Greencastle-Antrim baseball upsets third-seeded West Perry to advance in districts

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Senior Josh Young delivered a solid relief effort on the mound to help lift the Devils.

The Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils are quickly looking liked the charmed team of the District 3-AAA playoffs. After an exciting turnaround Saturday on its home field, G-A played the spoiler Monday evening by ousting third seeded West Perry by a 9-2 measure.

The upset advanced the Devils into the district quarterfinals against a familiar foe in fellow Mid-Penn Conference Colonial team Northern York. The Polar Bears won the division and G-A lost both head-to-head meetings. The Blue Devil faithful will be hoping that the third time is a charm when the teams meet Thursday. The time and location have not yet been set.

West Perry carried a 19-3 record into the game and G-A was 12-8, but a good share of the losses came against Class AAAA competition which was responsible for the Devils' recent record of just one win in seven tries.

On Saturday, G-A faced earning its way into the main district bracket. As the 14th seed, the Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils had to be willing to take on all comers in the tournament. Saturday's play-in game with number 19 Manheim Central had the Barons playing to try to take the Devils' spot away. For four innings it looked like Manheim would escape "Whitey" Barkdoll Field with just that.

A barrage of home runs finally broke things open for the Blue Devils, who then never stopped en route to a 10-4 victory that was also keyed by a one-hit relief effort from sophomore Josh Young.

Things looked bleak Saturday for the Devils after four frames. A three-run third from the Barons made it a 4-0 ballgame with no sign that the Devils could garner much at the plate against Manheim starter Mitch Burkholder. That all changed in the bottom of the fifth. Chad Miller and Drew Deshong delivered back-to-back singles and Cody Ezolt followed suit to finally get G-A on the board. Denton Ensminger then stepped to the plate and erased all memory of the first five frames. The senior blasted an offering way out of the park to quickly even the score with the three-run dinger. Denver Cordell wouldn't be left behind. The junior delivered a lead that the Devils would never relinquish. Cordell cleared the fence of the King Playground diamond for the 5-4 lead.

The fifth was just a preview of more to come in the sixth. G-A sent nine batters to the plate, opened by Cody Ezolt who joined the home run parade with a solo shot of his own. Devin Schaeffer had a sacrifice fly and consecutive hits delivered the final blow.

While the Devils were playing catchup on the offensive end, Young shined on the pitching mound. The lefty picked off a runner early and ended up allowing just one hit in four and a half innings. He fanned three.

The Barons used the long ball to build the four run lead. G-A helped to shut down any further threat with two double plays.

Ensminger had the three RBIs with the homer and a 2-for-4 outing. MIller and Hunter Szaflarski (two doubles, two RBIs) each had three hits. Ezolt drove in two runs. Deshong, Ezolt and Cordell had two hits each.

Denton Ensminger takes his home run trot around "Whitey" Barkdoll Field Saturday.