Shippensburg did not make it easy for Greencastle-Antrim's baseball team Tuesday.
Between Teagan Staver's pitching and Zane Hershey's hitting, the Greyhounds gave the once-beaten Blue Devils all they could handle.
But thanks to a pair of key hits and ace Myles Gayman's 14 strikeouts, G-A prevailed 2-1, and clinched the Mid Penn Colonial Division championship when Waynesboro was upset by Boiling Springs. The Blue Devils are 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the division.
"I was proud of Teagan's effort and Zane had an outstanding day," Ship coach Nate Rosenberry said. "Gayman is good, and he really pitches. We battled him, but you just have to tip your cap to him."
Gayman allowed six hits and no walks, but got out of any trouble with his excellent stuff. Of his 14 punchouts, eight went down looking.
G-A catcher Quin Ambeault said, "He was really fast today (topped at 90 mph), but the top of their order was getting on the fastballs, so we mixed in the curves."
Hershey was a thorn in Gayman's side. Hitting from the left side against the tall righty, Hershey smacked a double down the line in the first inning, singled through the first base hole in the third and led off the sixth with a booming triple to right-center. He later scored on Nate Holt's base hit.
"The last time I faced him (in April), I hit one pretty good in my last at bat, so I had some confidence," Hershey said. "I was thinking the last few days and even in school about how I was going to approach today. My mentality is that I can hit anybody, so I had to believe in myself."
"He did look confident up there," G-A coach Eric Shaner said.
Rosenberry said, "He goes up there and has a nice, short swing."
Greencastle nearly broke it open early. A single by Gayman, an error and a fielder's choice loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first. But Staver got a strike out and a grounder to end the threat.
"I was hoping for an outside pitch, but he threw it inside," Ambeault said. "I was able to get my hands inside and luckily it dropped for a hit."The Devils scored one in the third when Matt Kline singled, stole second and raced home on a base hit to right by Ambeault.
In the fourth, Bailey Parker walked, moved up on an error and fielder's choice and came home on a single by Gayman.
"We finally got that two-out hit we were looking for," Shaner said.
Not to mention to mention the league title they were looking for.