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A backup quarterback the last few years on the football team, Cash Gladfelter is no stranger on providing relief for a big-game starter.

The senior multi-sport athlete did just that Tuesday at Spring Grove High School. He happened to find himself producing in nearly every big moment of West York's 3-2 YAIAA baseball championship victory against Eastern York.

He broke up Colby Shimmel's no-hitter in the fourth inning.

He scored the first run.

He denied the Golden Knights (13-7) when entering a pressure-packed situation on the mound.

Gladfelter even produced the winning run with his walk-off bunt in the bottom of the seventh.

"I had to do what I had to do to win the championship," said Gladfelter, simply summing up his play.

After starting at shortstop for West York (16-4), Gladfelter struck out four batters and picked up the victory after 1 2/3 innings of relief for Brett Kinneman. He entered for Kinneman with one out and runners at second and third base in the top of the sixth inning. The slender 6-foot-1 Gladfelter trotted over from his defensive position upon coach Roger Czerwinski's summoning and produced back-to-back strikeouts.

At the plate, Gladfelter finished 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. The biggest came on an 0-1 pitch with one out in the seventh and teammate Brandon Sheffer at third base.

Eastern, playing for its district tournament life, had just rallied with two runs in the top of the seventh. An error on a routine grounder to second produced both of the Golden Knights' runs.

West York and Sheffer answered by singling on the first pitch to begin the bottom half of the seventh. The next batter, freshman No. 9 hitter Colton Kubicki, exhibited some patience and walked. Two batters later, Gladfelter came up looking to bunt.

Czerwinski first told him to take a pitch.

"We practice bunting so much that hopefully they can do it with two strikes or no strikes," Czerwinski said. "Right before that, Brandon takes off on a ball in the dirt and steals third — that's what sets up that."

On the second pitch, Gladfelter's bunt took a high bounce down the third base line. Eastern reliever Brandon Knarr dove to make a play, but Sheffer simultaneously crossed home plate.

Just a few minutes earlier, Sheffer had fielded the ball at second base that allowed Eastern to tie the score.

Kinneman just shrugged his shoulders and smiled.

"I didn't have my best stuff. I didn't think we swung the bats great all day, but we played good defense and caught timely hitting," Kinneman said.

But Sheffer's aggressiveness in the bottom of the seventh?

"That's what we've been good at all along," Kinneman said.

By all along, he means the last four years. West York won its third YAIAA baseball championship in that span. With the District 3 Class AAA tournament to be set after games played on Wednesday, West York currently sits third in the rankings. The Bulldogs' season ended last year with two straight losses coming in the YAIAA tournament semifinals and their district opener.

They entered the district tournament as the top seed.

"We definitely had a little bit of a sour taste left in our mouth after getting knocked out in the first round last year," Kinneman said. "It was just big to come out and win a big game."

Kinneman thought last year's team "just ran out of gas," but this one — with an influx of younger, new starters — has built some momentum. Eastern had some of that entering the week with six wins in its last seven games.

The Knights, though, lost a 7-3 game Monday to Susquenita and dropped to 19th in the district rankings for Class AAA. The top 16 make it. Coach Blaine Garner sent an email to coaches around the district, hoping to add a last-second game for Wednesday.

If not, the Golden Knights still have a bright future that still left a smile on Garner's face. Eastern graduates just three starters and has junior righty Shimmel and a sophomore left-hander in Knarr slated to return next year.

"We're not too upset," Garner said. "We know we've got something good at Eastern York."

Czerwinski, meanwhile, will relish his last run with this senior class. He credited Kinneman for calming teammates in the dugout between their top-of-the-seventh letdown and bottom-half revival.

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.

West York 3, Eastern York 2

Eastern0000002—271West York0001101—391

EY, Colby Shimmel, Brandon Knarr (7) and Matt Taylor. WY, Brett Kinneman, Cash Gladfelter (6) and Nick Traettino.

SO-BB — EY, Shimmel 8-1, Knarr 1-1. WY, Kinneman 6-4, Gladfelter 4-0; W — Gladfelter; L — Knarr; 2B — EY, Bobby Hedrick, Taten Tyson, Kyle Billet. WY, Gladfelter; 3B — WY, Gladfelter.

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