YORK -- Faced with insurmountable odds, the York Dixie Majors All-Star team came roaring from behind to defeat tradition-rich Union, not once but twice to clinch the subdistrict tournament championship.
The visitors from Union appeared to be in the driver's seat after building a 7-2 lead in the first inning of the first game.
But the York All-Stars refused to crumble, rallying from behind with key hits and heads-up play.
Brendan Christopher and Tyler Szabo hit home runs to lead the surge and Jamie Donald toed the mound, limiting Union to a single run the remainder of the game.
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"Our boys played with heart," head coach Mike Carroll said of the improbable comeback. "We had great defensive play.
"It was one of the most amazing games I've been involved in as a coach."
York's dramatic comeback forced game two for the tournament title. By this time, the atmosphere was electric at the York complex.
Following their script in the first game, Union showed the home-standing York all-stars they meant business, building a 3-0 lead in the early going.
Unfortunately for Union, York, too, followed the first-game script, staging another crowd-pleasing comeback and nailing down the championship, 8-3.
Christopher belted another home run, a towering drive over the left-field fence, and Szabo held the Union bats in check.
Carroll spoke in glowing terms of the performance of catcher Matt Moss.
"Matt was our defensive warrior, catching both games in the heat," noted Carroll. "He's one in a million."
Carroll praised shortstop Tyler Nivens and second-baseman Hunter Horne for outstanding defensive play.
The 18-year Hickory Grove Braves coach said the players and fans were pumped up for the second game.
Said Carroll, "I asked the fans to make as much noise as they could in the championship game and they responded. A lot of York fans from the Dixie Minors game stayed for our game. We had great support."
The York coaching staff, which included Carroll, Eddie Brakefield and Matt Moss Sr., brought 56 years of coaching experience to the all-star team.
Carroll said scorebook keeper Larry Christopher was like a fourth coach.
"He let our players know where opposing batters hit the ball their previous at-bat," noted Carroll. "He's in my ear during games."
The York All-Stars are competing in the district tournament at Clover Community Park this week. They won their first game Monday 6-2.
Clover, which received a bye last week, is the host team for the Dixie Majors tournament.
Clover workin' it