By RYAN VANDERSLOOT
SPRY — There was a high level of expectation coming into the 2015 season for the Northeastern High School baseball team.
With a number of returning starters back from a team that finished 16-10 and qualified for the PIAA Class AAA state playoffs in 2014, the Bobcats were the hot pick to dominate the York-Adams League.
The Bobcats, however, didn’t quite live up to expectations.
What happens during the high school campaign, however, doesn’t always produce similar results in the American Legion season.
Northeastern is proving that so far.
Winners of six in a row to begin the York-Adams American Legion season, the Northeastern players appear a lot more relaxed, and they’re playing the way everyone expected before the prep season.
“We’re just out here having a lot more fun than we were (in high school),” Jonah Latshaw said. “We’re a lot more relaxed. Just going out and playing baseball, the way we have our whole lives, and not worrying so much about the pressure of going so far, which we had coming into the high school season.”
The high school team finished this season at 11-9, which wasn’t good enough to crack the District 3-AAA field. As a result, any dreams of chasing a state championship were over a lot sooner than anyone anticipated.
“Yeah, we missed it by one or two spots,” Latshaw said. “We were close, but it’s really unfortunate to go out the way that we did. We lost a couple of games late in the year that we probably shouldn’t have and that probably kept us from going.”
Given a chance to make amends, the Northeastern crew is making the most of it during the Legion season. The team leads the York-Adams standings by a half game over South Western (5-0).
“We knew that we just had to come out here and relax,” Latshaw said. “That’s what Legion season is for … just to have more fun, and that’s what we’re focusing on from here.”
If the hot start wasn’t enough good news for the Northeastern Legion gang, the team was lucky enough to be given a bit of a mulligan Monday evening. Against a Dallastown outfit that was 3-1 coming into the evening, Northeastern took an early one-run lead in the first. But a three-run bottom of the frame by the home team put a damper on things.
Fortunately for Northeastern, Mother Nature came to the rescue. With the wind picking up and dark clouds roaming overhead, the umpires called for a delay with Northeastern about to bat in the top of the second.
The delay eventually turned into a postponement after a heavy downpour ripped through the area, causing the teams to hurriedly scatter for cover.
As a result, the 3-1 deficit will be erased when the teams make up the contest at a time and date yet to be decided.
“It’s unfortunate to come all this way,” Latshaw said. “Actually, me and my friend got lost on our way here. We only showed up like 20 minutes before the game started. And then 20 minutes into the game it got canceled.”
— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.