Unlike its previous three PIAA Class AAA playoff games, West York did not score in its final at-bat during Friday's championship game against Upper Moreland.
The Bulldogs didn't need to.
West York scored twice in the top of the second, and pitchers Brandon Kinneman and Carson Fries made the lead stand as the Bulldogs won their second consecutive state championship, 2-1, over the Golden Bears.
Fries, who earned the win in relief during the three previous state playoff games, got the save in support of Kinneman, who battled through five-plus innings.
Brandon Rauhauser drove in the eventual winning run with a suicide squeeze after No. 9 hitter Chase James tied the game with a sharp single to right field.
West York ended its season with a 21-8 record and is the first team to repeat as PIAA champions since Moon did it back in 2001-02, also in AAA.
After the Bulldogs left two men on base in the top of the first, Upper Moreland got on the board in the bottom of the frame.
Robert Knox walked with one out, went to third on Charlie Hooker's double down the leftfield line, and scored when teammate Pat Driscoll grounded out.
Fries laced a one-out single and designated hitter Nick Traettino was awarded first on catcher's interference. No. 9 hitter Chase James followed with a hard single to right that tied the game.
"It's a great feeling. I just tried to put the ball in play. The right fielder was playing pretty far back," James said. "Everybody on our team is finding ways to win. Everybody is doing their job."
James' hit sent Traettino to third. Rauhauser came up and when he missed on his first squeeze attempt, the Bears had Traettino caught coming toward the plate. However, the third baseman slipped, allowing Traettino to return safely.
One pitch later, Rauhauser dropped a perfect bunt and Traettino scored the final run West York would need.
In doing so, West York, which didn't strike out all game, handed Upper Moreland starter Eddie Decker, who entered with an 8-0 record and 0.91 ERA, his only loss of the season.
"He's more so a contact pitcher and we play defense behind him," Upper Moreland coach Ernie Rehr said. "We played defense behind him, but it was just a matter of a couple timely hits on their end and walks on our end. The story of today was we didn't execute early on."
Kinneman took over from there, improving to 6-4 on the season. He pitched into the sixth when he walked Mike Cavanaugh to open the inning and Bulldogs coach Roger Czerwinski summoned Fries.
"This was Brandon's best outing of the year against quality competition," Czerwinski said. "It was Carson time. It was that time to make a change knowing their ability to come from behind."
Although he didn't completely agree with his coach's assessment, Kinneman, who allowed only four hits, was glad to get the early run support.
"Maybe it was my best outing battling, but my stuff was average," he said. "I was able to battle and make pitches when I was able to.
"(Runs were) huge, especially after the first inning I was nervous. To get out of that with one run and come in here and get two runs right away settled me back in a little bit. We haven't been scoring a ton of runs but we've been scoring at the right times."
Fries struck out four of the seven batters he faced.
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