West York’s Brandon Rauhauser gets tagged out on the jaw by Northeastern catcher Devin Blymire  during the Bulldogs’ 4-3 victory over
West York's Brandon Rauhauser gets tagged out on the jaw by Northeastern catcher Devin Blymire during the Bulldogs' 4-3 victory over Northeastern on Monday, May 20, 2013. YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--JASON PLOTKIN (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--J)

Sometimes the bottom of a team's order can get overlooked.

On Monday, West York's seven through nine hitters propelled the Bulldogs to a thrilling 4-3 win over Northeastern in the opening round of the District 3 Class AAA tournament.

No. 8 West York advances to play No. 16 Shippensburg -- who upset top seeded Donegal -- on Thursday at a site and time to be announced.

Monday, West York (15-7) trailed by two runs entering the bottom of the sixth but got three straight two-out hits from Brett Kinneman, Andrew Copeland and Chase James to take the lead for good.

After Kinneman's base hit loaded the bases, Copeland's single through the hole between shortstop and third base plated two runs to tie the game.

"I knew it was late in the game and we needed some runs and we were hanging in there," Copeland said. "I wasn't trying to do too much. I just tried to put the ball in play and good things happened."

James followed with a nearly identical base hit to Copeland's, which scored Kinneman with the go-ahead run.

"I knew we had something left in us because we came back in a few other games like this, so I was expecting a comeback on our part," James said.

James, the No. 9 hitter, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs against Northeastern starter Steve Shimkus.

"Shimkus knows me well and he knows that I hit fastballs well, so I knew he was going to throw me a lot of curveballs and he did," said James, who delivered his other RBI in the second inning.

Clinging to the one run lead, West York's Brandon Kinneman pitched lights out in the seventh, getting a lineout before striking out the final two Bobcat hitters to end the game.

"You get those three runs (in the sixth) and you get an adrenaline rush," said Brandon, who allowed five hits and walked one while striking out four in the complete-game effort. "The first out is the biggest one and once I got that I felt pretty good."

The Bulldogs' seven through nine hitters had five of the team's nine hits, scored two of the four runs and accounted for all four RBIs -- all coming with two outs.

"We try to focus on being disciplined hitters and looking for a pitch to hit and they came through big," Bulldogs head coach Roger Czerwinski said of the bottom of the order.

No. 9 seed Northeastern (12-8) also used clutch hitting to score its runs.

Jordan Ely drilled two-run base hit with two outs in the third inning to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

West York catcher Cole Bixler picks up a bunt during the Bulldogs’ 4-3 victory over Northeastern on Monday, May 20, 2013. YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY
West York catcher Cole Bixler picks up a bunt during the Bulldogs' 4-3 victory over Northeastern on Monday, May 20, 2013. YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--JASON PLOTKIN (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS--J)

In the sixth, Kody Reeser added a two out RBI single to put the Bobcats up 3-1 in support of Shimkus.

"Both teams played well. It was a great baseball game," Bobcats head coach Don Kauffman said. "We didn't do anything to lose the game, they earned the win."

Shimkus went 52/3 innings and allowed nine hits. The junior righty struck out two and walked four.

Shimkus will be a big part of a core group returning next year. The Bobcats lose two seniors -- Jesse Sargen, who hit .525 for the season and Nick Yinger -- but Kauffman expects his team to be in a good position to return to the postseason next year.

"We're very optimistic about our future," Kauffman said. "I think we have a good nucleus coming back."

 

WEST YORK 4, NORTHEASTERN 3
Northeastern 002 001 0 - 3 5 0
West York 010 003 x - 4 9 2
NE, Steve Shimkus, Jesse Sargen (6) and Devin Blymire; WY, Brandon Kinneman and Cole Bixler; SO-BB - Shimkus 2-4, Sargen 1-0; Kinneman 4-1. W - Kinneman. L - Shim kus. 2B - WY, Carson Fries.