He had just watched visiting Central York go up three runs in the top half of the inning.
And by the time he stepped up to the plate in bottom of the third with two outs, his West York teammates had already tallied four runs to take their first lead of the day.
The No. 9 hitter isn’t always expected to come through in the clutch, but West York bottom-of-the-lineup batter Cash Gladfelter calmly drilled a pitch to deep center field over the outstretched arm and glove of Central’s Dylan Shue. Gladfelter rounded the bases and slid into third for an RBI triple, extending West York’s lead to two runs.
Gladfelter, a junior and first-year starting infielder, ended up getting two more hits on a breezy-and-brisk Wednesday afternoon at West York’s home field in Shiloh, including the final single of the day in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was a successful two-out squeeze bunt with the bases loaded that provided West York with an insurance run in a three-run sixth inning.
The Bulldogs went on to win, 10-7, in a wild, back-and-forth game between a pair of York-Adams League division leaders.
“I’m happy. It feels good to finally contribute in the offense,” Gladfelter said.
He couldn’t recall the last time he had three hits in a game.
“It was a big win for us,” Gladfelter said. “We were coming off a big loss, so this helps with our self-esteem.”
West York, the two-time defending PIAA Class AAA champion, was coming off its first loss of the season last Thursday, when the Bulldogs fell 5-1 to Loyalsock, the defending PIAA Class AA champion. The Bulldogs are now 11-1 overall and 9-0 in York-Adams League competition, owning the top spot in Division II.
The loss for Central York snapped a seven-game win streak. The Panthers fell to 8-4 overall and 6-2 in league play. They’re now tied with Spring Grove (9-4, 6-2) atop the Division I standings.
The lead changed hands three times Wednesday, with West York coach Roger Czerwinski and Central York coach Mike Valencik each chalking it up to an uncharacteristic day for their pitching staffs. Both skippers said their teams entered the game with ERAs under 2.00. The teams combined to use seven pitchers and combined for 22 walks.
Valencik said his left fielder and center fielder also had an off day in the outfield. They each misplayed deep fly balls in the third inning that dropped in over their heads and led to West York’s five-run frame.
“My left fielder and center fielder, you could hit them a thousand fly balls just like that and they’re gonna catch ‘em,” Valencik said.
But West York committed an error in Central’s three-run fourth inning that would’ve prevented two Panthers runs. So the mishaps nearly evened out.
Central collected seven hits, with leadoff man Connor St. Pierre (2-for-2, two runs scored) and shortstop Adam Reed (3-for-5, two runs scored) each collecting multiple hits.
West York tallied 12 hits, with Gladfelter (3-for-3, two RBIs, two runs scored, triple), shortstop Brandon Wetzel (2-for-3, two RBIs, run scored), right-fielder Chase James (2-for-4, RBI, two runs scored) and Mike Santiago (2-for-4, RBI triple, run scored) pacing the attack. First baseman Logan Stover (1-for-4, two RBIs, run scored) also had a solo homer to lead off the sixth.
Susquehannock 19, Biglerville 4: At Glen Rock, Sammy Miller belted four hits, including a double and a triple, and also drove in six runs and scored three runs. He also got the win on the mound in a game shortened to four innings because of the 15-run mercy rule. He struck out five, walked one and allowed three earned runs. Collin Tattersall (two hits, three RBIs), Mike Spadafore (double, four runs), Josh Houser (two hits, two RBIs, two runs), Luke Knott (triple, two RBIs) and Alec Lebo (two hits, two RBIs, two runs) also excelled for the Warriors.
Red Lion 8, Dover 7: At Dover, Brady Taylor’s two-run single in the top of the seventh broke a 6-6 tie and gave the Lions the lead for good. He finished 3-for-4, including a double, with one run scored and three RBIs. Also for Red Lion, Austin Taylor went 2-for-4 with two runs scored; Drew Landis went 3-for-4, including a triple and a homer, with three runs scored and two RBIs; and Wyatt Tyson went 4-for-4, including two doubles, with two runs scored. For the Eagles, Grant Hoover went 3-for-4, including a triple, with two runs scored; Alec Corbin went 2-for-4 with a double, with one run and two RBIs; and Zach Altland went 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
Northeastern 13, South Western 3: At Manchester, Adam Kipp led the Bobcats, going 2-for-3, including a double, with two RBIs and one run scored. Also for the Bobcats, Devin Blymire went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, Jordan Yealy went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one RBI and starting pitcher Brady Dolan picked up the win, striking out five and walking two. Northeastern improved to 5-3 in York-Adams Division II and 8-4 overall.
Dallastown 12, New Oxford 2: At New Oxford, Tyler Butcher pitched a complete-game six-hitter to get the win. He struck out eight without a walk. Tanner Forry (homer, double, four RBIs), Tommy Golden (two hits, three RBIs), Jon Snyder (two hits, double, two RBIs) and Tye Golden (double, triple, three runs) led the Dallastown offense.
Eastern York 8, Fairfield 3: At Wrightsville, Devin Strickler belted three hits and scored four runs from his leadoff spot to spark Eastern. Thomas Taylor doubled and drove in four runs for the Golden Knights. Dalton Renn (two runs, two RBIs) and Colby Shimmel (two RBIs) also excelled for the winners. Kyle Billet got the win, going 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk anyone.
York Catholic 13, York Suburban 3: At Suburban, Patrick Clement’s monster game paced the Irish. Clement ripped three homers and finished with nine RBIs. Jake Krevetski doubled and scored four runs for the winners.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.