Hamberger's gem sends Dallastown to title game
Dallastown senior Riley Hamberger has thrown a no-hitter this spring and also helped the Wildcats' baseball team to its first divisional title in four years.
Monday afternoon's win topped that.
Hamberger struck out nine Eastern York batters during a complete-game two-hitter as Dallastown advanced to the YAIAA tournament championship game with a 5-1 win at New Oxford High School. The Wildcats have never won the tourney in the six years it has been played.
"It feels good to be playing for a league championship," Hamberger said. "It hasn't been done at Dallastown for a while. I've had some decent games this year, but this is at the top. This has been the most important game this year."
The Dallastown right-hander was given the start on Monday and didn't disappoint. He allowed only a first-inning, opposite-field double to left by Eastern York No. 2 hitter Mitchel Winter and a bunt base hit by by Bren Taylor in the third. Taylor's hit came when the Dallastown third baseman slipped and fell on the infield grass coming in on the ball. Neither runner scored.
Eastern York plated its lone run in the third as No. 9 hitter Emmit Silar walked, took second on Taylor's bunt single, advanced to third on Winter's sacrifice bunt and scored on a ground out to first base by No. 3 batter Colby Shimmel.
Hamberger allowed just two walks after Shimmel's at-bat and retired 13 of the final 14 Eastern York hitters he faced. Six of those 13 outs were by strikeout.
"As I went on, my fastball location got better," Hamberger said. "That was the main pitch I used to get outs. Also my off-speed stuff sharpened up as I went on, so I was able to rely on that a little more later on. After the third or fourth inning, I felt like I started to lock in a little bit."
Dallastown took the lead for good in the bottom of the first as No. 2 hitter Nick Parker walked and raced to third on a single by Tye Golden. Cleanup hitter Bryant Holtzapple scored Parker on a ground out to short and Golden wound up scoring from third on a two-out infield error.
That Eastern York miscue was one of three in the game. All three led to Dallastown runs.
The subpar defensive performance by the Golden Knights overshadowed a solid outing by lefty pitcher Brandon Knarr. The junior, who has committed to Notre Dame, struck out 10 and walked three in a complete-game three-hitter. Seven different Dallastown batters fanned against him.
Two of the three hits off Knarr were by Dallastown No. 6 hitter Brandon White. The righty-swinging White doubled home a run with two outs during the Wildcats' two-run third inning and slashed a one-out triple and scored in the sixth.
"These guys have put the work in to earn the right to play in (the championship game)," Dallastown first-year head coach Greg Kinneman said. "It's time for them to go out and battle and let the chips fall where they may."
YAIAA baseball championship
Who: Dallastown vs. Northeastern
When: 5 p.m. Tuesday
Where: New Oxford High School
Last time: Dallastown earned a 9-1 victory when the teams played on April 25.
Follow live: Get live, multimedia updates on the action at GameTimePA.com.