In a year of parity in YAIAA baseball, the West York Bulldogs sent a freshman pitcher to the hill at the end of a busy week, and supported him heavily with timely hitting and quality defense in an 8-1 rout of South Western on Friday.
"Today was probably our most complete game of the season," West York head coach Scott Erickson said. "We struggled early in the season on defense."
The Bulldogs made a fielding error on a grounder in the first inning, then watched as the first baseman tried to field Nate VanCampen's low bunt pop-up on a bunt, only to have the in-between hop spin under his glove for a single.
However, with the bases loaded and one out, freshman pitcher Justin Wetzel worked out of the jam by inducing a strikeout and a ground out to escape unscathed.
In the second inning, center fielder Colton Kubicki made a sliding grab to the right on Austin Weaver's leadoff liner, and Evan Zinn finished the inning by racing forward and sliding under Josh Fostik's sharp shot to right.
The defense made one more standout play in the third.
After Luke Small led off with a single, Miles Francis successfully bunted him to second. However, first baseman Tyler Seiffert and Wetzel were on their toes. Seiffert threw the ball to Wetzel, who noticed Small was halfway between second and third. Wetzel ran at him, eventually tagging him out in a rundown.
Wetzel finished five innings for his longest career varsity start, giving up five hits, with three of them being bunt singles.
West York cashed in a bases-loaded opportunity in the first, scoring one run on an RBI groundout by Robbie Bertucio.
An eventful run made it 2-0 in the third. Anthony Kahley walked, and Seiffert ripped a double over Francis' head in center. Francis barehanded the ball and threw to the cutoff man, Small, as Kahley rounded third. Small's throw home took the catcher into the basepath, and Kahley crashed into him, legally dislodging the ball.
Tyler Sweeney and Zach Gettys hit back-to-back RBI singles, and Wetzel followed with an RBI groundout to make it 5-0 in the third.
Seiffert stroked a two-run single in the fifth to give him three RBIs on the day. He was hit in the tricep with a pitch in the first.
"I was just mad that I didn't have a chance to get a hit," Seiffert said.
South Western's run came on a two-out, bases-loaded walk to VanCampen in the fifth.
"I know the guys are up there trying," South Western head coach Mike Resetar said. "Ultimately, at the end of the day, the teams that get it done with runners in scoring position will win."