West York head baseball coach Roger Czerwinski did not know if his team's performance in their season-opening loss to Red Lion on Wednesday was an aberration or a sign of how the season would go.
On Thursday, he saw a vastly different Bulldog team as West York shut out Bermudian Springs, 4-0, behind a strong complete-game, one-hit pitching performance from Joe Prego.
"It is pretty obvious," Czerwinski said. "It all starts with Joey on the mound. He gave up one hit, and I tip my hat to him and say outstanding effort. He worked his butt off in the offseason to make this happen, and I am so proud of him that he can go out and do this in his first start."
The senior right-hander struck out eight batters using a mix of his fastball, curveball and changeup.
"The first inning I was a little erratic," Prego said. "I got a lot of help from the defense. Then I settled in. (Brandon) Wetzel made a ton of great plays up the middle. (Brandon) Kinneman is making plays at first and (Andrew Copeland) at second, and I just settled in."
Prego and Bermudian Springs' (1-1) starting pitcher Trevor Yinger both settled in early dominating the hitters on a cold and blustery day.
In the top of the fourth, West York had runners on first and third with one out. Cole Bixler stole second, and the throw from Bermudian catcher Austin Masser was right on line, but no one was at the bag to catch it. The ball sailed into the outfield allowing Brandon Kinneman to score from third to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs (1-1) struck again in the top of the fifth. Prego led off the inning reaching first base on a fielding error and then advanced to second on a Wetzel walk.
With two outs and runners on first and second, center fielder Brandon Rauhauser drove a 1-2 pitch into right field. It skipped under the glove of the Bermudian right fielder and allowed both Prego and Wetzel to score to give West York a 3-0 lead.
That was more than enough for Prego as he retired the side in the fifth and sixth innings and saw his cushion grow to 4-0 after West York tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth.
Prego entered the seventh with a no-hitter still in tact, thanks in large part to the stellar defensive play of Wetzel. The shortstop made a diving stop on a sharply hit ball up the middle, got to his feet, then threw to first in time to prevent Yinger from getting a leadoff single.
"Brandon is filling big shoes," Czerwinski said. "We had a shortstop last year who did a great job. It is newer for Brandon over there. We are gaining confidence in him everyday, and when he makes plays like those, it gets easier and easier for me to say that we made the right move."
Prego struck out Alex Orwig on a beautiful curveball to start the ninth. An error allowed Clayton Hoff to reach base, and then a second error allowed Moore to reach base. As Hoff was heading to third on the error, he was gunned down by a laser throw from Rauhauser in center.
With two outs and Moore on first, Yinger came to the plate. On the first pitch he saw, he poked a single into right field to break up Prego's no-hitter. The righty halted all chances for a Bermudian comeback by striking out Ryan Starner to give him his eighth strikeout of the game.
"That is exactly the way I wanted to start the season," Prego said.
The Eagles played solid all game minus two costly errors.
"Trevor pitched a great game," Bermudian head coach Eric McClintic said. "We went up against the defending state champs, and Trevor kept them in check. The only runs they got, we gave them. They are a well-coached team, and we need to score runs. We need to get (our hitters) to have confidence and get them believing in themselves. Their potential is endless."
WEST YORK 4, BERMUDIAN SPRINGS 0
West York 000 121 0 -- 4 4 3
Bermudian Springs 000 000 0 -- 0 1 3
WY, Joe Presto and Cole Bixler; BeS, Trevor Yinger, Clayton Hoff (6) and Austin Masser. SO-BB -- WY, Presto 8-1; BeS, Yinger 2-4, Hoff 1-3. W -- Presto. L -- Yinger.