Dallastown blasts its way into YAIAA title game
Here are the four squads competing for league supremacy. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
One big inning was all Dallastown really needed.
The Wildcats erupted for seven runs in the top of the sixth to power past York Catholic and into the YAIAA championship game.
Dallastown won its 13th-straight Tuesday afternoon, this time defeating the Irish, 11-5, in the semifinals of the league baseball tournament at Spring Grove.
The victory earns the Wildcats a spot in Wednesday's championship game against Gettysburg, which took a 6-5 heart-stopper over Susquehannock. The title game will start at 5 p.m. at Spring Grove.
Senior Jake Gates played a huge role in Dallastown's victory as he pitched 4 2/3 solid innings in relief of starter Nick Parker.
Parker, who recently returned from injury, struggled to find the strike zone and lasted just 1 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on two hits with four walks.
Gates allowed only an unearned run and four hits in picking up his eighth win of the season.
"It's different pitching in relief, you always have a lot more time to get ready when you're starting," Gates said. "But you always expect that you could be needed in relief."
Dallastown (16-4) sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth inning, the two biggest blows coming from Tye Golden's two-run triple and Zach Ness' two-run single. Parker and Pete Capobianco also supplied run-scoring hits.
York Catholic (10-8) showed a lot of patience at the plate in the early going and built a 4-2 lead by the bottom of the second inning.
But the Irish bats were silenced until the seventh following that promising start.
"We talked about throwing strikes, making the plays defensively and hitting the ball," York Catholic coach Joe Gurreri said. "We did two of the three things well, but a couple of errors really hurt us. Against a team like Dallastown, you have to field cleanly to give yourselves a chance to beat them."
Dallastown coach Greg Kinneman had high praise for the job done by Gates.
"Jake was huge today. He gave us exactly what we needed. He competes every time he's on the mound."
The championship game will be a rematch from the end of March, a game Gettysburg won, 6-4. It was the second game of the season for both teams.
"Anytime you lose to a team, you'd like to get another shot at them," Kinneman said. "This one won't be a revenge thing, though. It will be two good teams trying to win a championship."
York Catholic is off until the District 3 Class AA tournament ,which begins Monday.
"Our guys will learn from this," Gurreri said. "We have to avoid the little mistakes to beat good teams."