By Michael Lindsay
The York Institute Dragons picked up a key District 5-2A baseball victory on Monday as they won at Monterey, 8-6.
York jumped ahead 7-0 early and held off a late Monterey push for the victory.
“We came out swinging the bat good and jumped on them, then we got complacent,” said York head coach Adam Bowden. “We stopped attacking the baseball. Hats off to Monterey; they’ve got a good team. They didn’t lay down.”
The Dragons lived by the long ball early as senior Blaine York hit a grand slam to left field in the bottom of the first hitting.
“Blaine’s only been back a week,” Bowden said. “When he hit the ball, I was thinking ‘give me a gapper or a long fly ball so we can score.’ He hit the top of the yellow and I told him ‘you must be living right.’ That’s his first home run in high school and it’s a grand slam in district.”
York’s grand slam gave the Dragons a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
YAI pushed their lead out to 7-0 in the top of the second inning via a 3-run Eli Garrett homer to left.
“Eli’s a great baseball player,” Bowden said. “Eli’s ball was torched. You don’t want to live and die by the long ball, but tonight we kind of did.”
Monterey responded with two runs in the bottom of the second to cut their deficit to 7-2.
Back-to-back hits by Riley Franz and Evan Robinson in the bottom of the 4th inning pulled the Wildcats within 2 runs at 7-5.
York Institute tacked on an insurance run in the top of the 6th as Andersyn Moon drew a bases-loaded walk to score Ethan Haley.
Monterey’s Dylan Whitehead kept the damage minimal, however, as he struck out the next two Dragon batters with bases loaded to keep the score at 8-5.
Monterey closed the gap back to 2 runs in the bottom of the sixth on a Colby Trevathan single to score Lawson Cantrell.
The Wildcats threatened in the bottom of the seventh as two runners made it on base with the winning run at the plate before a Caden Stover strikeout sealed the York 8-6 victory.
“It was an ugly game; we gave one away last week when we didn’t execute in the top of the 7th inning,” Bowden said. “When we’ve got a lead, we’ve got to keep that mentality to keep attacking the baseball.”
The teams are scheduled to meet for round two tonight (Tuesday) in Jamestown at 6 p.m.