Gettysburg rallies to break big baseball drought
Our top-five teams three weeks into the season,, along with honorable mentions.
It had been a long time since Gettysburg won a division title in baseball. So long, that the league they played in disbanded 25 years ago.
But with Wednesday's 5-4 win over West York, the Warriors claimed the YAIAA Division II title — their first since winning the Blue Mountain League in 1981.
"This was our top goal coming into the season," Gettysburg coach Ryan Brady said of winning the division. "There's been a lot of bumps in the road to get here. We started out very well and then hit some rough spots. But these kids never dropped their heads."
Gettysburg (12-6, 10-4) started the season by winning its first eight games and sat as high as fifth in the District 3 Class 5A power rankings. But the Warriors' 3-6 slide pushed them all the way down to 16th, which left them two spots out of the district playoffs coming into Wednesday's game.
They wrap up their regular season with Thursday's game at Littlestown.
"We had to win today to get the division and keep our hopes alive for districts," Brady said. "Now we've got to win (Thursday) to have a chance to get in."
Thursday will not be the Warriors' final game of the season, regardless. As they will play in the YAIAA tournament next week.
"To finally be on top is great. It's so awesome to be part of a championship team," Gettysburg senior Ethan Ketterman said. "We knew that this was going to come down to us and West York and we knew that this game would be a tight one."
It certainly wasn't easy. The Warriors gave up all of their 3-0 lead in the fifth inning and trailed by a run going to the bottom of the sixth.
Gettysburg was rescued by Michael Tempel, who singled home Jay Geesaman with the tying run, and Ketterman, who plated Tempel with the go-ahead run.
That trio, along with David Buxton and Chris Powell, form the team's senior class.
"These guys have played together for so long and not just with this team," Brady said. "They've played countless games together in travel ball and legion ball, too. There's a great bond there between them."