YORK — The York Comprehensive High School baseball team will host rival Clover Friday, with both teams seeking a Region 3-AAAA win to build momentum.
The action begins with the jayvee game at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity clash at 6 p.m. at the YCHS baseball complex.
York head baseball coach Scot Kiggans and Clover head coach Darrell VanDyke are no strangers to the western York County rivalry. Both said the rivalry means a lot to the players and the fans.
Its a game our players look forward to each year, Kiggans said.
VanDyke agrees: So many of the players know each other. A large crowd is expected for the annual showdown, weather permitting.
With the York-Clover rivalry set for Thursday in softball, tennis and boys and girls soccer, Fridays baseball clash is the only game in town at both schools.
The Cougars fell to Northwestern 8-0 at home last Friday, threatening to score in the sixth inning with a pair of singles, but the rally fell short.
Kiggans is looking for the Cougars to gain a competitive edge in crucial region games. The players need to push each other in all phases of the game, he said after the Northwestern loss. They come to practice ready to work. Theres no lack of effort.
Ryan Gilbert, a sophomore pitcher who plays third-base when hes not on the mound, said its time for some of the underclassmen to step into leadership roles.
We need to accept responsibility, said Gilbert after Fridays game.
Gilbert also said playing with confidence is crucial to a players development. If you dont have confidence in your ability, nobody else will, he said.
Gilbert said he likes to mix his pitches when toeing the rubber.
If you rely on one pitch, the hitters will catch up with you, Gilbert said. I like to have a good mix with fastballs, off-speed pitches and curves.