Consider this stat: In 25 games this season, the Bulldogs have stolen 132 bags.
"In my 15 years of coaching, we've never run this much," West York coach Roger Czerwinski said.
Expect to see more of the same this afternoon, when the Bulldogs travel to Altoona's Mansion Park Stadium for a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal game against Belle Vernon at 4 p.m. The winner will face either Blackhawk or Thomas Jefferson in Monday's semifinal.
Then again, both West York and Belle Vernon thrive on pressuring opponents. The Leopards, the runners-up from District 7, stole 10 bases and bunted eight times during an 11-7 victory against Punxsutawny on Monday.
"I think it's pretty clear that they're a small-ball team," Czerwinski said.
Unlike their last victory, however, Belle Vernon will have to play today's game short-handed. The Leopards' victory against Punxsutawny was marred by a benches-clearing brawl that resulted in Belle Vernon catcher Parker Lynn -- as well as head coach Don Palm and two assistants -- being ejected from the game. Under PIAA rules, players and coaches who are ejected must sit out the following game.
Still, Czerwinski indicated those absences -- specifically Lynn's behind the plate -- wouldn't alter the Bulldogs' already-aggressive style on offense.
West York's base-stealing prowess begins at the top
"I don't even give (Toomey) and Brandon Rauhauser the steal sign. They just go," Czerwinski said. "They're really the trendsetters for us."
They're not alone, though. Fourteen West York players have stolen a base this season. Kaden Hepler, the team's ace starting pitcher, has swiped 23.
The Bulldogs have plenty of power behind that speed, as well. The team sports a collective .347 average.
Czerwinski again declined to name a starter in advance of the game. Hepler is available after throwing 49 pitchers in four innings of West York's 10-0, opening-round win against Hollidaysburg. Left-hander Brandon Kinneman is also an option.