Eastern York's Brandon Knarr 'unreal' in YAIAA semifinals win
It's scary to think where Brandon Knarr could be in two years.
The Eastern York sophomore took to the mound Friday afternoon in a YAIAA baseball tournament semifinal against Delone Catholic at Spring Grove High School.
The southpaw struck out 18 hitters in a complete-game four-hitter as the Golden Knights scored a 2-0 win over the Squires.
"I just felt comfortable," said Knarr, who has struck out 16 batters in a game four times this season. "I felt relaxed and comfortable the whole game. I tried not to let anything get to me."
Division III champion Eastern York (13-5) advances to face West York in the championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Spring Grove High School.
"We feel great," Eastern York coach Blain Garner said. "It's a great feeling and one we haven't had in a long time here. It's probably been close to 20 years since Eastern was in a championship game. We are excited. This team is excited. We are ready to go."
Knarr struck out the side in both the first and third innings and notched at least two strikeouts in every inning. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder also walked four and scattered four singles.
"It was fastball and curveball basically the whole game," Knarr said. "They were swinging at the curveball and the fastball was getting where it needed to go."
Delone Catholic's first three hitters in the batting order went a combined 1-for-11 against Knarr with 10 strikeouts, including nine swinging.
Eastern York got the only runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Second baseman Drake Renn reached on a one-out walk and leadoff hitter Bobby Hedrick hit a two-out double to put runners on second and third. Golden Knights No. 2 hitter Mitchel Winter was hit by a pitch to load the bases and junior third baseman Colby Shimmel singled to center, scoring Renn and Hedrick.
"Shimmel has been doing it all year," Garner said. "Whether it is on the mound or at the plate. It's a young team (with two seniors in Friday's starting lineup), but boy, it looks like they have been playing forever."
Both teams stranded plenty of runners. Eastern York left the bases loaded in the third and stranded two baserunners in the run-producing fourth. Delone Catholic (13-8) left eight on base, including two in the second inning and the bases loaded in the fifth, thanks to two well-placed bunt hits.
"We had to try something," said Delone Catholic coach Doug Arnold. "We got three runners on. We had a chance. Tip your hat to (Knarr). He was unreal."
Eastern York 2, Delone Catholic 0
Delone Catholic0000000—043Eastern York000200x—240
DC, Hunter Keith, Chase Kint (4) and Austin Roth; EY, Brandon Knarr and Matt Taylor.
SO-BB— DC, Keith 3-7, Kint 2-0. EY, Knarr 18-4; W — Knarr; L — Keith; 2B — EY, Robert Hedrick.