Kinneman's home run sparks West York's win vs. Northeastern
It took until the third inning before West York center fielder Brett Kinneman got the first hit of Wednesday's YAIAA Division II baseball game between the Bulldogs and Northeastern, but he made it worth the wait.
The North Carolina State-bound Kinneman belted a two-run homer that put West York ahead for good in a 10-2 win against the Bobcats at Northeastern High School.
"We knew (Northeastern) was a good team," said West York coach Roger Czerwinski. "I'll be honest, I predicted them to win the division before the season started. They are a quality ball club. I was just happy with the way our kids came out and played."
The win gives West York (8-0, 7-0 Division II) a two-game lead in the division over Northeastern (6-5, 5-2 Division II) while third-place Susquehannock is four games back.
"It was a pretty cool atmosphere," Kinneman said. "Both teams started off pretty good. There was a lot of excitement going on in the early innings. It was a lot of fun. These are the kind of games you want to play in. These are the kind of games that can get you ready for the latter part of the year.
"There is still a lot of baseball left, but I feel we are playing pretty good baseball right now. We have a lot we can improve upon, but we are playing good right now."
Kinneman drilled a 2-2 pitch over the right-field fence to plate No. 9 hitter Sam Eyler, who had opened the third inning with a walk and stole second earlier in Kinneman's at-bat.
"It was a fastball," Kinneman said. "I honestly was looking curveball. I didn't get many fastballs my first at-bat. He threw me a pretty good pitch I was able to get around on."
West York then blew the game open with a four-run fourth inning. A one-out, two-run single by No. 2 hitter Cash Gladfelter plated left fielder Colton Kubicki and Eyler to highlight the eight-batter inning.
Logan Stover contributed an RBI single, and catcher Nick Traettino earned a bases-loaded walk in the sixth for the Bulldogs. Anthony Kahley added a pinch-hit, run-scoring single in the seventh for West York.
"This is a pretty cool group of guys to be around," Kinneman said. "Every day, there is somebody different doing something big. We have guys who have stepped up into bigger roles than they had to play in previous years."
Stover pitched into the fifth inning for the Bulldogs, striking out one while walking four. The senior right-hander fired four hitless innings to open the game and exited after Nick Sprenkle's single in the fifth gave Northeastern two on with no outs.
"Logan is a bulldog," Czerwinski said. "He's going to go after it. He's not afraid to throw strikes. When he is on, his change-up is working and his off-speed stuff is working. Let's face it, he can throw 78 or 80 miles an hour, but he can hit spots. I'm so proud of the way he has battled for us the past three years. We know we are going to get his best effort every single time. He will find a way."
Gladfelter moved from shortstop to the mound to replace Stover and pitched one-hit baseball the rest of the way. The righty escaped a jam in the sixth with a strikeout. Gladfelter had loaded the bases with two hit batters and a walk after getting the first two outs.
Northeastern pitchers Adam Kipp, Brady Dolan and Kenny Kopp held West York to seven hits, but combined to walk 12 batters while the Bobcats defense committed three errors. Two of the three errors allowed runs to score.
"I didn't quite have our guys where they needed to be," said Northeastern coach Andy Srebroski said. "I'll take the blame for that one. I'll wear that one. A couple of mishaps here and there and it snowballed a bit. You put yourself in a hole a bit. They hit the ball and we didn't."
Trae Beyer had a fifth-inning, run-scoring single for Northeastern.
West York 10, Northeastern 2
WY, Logan Stover, Cash Gladfelter (5) and Nick Traettino. Ne, Adam Kipp, Brady Dolan (5), Kenny Kopp (6) and Devin Blymire.
SO-BB— WY, Stover 1-4, Gladfelter 3-2. Ne, Kipp 3-6, Dolan 0-4, Kopp 2-2; W .— Stover; L — Kipp; 2B — WY, Andrew Copeland; HR — WY, Brett Kinneman.