Tuesday, March 11, 2014
YARMOUTH - When it ended the regular season with a loss to Yarmouth, York looked like the inexperienced team it is.
Thursday was the rematch in a Western Class B baseball quarterfinal.
The result was a 14-1 romp by the fifth-seeded Wildcats over fourth-seeded Yarmouth in a game stopped after five innings by the 10-run rule.
York (13-5) will play at top-seeded Greely in a semifinal Saturday.
"All we've preached about to them is not getting out because they're overanxious or off-balance," York Coach Chuck Chadbourne said.
The Wildcats morphed into a patient hitting machine, waiting on pitches and then swatting them.
York recorded 17 hits to go with three walks and two Yarmouth errors.
"They flat out hit the ball all over the park," Clippers Coach Marc Halsted said.
Zachary Leal, Sam Johnson and Cole Merritt all had three hits. Derek Neal had one of the big hits with a three-run double in the fourth inning. He finished with four RBI.
Left-hander Daniel Bock picked up the win, allowing six hits.
Connor Lainey and Cal Cooper had two hits each for Yarmouth.
The score was 0-0 after two innings, and York led 2-1 after three. Then the Wildcats broke it open with a four-run fourth and added eight in the fifth.
Yarmouth (10-7) used three pitchers, including two of its best.
"We had two pitchers with sub-2.00 ERAs. I wouldn't imagine that we would get banged around like that," Halsted said. "They had good approaches at the plate. They were patient. They didn't go after anything out of the zone."
Which is what Chadbourne was glad to finally see.
"I'm so blessed because I've got a bunch of good athletes. (But) at the beginning of the year they weren't good baseball players," Chadbourne said. "All of a sudden that gap is starting to close.
"The difference (between losing to Yarmouth last week and winning Thursday) was that our kids were a little more prepared, a little more structured at the plate, not as overanxious."
Once the hits came, they kept coming.
"We were trying to jump on every fastball we could get," Leal said. "When one person got on base, the next wanted to hit him in. It picked up the whole team.
"We've been slumping. We were just waiting on that one inning to break out and we got it in the fourth."
With two outs in the fourth, York had the bases loaded after singles from Ben Lawlor, Anthony Sciaudone and Johnson. Neal followed with his bases-clearing double to deep center. Adam Bailey singled home Neal, and the Wildcats led 6-1.
Bock kept the Clippers off-balance. He was often behind in the count but walked only two. He threw just enough strikes.
"He was wild in the zone, which was actually effective," Halsted said. "We had a tough time getting good swings on the ball."
After losing three of its last four games in the regular season, York has won two straight in the playoffs.
"We're peaking at the right time," catcher Alex Mercurio said.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: