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The first time Austin Kuntz came to the plate, it was obvious that Friday's game meant a little more to Delone Catholic.

His teammates stood toward the edge of the dugout, cheering their leadoff hitter on with more noise than they typically make.

Right away, Kuntz gave them a reason to continue cheering, ripping a base hit under the glove of the diving York Catholic shortstop, Brendan Kennedy. A couple pitches later, he stole second base. Two batters later, he scored from third base on a very similar-looking single by Hunter Keith.

The tone that Kuntz set on the basepaths and the one his teammates set in the dugout carried throughout an 11-1 win in five innings. The Squires and Fighting Irish entered the game tied for first place in YAIAA Division IV with two losses each, and Delone Catholic emerged in complete control of the division.

The Squires roughed up York Catholic ace pitcher Jake Krevetski for five runs on five hits and a walk in the first inning, then followed it with a four-run second inning. Kuntz got that rally started as well, taking a walk and quickly stealing second base again. Ryan Hart provided the exclamation point by ripping a two-run double down the left-field line.

"We've seen (Krevetski) before, so we knew what to expect," said Squires catcher Austin Roth, who drew two walks from Krevetski. "But I think the biggest thing was, we came out with a lot of energy. There have been games this year where we've lacked it in the dugout. Today, we came out loud, and we knew we could hit him."

Delone Catholic second baseman Evan Haymaker followed Kuntz's lead by reaching base as the leadoff hitter in the third and fifth innings, then stealing second base and scoring a run both times. He scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning to give Delone Catholic a 10-run lead and end the game.

"We talk all the time about throwing strikes and playing good defense," York Catholic coach Joe Gurreri said. "We didn't throw enough strikes, we got behind on the batters, and we didn't play good defense. Delone jumped on us, they played a good game, they took advantage of everything and earned that 10-run win."

The Squires have three division games remaining and will clinch the division crown with wins in all three games. The win should also boost them in the District 3 AA power rankings, where they were ranked No. 9 in a preliminary version released Tuesday. York Catholic was ranked No. 2. The top 10 teams qualify for the postseason.

"If we can, we want to get out of that seven to 10 spot and not play that play-in game," Delone Catholic coach Doug Arnold said. "We want to at least get into the top six, then take our chances."

Delone Catholic 11, York Catholic 1

York Catholic00100—173 Delone Catholic541

YC, Jake Krevetski, Bill Walker (4) and Frank Skehan. DC, Hunter Keith and Austin Roth.

SO-BB — Krevetski 5-3, Walker 1-1, Keith 4-2; W — Keith; L — Krevetski; 2B — DC, Ryan Hart.

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