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Three freshmen figured into West York's lineup Saturday at Sunset Lane Baseball Field.

Coach Roger Czerwinski called them "young pups" among his Bulldogs, who twice rallied against Lancaster Catholic before winning, 5-4, in eight innings. They needed a game like this, Czerwinski thought. His seniors have seen them.

West York (6-0) trailed 1-0 without much offense until the fifth inning, when Brett Kinneman smashed a two-run home run to right-center field.

Down 4-2 and facing a final strike in the seventh, Cash Gladfelter knocked a two-run double into right field.

The Bulldogs won on a wild throw to home plate with the bases loaded an inning later.

"Am I shocked? Yeah, I'm not going to lie," Czerwinski said. "I didn't think after six games we'd be 6-0. Also, what's been nice is Logan (Stover), Cash and Brett have done an amazing job of leading our kids."

Only a handful of players are back from West York's team that finished atop the District 3 Class AAA ratings last season. One of them, second baseman Andrew Copeland, missed Saturday's game for a college visit. The Bulldogs faced Lancaster Catholic (5-2), which missed last year's district tournament but is on the upswing in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

"We're excited we came up and hung with a program like this," Crusaders coach Ty Book said. "A couple of breaks go one way or another, it's a different outcome."

Like if West York doesn't get those two-out hits from seniors Kinneman and Gladfelter. Or if a freshman left fielder doesn't make a diving grab to end the top of the eighth.

Czerwinski surveyed his potential roster before this season and noticed holes needed to be plugged: the corner outfield spots, catcher and left side of the infield. He saw plenty of Colton Kubicki, who played with his son in youth baseball the last few years.

Kubicki started in left field Saturday, and his eighth-inning scoop of a hard-hit ball prevented two runners from scoring.

"If it gets past him, that's a triple and two runs score," said Gladfelter, who was on the mound in relief of Nick Traettino. "Totally different ballgame going into the end."

Instead of facing first-pitch strikes and a deficit in the bottom of the eighth, West York hitters got ahead of Crusaders reliever Gabe Cicala. Tyler Seiffert led off with a single, Kinneman was intentionally walked and Traettino walked. It led to a comebacker that the pitcher threw wide to home plate, scoring Seiffert with Kubicki waiting in the on-deck circle.

"I had a lot of confidence in our team to put the ball down and score that last run," Kubicki said.

Czerwinski liked that Kubicki also had a hit, gaining confidence at the plate.

"We've had some success this year, but it's come with some growing pains," Czerwinski said.

That was evident in a handful of errors, which allowed Lancaster Catholic to pull ahead. The Bulldogs committed five miscues resulting in unearned runs. The worst of it came in the sixth after Kinneman's go-ahead homer. The Crusaders answered with three runs on two infield mistakes.

Lancaster Catholic pitcher Bayley Jamanis took advantage, both at the plate and on the mound. The junior batted 4-for-4 and struck out 14 on the mound.

"I thought we grew up a bunch today," said Czerwinski, who gathered his team for an extended postgame chat beyond second base. "I told them, 'I thought we grew up from boys to men.'"

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.

West York 5, Lancaster Catholic 4 (8 innings)

Lanc. Catholic01000300—482West York00002021—565

LC, Bayley Jamanis, Gabe Cicala (7) and Tyler Robinson. WY, Nick Traettino, Cash Gladfelter (6) and Anthony Kahley.

SO-BB — LC, Jamanis 14-2, Cicala 1-2. WY, Traettino 5-3, Gladfelter 4-2; W — Gladfelter; L — Cicala; 2B — WY, Gladfelter; HR — WY, Brett Kinneman.

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