The Dallastown center fielder hit a ball to center field that allowed pitcher Nick Parker to score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Zach Miller - GameTimePA.com
As Dallastown entered the dugout in the middle of the seventh inning, it seemed the players already knew what was going to happen about 10 minutes later.
They hollered out words of confidence to each other, then stood faces pressed against the fence, reacting excitedly to every pitch. It sort of felt like they had already won the game, but they sprinted onto the field and dogpiled on each other in the infield after a Brandon White hit soared over Northeastern center fielder Kody Reeser's head, allowing Nick Parker to score the winning run.
The hit gave Dallastown a 4-3 victory in Tuesday's YAIAA title game, after the Wildcats had let a 3-0 first inning lead slip away.
“We had a lot of confidence, we had the middle of our lineup coming up and we all have confidence in each other," White said of the team's energy in the dugout before his winning hit. "I’m not the only one who’s gotten hits on this team, every single person on this team has had a big game for us and it just happened to be me this time.”
RBIs by Parker, Bryant Holtzapple and Riley Hamberger gave the Wildcats that early lead, but Northestern clawed back into the game with a Jonas Latshaw RBI base hit in the fifth inning, then capitalized on two errors in the infield in the sixth inning.
“In a championship game, you’re always gonna face some adversity. Northeastern is a really good team," Dallastown coach Greg Kinneman said. "I think we blew up there a little bit there ourselves, but I give them credit, they put some balls in play and did some things like that.”
Avery Strayer pitched the first 5 1/3 innings for Dallastown, and Parker closed out the final five outs. He forced a key groundout with the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
"I knew Nick Parker was settling in a little bit on the mound and that if we could get to the bottom of the seventh, we had taken some good swings off of (Northeastern pitcher Adam) Kipp earlier in the game," Kinneman said. "He did a great job in the middle of the game, but I had a feeling that sooner or later we were gonna get some good at-bats off of him.”
Both teams are scheduled to play rescheduled regular season games on Wednesday before starting district play on Monday. Dallastown's game is against New Oxford on the same field where they dogpiled Tuesday night. Northeastern faces Shippensburg.
“You try to stay even, you can’t get high, you can’t get low," Northeastern coach Andy Srebroski said. "You have to stay even-keeled and our guys did, and stayed focused and put a little pressure on them. That’s all you can do to have an opportunity.”
Dallastown 4, Northeastern 3
Ne, Adam Kipp. Dt, Avery Strayer, Nick Parker (6).
SO-BB — Ne, Kipp 2-4. Dt, Strayer 1-3, Parker 2-0; W — Parker; L — Kipp; 2B — Ne, Kipp. Dt, Riley Hamberger, Brandon White.