New Oxford scored all of its runs and had four of its six hits in one inning, but that was enough to come away with a 4-1 victory over visiting Hanover in York County American Legion baseball action Tuesday evening at New Oxford High.
Blake Phillips was excellent on the bump for winners, as well, as he allowed one run and five hits with six strikeouts and two walks in twirling a complete game. He threw 60 strikes out of his 85 offerings.
“I look to get weak contact and I trust my defense to make the plays behind me,” Phillips said. “They did that tonight.”
Third baseman Adam Pascoe was right at the top of the heap of defensive stars for the Ox as he had five assists and a putout. The most important play being a fielder’s choice where he flagged down a ball hit by Ryan Moore with the bases loaded and one down in the top of the sixth.
Justus Feeser scored on the play, but the Ox recorded the second out of the frame and Phillips then fanned the next hitter to get out of the inning with a three-run lead.
“Adam had a great night defensively at third base,” New Oxford head coach Scott Anderson said. “He made some really nice plays, none bigger than the one in the sixth inning. He made a smart play in trying not to turn a double play there and just getting the out. We were six outs away from the win, so we’ll trade a run for an out there.”
Phillips retired the first two batters of the seventh before an error and walk brought the tying run to the plate, but Post 14 wasn’t able to get any closer as Phillips induced a ground ball out to end the game.
“They had four of their six hits in one inning, that about sums it up,” Hanover head coach Troy Wentz said. “Both pitchers threw a good ballgame. It was a quality game and we had a few chances where we couldn’t get the key hit.”
Hanover (1-1) had a chance in the first when Blake DiPietro and Andrew Olvera had back-to-back singles with two down to put runners on the corners, but Phillips got off the hook with a ground ball to Pascoe, who threw across the diamond to first to end the threat.
New Oxford (4-1) cobbled together a four-run uprising in the third that began when Luke Rickrode singled and came around on Mason Weaver’s two-bagger to the gap in left-center.
Charles Clark singled home Weaver and Pascoe’s fielder’s choice plated Coy Baker. The fourth run came home when Brennan Holmes touched the dish following a throwing error.
“That was a well-played game by both sides tonight,” Anderson said. “Blake was Blake and our defense was really good.”
Olvera worked five frames in defeat for Hanover and allowed three earned runs and six hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Phillips, who graduated from high school in 2020, also plays for Hanover in the South Penn League and believes facing the older, more experienced players in that league benefits when he pitches on the legion ball level.
“I think it helps a lot. You can’t get away with the same mistakes there that you can here,” Phillips said. “I think it’s made me a better pitcher.”
Anderson appreciates the experience that Phillips brings to the team, “Blake is a great example for our younger pitchers. They can learn a lot just from watching him pitch. He works fast, he throws strikes and he trusts his defense.”
Rickrode led the Ox offense with two knocks, while Pascoe swiped three bags.
DiPietro and Colin Dehaas had two hits apiece for Post 14.
It’s a quick turnaround for both squads as they both have road contests on Wednesday. Hanover plays at Gettysburg, while the Ox plays at Dover.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Hanover 000 001 0 — 1 5 2
New Oxford 004 000 x — 4 6 1
Andrew Olvera, Alex Forsythe (6) and Blake DiPietro; Blake Phillips and Joe Fuhrman. WP-Phillips. LP-Olvera. SO-BB: Olvera 2-2, Forsythe 0-1; Phillips 6-2. 2B: NO-Mason Weaver.