YORK — The York Parks and Recreation Department’s 14-year-old all-star team battled strong opposition, as well as the elements, in the rain-delayed district tournament last week at the Lancaster ball field.
The York all-stars fell to Lancaster 10-5 in a July 9 match, narrowly missing a title game appearance against Kershaw County. The York team’s first loss of the tournament occurred July 8, when Kershaw County prevailed 6-4 following a four-hour rain delay.
“The loss to Kershaw was pivotal,” said head coach Chris Stephenson. “We were in the winner’s bracket, where a win would have placed our team in the tournament title game, having to lose twice for the championship to be taken away.”
Stephenson said the Lancaster starting pitcher did a good job in York’s loss to the host team of the tournament.
“He pitched well and we couldn’t quite pull it out,” he said.
Stephenson said constant rain took its toll in the frequently delayed tournament. “Had the tournament been played as scheduled, we would’ve had all of our players the final two days,” he said.
The York stars played the last three games of the tournament without catcher Harrison Childers, who was ill , and outfielder Cody Van Camp, who was vacationing with family.
Though disappointed in the outcome, Stephenson lauded the players for a job well done.
“I am proud of our kids,” he said. “They never gave up.”
The Lancaster all-stars, who had lost to York 6-5 in an earlier game, assumed command of their second game with York, building a 7-0 lead in the third inning.
York got on the board in the bottom of third , plating two runs.
With one out, Jaevion Matthews, a natural shortstop working behind the plate in the absence of Childers, drew a walk.
After dangerous-hitting Ryan Enniss beat out an infield hit, the throw was wide of the mark, sending Matthews across the plate with York’s first run.
Later in the inning, with two outs, Shandon Cobb singled, scoring teammate Enniss.
Lancaster added a couple insurance runs in the top of the fifth, pushing the lead to 9-2.
The York stars answered in the bottom of the inning.
Matthews walked and Enniss reached on an infield error. Caleb Clayton drew a walk, loading the bases.
Cobb’s ground ball to third drove home Will McSwain. Peyton Stephenson stepped to the plate and delivered a run-scoring single to right-center, scoring Enniss as York whittled the lead to five at 9-4.
Trailing 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh, York pushed across another run when Stephenson’s ground ball RBI sent Cobb across the plate with the final run for the visiting team.