Here are some of the top local players taking the field in 2017.


It was a cloudy and chilly afternoon, with the mercury not rising out of the 40's,

But the cold temperatures didn't bother New Oxford's A.J. Cieslinski as he pitched the Colonials to a 14-3 victory, in five innings, over visiting Hanover in a Thursday afternoon YAIAA baseball game.

Cieslinski worked all five frames and allowed one earned run and four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. He threw 76 pitches, 58 of them for strikes.

"A.J. did a nice job today. He threw a lot of first-pitch strikes and got ahead in the count," New Oxford coach Scott Anderson said. "He works fast, pounds the strike zone and keeps the fielders on their toes."

When the Nighthawks did put the ball in play, most times it was on light contact. Seven of the 15 outs Cieslinski recorded came on ground outs.

The junior used his three-pitch arsenal of a fastball, curveball and changeup to carve up Hanover's lineup. While he admitted he felt the cold, it didn't bother him all that much.

"It's kind of hard to grip my fastball and change, but I had no problem with my curve," Cieslinski said. "When we're batting, I go behind the dugout and throw lightly just to keep my arm loose."

Thursday's outing was an improvement over Cieslinski's first outing of the season, when he tossed three innings in a 4-1 loss to Gettysburg last Friday. He allowed three runs and seven hits while taking the loss.

"My mechanics were a little off the last time I pitched," he said. "It's something that I noticed and the coaches noticed. So I worked hard on slowing them down today."

While the weather has wreaked havoc for some schools this spring, Anderson was pleased to say that his team hasn't been among the affected too much.

"We've been on the field a lot for practices. We were out there the entire first week before the snow came," the veteran coach said. "I feel we're a little ahead of where we usually are at this point in the season. We went to Virginia for a scrimmage, like we do every year. The weather was great that day and we got nine innings in."

Zach Rudisill, Wade Linebaugh, Colin Miller and Khalil Little each supplied a pair of hits in Thursday's win, while Brodey Neveker drove in four runs.

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