The two baseball games at York's Levitt Stadium Tuesday with Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) opponents Concordia University and Hastings College resembled somewhat of a pitching clinic as 19 different players took the mound for the 19 innings played. With the games being non-conference match-ups, each team threw out their bullpens as they fine-tuned their starters and relief pitchers.
In the opening game with Concordia (12-19), Matt Blaemire, senior from Redwood City, Calf., was credited with the win as he gave up only two hits to the visiting Bulldogs in the four innings pitched. York scored two runs in the first and three in the fifth to post the 5-1 victory. Senior outfielder Alec Abend (.304) from Carmel, Calif., had two hits in the contest that resulted in two RBI's.
The nightcap game with Hastings was a lot more interesting and a bit of a nail-biter for the York fans. After runs in the 3rd and 4th by Isidro Carrizoza and Matt Owen, the Panthers were on cruise control with the 2-0 lead going into the final two innings. The visiting Bronco's had other plans as they tied it up in the 8th and then got the go-ahead run in the 9th. For York, Owen reached base on a walk and advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Abend. Fremont, Calif., junior Trevor Ramos, who leads the team with a .347 AVG, got hit #52 with a shallow right-center shot that Owen took full advantage of, scoring the tying run in a very close throw at the plate.
In the 10th, winning pitcher Julio Angulo, a junior from Phoenix, Ariz., retired Hastings after a (6-3) double play by Carrizoza and Ramos. Carrizoza then reached base for York on a fielding error by the Bronco's shortstop and advanced to third on a wild putout attempt by the pitcher on Tyler Helm's successful bunt. Helms stole 2nd without incident on a pitch to Josh Nuyten.
With no outs, runners at 2nd and 3rd, and the top of the lineup at the plate, the writing on the wall was apparent. The ensuing wild pitch may not have been the dramatic flare Panther fans were looking for, but they were able to breathe a sigh of relief as Carrizoza came across the plate for the 4-3 win nonetheless.
In other baseball news, junior outfielder Matt Owen of Livermore, Calif., has been named MCAC Baseball Player of the Week for the week ending April 14. Owen hit .538 last week (7-for-13) in leading the Panthers to a series sweep of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. In game three of the series, a 12-4 victory, he went 3-for-4 with a run scored, a walk and two RBI. Owen is the fifth player for York College to be named MCAC Player or Pitcher of the Week this season.
The #14 Panthers are now 36-9 on the season, 16-2 in conference play. Due to inclement weather, the game against Midland University has been cancelled. York will host Central Baptist in a key four-game conference match-up April 26 - 27 to close out the regular season. With a sweep of the Mustangs, York will have the opportunity to host the MCAC Tournament at Levitt Field, May 1-4.
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