Northern ends season for G-A baseball team

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Denton Ensminger at the plate during the season. (Bob Stoler Photos)

The third time wasn’t the charm for the Greencastle-Antrim baseball team against the Northern Polar Bears. And it meant the end of the season for the Blue Devils last week.

In what was starting to look like a charmed postseason for the Devils, G-A ran into a familiar nemesis in Mid-Penn Conference Colonial Division foe Northern in the District 3-AAA quarterfinals. The 14th seeded Devils had pulled off an amazing 9-2 win over third seed West Perry earlier in the week to advance to the quarters. Northern had already beaten G-A twice during the season, an accomplishment that went a long way toward giving the Polar Bears the division title. Although the story was a little different Thursday, the outcome was not.

The Blue Devils managed just four hits against a left-handed Northern pitcher they had not seen during the regular season. However, Northern didn’t muster that much more with seven hits. It was a matter of situation. G-A was 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile the Polar Bears pounced when they saw the opportunity. Up just 2-1 in the sixth, Northern used a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch en route to a three-run outburst.

G-A had gotten on the board an inning earlier when Dan Stepler led off with a double and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Chad Miller. The Polar Bears also made some fine defensive plays in support of its pitching to hold off the Devils.

On Monday the Devils saw momentum from their play-in game win at home carry into Newport where they faced West Perry. The Devils jumped out to a 2-1 lead after one frame and then exploded for a five-run second that really told the story. An error, a hit batter and some changed calls from the umpire worked to the Devils’ advantage this time. Add a Miller double and a single from Drew Deshong and things were rolling in the inning. Devin Schaeffer iced it with a triple.

Not only was freshman pitcher Ryan Ricci on his game, he got solid defense from the Devils. That included seven assists from shortstop Hunter Szaflarski, a pair of double plays and some heads-up “D” from Cody Ezolt and Cordell. Ricci scattered seven hits, allowed one earned run and fanned three.

Schaeffer drove in two runs and Denton Ensminger had the only multi-hit game with two.

G-A ends the season with a 13-9 mark.