YAIAA baseball: Spring Grove has stars, depth
With three weeks of YAIAA play in the books, we take a look around the league to see what's stood out so far. All stats are calculated through Thursday's games.
Rockets flashing some new depth: Spring Grove returned all but one player from last year's state-qualifying team, but that hasn't kept coach Kevin Stiffler from experimenting with his lineup.
He's taken advantage of a couple lopsided games to get some inexperienced names into the lineup, taking a look at what his bench can offer this season.
“We have pretty good depth this year," Stiffler said after a 9-2 win against West York. "Kids need opportunities so we’re trying to get guys in and see what kind of team we have. We want to get kids opportunities so we can turn to them in bigger situations.”
That depth may soon become very important if star pitcher/shortstop Matt Brooks has to miss games. The UNC-Charlotte commit left Thursday's game against South Western early with an apparent injury.
The UNC-Charlotte commit talks about how he puts hitters away. He struck out eight batters against West York. Zach Miller - GameTimePA.com
Kint embracing role as Squires' ace: Delone Catholic lost four players from last year's team to graduation, and the team's pitching staff was hit harder than any other part of the roster.
Chase Kint picked up several innings when Jimmy O'Boyle went down with an injury last season, and he is now the team's ace.
“It’s a little more pressure on my back," Kint said. "I’ve got a bigger role this year on the pitching staff. I’m gonna have a lot of innings this year.”
The Squires are 3-1 so far in YAIAA Division IV with a big game against Biglerville, the division leader, coming up next week.
Seniors stepping up for Colonials: New Oxford is off to a 5-3 start this season, and three seniors at the top of the order have a lot to do with that.
Josh Shultz, Nathan Breighner and Corban Czap have combined for 32 hits in seven games, as well as 23 productive plate appearances that didn't result in a hit.
The Colonials have games against Dallastown, South Western and Northeastern coming up this week.
Wildcats not shying away from competition: Despite a loss to Spring Grove earlier in the week, Dallastown is right in the mix for the YAIAA Division I title at 5-1 in division and 5-2 overall.
The Division I schedule presents consistent challenges, but the Wildcats aren't looking for any kind of break.
"We want to play good teams every night and we've got a lot more of them," Dallastown coach Greg Kinneman said. "We don't get anything out of blowing out teams, 11-1."