Elco falls to Gettys, West York in district opener
Watch a demonstration of five pitches from Spring Grove's Matt Brooks and Derek Hoiles. Brandon Stoneburg, Sean Heisey
MYERSTOWN - It was a long, solemn postgame meeting the Elco baseball team held in center field of Lyle Krall Field following Monday's 4A district playoff opener against West York.
It was a meeting head coach Chris Weidner and his squad knew would take place at some point in the next few weeks, but one they were hoping to delay as long as possible.
That's because when the Raiders did finally have that meeting it would mean that their season was over.
And so it was. Elco ran into a tough customer on the mound in West York's ace lefty Zach Gettys and endured a tough top of the second inning on the way to a 2017 campaign-concluding 5-0 setback in front of the home folks.
The defeat gave the seventh-seeded Raiders a final record of 15-6 to show for their efforts this spring, a successful season to be sure. But one with a most unsatisfying conclusion.
No.10 West York, meanwhile, advances to face No. 2 Susquehannock in Thursday's quarterfinal round.
"I've been a head coach here for 19 years, and that's the hardest thing to do," Weidner said of presiding over the inevitable end-of-the-season meeting. "These guys wanted to make a run, and it's a bitter pill to swallow. Any coach, whether you make a run to the state finals or not, you have seniors that you spend a ton of time with and being a middle school teacher here I've had some of these kids for a long time. It's tough, and we really thought we could win this game today."
Gettys and the Bulldogs (11-10) had other ideas, plating four second-inning runs off Elco starter Clay Hain - half of them on a two-run double by Gettys - then watching as the fiery southpaw checked Elco on two hits before departing the mound with two out in the sixth.
"He's 9-0 now, so we knew he was gonna be a tough customer," Weidner said of Gettys. "I thought he was gonna be similar to (Taylor) Rohrer of Manheim Central, and he was to a degree. He maybe had a little more giddy-up than Rohrer, but you gotta tip your cap to him. He's 9-0, you can't sneeze at that."
Gettys was indeed a tough customer, fanning seven Raiders in his time on the hill. But Elco hit in some tough luck on the way to stranding 11 runners against Gettys and reliever Corey Wise.
A Hunter Witters smash into the gap in right center with two on and two out in the third found the glove of center fielder Colton Kubicki instead of open spaces, and Elco was also unable to muster anything from a two-on, one-out threat in the sixth and a two-on no-out rally in the final frame.
" We just didn't hit the ball well enough to change the outcome," Weidner said. "But, no, we didn't get any breaks. And I thought Clay settled down then and pitched well and pitched out of some jams. We thought it would be a tight ballgame. And we couldn't give up many but we thought we'd get our cracks and we did think we'd score some."
All things considered, though, 2017 was not a season of regrets for the Raiders.
"Going into the season, we lost some quality pitching (from last year) and we were starting some younger guys," Weidner said. "You can't sneeze at a 15-win season. And I think our section was tough. We should be proud of the fact that we won 15 games. Our goal was to make the postseason and we did, but obviously we would have liked to stretch this out a little bit more."
West York 5, Elco 0
West York 040 000 1 - 5 7 0
Elco 000 000 0 - 0 2 3
WP: Gettys; LP: Hain
SO-BB: WY - Gettys (5 2/3 IP, 7 K, 6 BB), Wise (1 1/3 IP, 0 K, 2 BB), E - Hain (5 2/3 IP, 8 K, 2 BB), Weaver (0 IP, 0 K, 3 BB), Miller ( 1 1/3 IP, 0 K, 0 BB)
2B: WY - Neuman, Gettys, E- Witters
3B: WY - Wetzel