After a shaky first two innings in which he allowed a run in the first and escaped a bases loaded one-out jam in the second, Hanover starter Brandon Etzler found a good groove on the mound.
The Nighthawks rode Etzler's arm and a strong effort up and down their lineup to an 11-1 win in six innings over York Tech in YAIAA Division IV baseball action Tuesday afternoon in Hanover.
Making his first appearance on the mound this season, Etzler was outstanding in the last four innings, as he yielded just a walk and a hit after giving up a run, three hits and two walks in the first two frames. His line for the day was six innings, one run and four hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in a 99-pitch effort.
"Brandon found his rhythm as he went along," Hanover head coach Matt Baker said. "He threw well today, and that's important for us. We have some quality arms, and he just adds to it."
York Tech (1-16, 0-13 YAIAA IV) got on the board first when Derek Smith singled home Hunter Weibley, who had doubled with one out in the top of the first. Smith was cut down trying to steal second before Walter Hyle drew a walk. Etzler ended the inning by recording a strikeout.
Hanover (8-7, 8-5) wasted little time in erasing its deficit, as Brady Goodfellow and Nick Trish started the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles. A walk drawn by Etzler loaded the bases, and Zac Sheaffer tied the game with a single to chase home Goodfellow.
With the bags still packed, Jared Peterman grounded into a fielder's choice to put Hanover in front, 2-1.
Etzler found himself in trouble again in the second when the Spartans loaded the bases with one down, but a strikeout and groundout ended the inning with Hanover still ahead.
York Tech starter Sam Brown stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the third before Hanover upped its lead in the fourth.
Jose Gonzalez started that two-run rally with a single, and he eventually came in on Goodfellow's bunt single. A double steal by Goodfellow and Logan Hamm produced a run when Hamm swiped the plate after the throw to second was late in getting Goodfellow.
Trish keyed a three-run bottom of the fifth with a two-run single to centerfield that scored Gonzalez and Hamm, then the Nighthawks invoked the mercy rule with a four-run sixth.
Hamm, Trish and Ryan Bowman each produced RBI singles and Goodfellow supplied a sacrifice fly in the sixth with Trish's single scoring Gonzalez to end it.
"We hit the ball pretty well for the most part," Baker said. "We weren't too great at the start, missing some opportunities and had a few poor at bats, but we picked it up as the game went on."
Hanover compiled 15 hits, all singles, on the day, with Trish and Sheaffer each having three and Gonzalez, Goodfellow and Hamm each contributing two.
Cyrus Tome led the Spartans with two hits.
HANOVER 11, YORK CO. TECH 1
York Co. Tech 100 000 -- 1 5 8
Hanover 200 234 -- 11 13 0
YCT, Sam Brown and Leatherwood; Han, Branden Etzler and Spenser Durika. SO-BB -- YCT, Brown 3-2; Han, Etzler 6-3. W -- Etzler. L -- Brown. 2B -- YCT, Hunter Weibley, Cyrus Tome; Han, N. Trish.