York junior Ryan Gilbert threw a complete game and struck out 11, without issuing a walk, to help the Cougars defeat the Rock Hill Bearcats 6-3 Saturday to secure the Chester County Natural Gas baseball championship.
York’s Adam Hoffman was 3-for-3 and had two RBI-base hits.
The Bearcats jumped on the Cougars with two runs in the first inning. Caleb Hamilton, who was 2-for-4, started the game by legging out an infield hit to shortstop and then stole second and third base. Chase Watts drove him home with a single between third and short to put Rock Hill up.
After two errors, Watts scored on a passed ball with the bases loaded to make it 2-0.
Gilbert hit the first batter of the second inning. That proved costly on a two-out double by Zach Carter that made it 3-0. Gilbert seemed to find his groove after the second inning, as he only allowed three more hits and recorded nine of his strikeouts in the final five innings.
Rock Hill did not score again.
“We’re counting on Ryan all year long,” York coach Scott Kiggans said. “He’s our go-to guy.”
York began to claw back in the game in the third inning. Ray-Ray Ellis was hit by a pitch with one out. John Moorefield hit one back to the pitcher for what looked like an inning-ending double play, but Bryon Foust threw the ball high into centerfield to put runners at first and second.
Hoffman followed with his first RBI single to put the Cougars on the board. After a strikeout and a walk, Joe Gill came through with a bases loaded line drive to right-center that plated two and tied the game at three.
In the fourth, Gilbert helped his own cause with a lead-off base hit and steal of second. After a Harrison Childers base hit, Ellis grounded to third but the throw home was wide and got away to score Gilbert and give York its first lead. Two outs later, Moorefield doubled home Childers and Hoffman followed with his second RBI-single to score Moorefield and double up the Bearcats.
“This definitely sets the tone with us being picked so low in the region preseason, that we come out and win this and show people that we are for real,” Gilbert said.
York 6, Rock Hill 3
Ryan Gilbert. Zach Carter, Bryon Foust, Steven Buss. WP - Gilbert. LP - Foust. 2B - Moorefield (York); Carter, Cody Edkins (RH). Leading hitters: York - Hoffman 3-for-3, 2 RBI, run scored. Rock Hill - Hamilton 2-for-4, run scored. Records: York 3-1; Rock Hill 3-1.