When Cedar Cliff head coach Scott Lackey went to the bullpen in just the third inning of Tuesday's District 3 Class AAAA first round game against Dallastown, the Colts trailed by a run.
Denny Snyder entered for the Colts and the right-hander kept his team in the game by keeping the Wildcats off the scoreboard over the final five frames.
The No. 13-seeded Colts backed up the sophomore by plating five runs in the fifth inning with two outs to pull off the upset of the fourth-seeded Wildcats, 6-2.
"Denny has been that guy for us all year long," Lackey said. "He comes in in that situation and digs us out of a lot of trouble and he's done it all year long. When he can throw his off-speed stuff for strikes, he's really effective."
Snyder mixed up his four-pitch arsenal and finished with nine strikeouts in just five innings. He allowed three hits and three walks.
"I was just feeling good," Snyder said. "We play in a tough league and we play in games like this all the time. We didn't look at ourselves as underdogs coming in."
The Colts (12-9) advance to play No. 5 Warwick on Thursday in the quarterfinal round at a site and time to be announced.
Trailing 2-1 going into the fifth, the Colts got some help with two Dallastown (17-4) errors in the inning. But, Wildcats' starter Riley Hamberger nearly worked his way out of the jam by striking out the Cedar Cliff No. 9 batter for the second out of the inning.
But a two-out walk to Julian Bury kept the inning alive and following a close play at third — where Dallastown catcher Bryant Holtzapple threw behind the runner on third and the runner was ruled safe — the Colts found themselves with extended life and they made the most of it.
A walk to Tyler LaFaver loaded the bases for Grant Breneman, who followed with a 2-run single to center. Tommy Savastio delivered next with a double to center that plated two more runs. Jimmy Losh closed the scoring with a run-scoring double.
"We have been a team that has to play great defense and get timely hitting. We're not going to blow you away like a lot of teams in this tournament," Lackey said. "We got some great timely hitting. When you can string some hits like that together, it's just awesome."
Dallastown, the Division I and YAIAA county champions, jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first two innings, but couldn't muster any more runs over the final five frames.
"I'm super-proud of our team," Wildcats head coach Greg Kinneman said. "I told our six seniors I was proud of them for raising the bar in our program. We're not satisfied because winning the county title is not the top of the list of our goals. The two goals at the top of our list will be the PIAA Class AAAA title and the District 3 Class AAAA title and that's not going to change in our program as long as I'm here."
Hamberger's RBI single scored Tye Golden in the first inning and Regis Maher scored the second Dallastown run on Nick Parker fielder's choice.
The Wildcats left nine runners on base and noticed a difference once Snyder replaced Breneman on the mound.
"His (Snyder) velocity was better and curveball was much sharper (than Breneman's)," Kinneman said.