YORK -- Zac Fuesser pitched a one-hitter and his teammates backed him with 10 hits and some outstanding defense as the York beat Gaffney 3-0 in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs Thursday.
Fuesser was in complete command all night. The only hit he allowed came with one out in the seventh. He struck out eight walked none. Gaffney did not get a runner into scoring position for the entire game.
"(Zac) pitched a great game for us tonight," York coach Scott Kiggins said. "He was ready from the opening pitch, and it showed in his performance. He had an outstanding command of his pitches."
Fuesser, who improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season with the victory, also seemed pleased with his outing, but more importantly, he was impressed with the outstanding play of the entire team.
"Our intensity level was very high coming into this game," Fuesser said. "That means a lot once you reach the playoffs. After we got things going our way, the adrenaline started flowing."
York scored its first two runs in the fourth. Stephen Trotter opened the rally with a single. After one out, Tyler Saboley walked. With two outs, back-to-back singles by Josh Greene and Bradley Victor produced the runs. Greene's single was his second of the night.
The Cougars added another tally in the fifth inning. Shane Waldrop, who had three hits and a walk in four appearances, opened the frame with a single. After one out, Trotter unloaded a double that hugged the left-field line to plate Waldrop.
A pair of walks loaded the bases, but Gaffney reliever Tyler Wilson came on and retired the side without any further damage.
"I thought that had a complete effort tonight," Kiggins added. "We got hits when we needed them, and our defense played very well behind the outstanding effort we got on the mound."
York could have made it a little easier on itself. Despite managing 10 hits, the Cougars stranded 12 runners for the game.
"We did leave some runners on tonight, but we had people step up and get hits at the right time when we needed them," added Kiggins.
The victory improved York to 14-7 on the season, and Kiggins feels like his team is playing well right now.
"We have already accomplished our first goal of the season," he added. "That goal was to win the region title. Now our goal is to win the state championship."
He added that his team has been working for this time of the year for a long time.
"We started preparing for this in the fall," he said. "We worked hard during that time, and it is paying dividends right now for us. We just need to keep playing team baseball like we did tonight."
York will play in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday at home against the winner of the Westside-White Knoll game. The first pitch is set for 2 p.m.
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