Blue Devils score late to top LD; reach D-3 baseball final

HUMMELSTOWN — A huge two-run double by Carter McCauley in the top of the seventh inning and a sterling performance on the mound by Jace Szaflarski proved to be a winning formula for the Greencastle-Antrim baseball team Thursday.

Playing in a District 3 Class 5A semifinal game at No. 1-seeded Lower Dauphin, the Blue Devils produced a 5-3 verdict at Nye Elementary School that pushed them into Tuesday’s district championship game.

Jace Szaflarski

Greencastle (17-4), the No. 4 seed, will face No. 6 Mechanicsburg (17-6) in the final, with a site yet to be announced.

“I’m ecstatic,” Blue Devil coach Eric Shaner said. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of these guys. They are really playing for each other.”

Szaflarski (5-3) went the distance against the Falcons (18-5), allowing seven hits, three earned runs and two walks, and struck out five.

“He was unbelievable,” Shaner said. “It was one of the best pitching performances I’ve seen, considering the situation, the level of the game and the (intense) environment. Jace was a leader today — he was everything an ace should be and he did it for his teammates.”

The teams traded single runs early, with both scoring in the first and third innings, LD scoring in the fourth and G-A in the fifth to tie the game 3-3.

In the top of the seventh, Aidan Grudzinski got the rally started for Greencastle by working a walk. Darren Kline then ripped a ground ball up the middle for a base hit. That brought up Carter McCauley, and he belted a shot to straightaway centerfield for a two-run double to give G-A the lead.

Carter McCauley

“It was just, ‘See ball, hit ball,'” McCauley said. “I was trying not to have too much in my mind. I was looking for him to miss his spot with a fastball. That’s what I got and I jumped on it.”

In the top of the first, Briggs Remenick led off by clubbing a triple, and he scored on a grounder by Ethan Ford. In the third, Carter Reid doubled to center and Ford’s base hit up the middle scored him.

G-A tied it in the fifth when Reid was hit by a pitch, Landon Huth was also hit by a pitch, Kline hit a fly ball to right that allowed Reid to move to third, and McCauley smacked an RBI single to center.

The Blue Devils also had to deal with an injury that changed their defense considerably. Ford, the catcher, was hit on the arm by a swinging bat and had to leave the game. Reid went from shortstop to behind the plate, Jarek Szaflarski moved from third to short and Huth came in at third base.

“That’s how we rode the game out,” Shaner said.

McCauley said, “We knew we weren’t supposed to win, so it was nice to put up a ‘W’ for Greencastle.”



Categories: Baseball, Greencastle