Spartans return to action on Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Montclair State University to face the Redhawks in a non-conference contest. First pitch at Yogi Berra Stadium is set for 4:00 pm.

Brad Wenzel photo courtesy of Joe Rodgers