RED LION -- Rob Catchings and Tanner Forry filled their roles for Dallastown's baseball team perfectly on Wednesday.
The Wildcats' table setters combined for five hits, four runs and two RBIs to help Dallastown defeat arch-rival Red Lion, 7-4.
Dallastown's victory, combined with Central's 3-2 triumph over Spring Grove, resulted in a logjam at the top of the York-Adams Division I standings.
Spring Grove, Dallastown and Red Lion are tied for first place with 7-3 records, and South Western is a half game back at 6-3.
Catchings, the Wildcats' leadoff hitter, and Forry, the No. 2 hitter, set the tone in their first at-bats when Catchings led off the game with a single, and Forry followed by ripping the first pitch into the left-center gap for a double. The Wildcats' cleanup hitter, Zach Luman, singled both players home.
Catchings singled three times in four at bats, and Forry ripped two doubles in four bats.
"Catchings, he has great speed and can turn a single into a triple, and that Forry kid crushed the ball all over the place today," Red Lion head coach Darren Hake said. "You have to tip your hat to what they (Dallastown) did today. They came out and hit the ball."
Catchings has been hitting the ball pretty much all season, but, lately, his drives have ended up in fielders' gloves.
"I knew eventually they would fall in," he said. "I felt it was going to be a good day today after that first one (at bat)."
Catchings delivered RBI singles in his second and third at bats, and Forry ripped his second double of the game in the seventh inning and raced home on Matt Attig's base hit.
Dallastown pounded out 13 hits altogether, with Luman and Cody Somerville contributing two apiece, to back the pitching of Tyler Butcher. The right-hander checked the Lions on one run through five innings before Red Lion rallied for three runs in the sixth inning. Butcher, who is a perfect 5-0 in league games, struck out seven and didn't walk a single batter while throwing 114 pitches. Butcher's teammates played errorless ball behind him.
"We were a totally different team today," said Butcher of the Wildcats, who were coming off a 4-2 loss to Central. "When all cylinders are working, we're a great team."
The Wildcats provided Butcher with a 2-0 lead before he threw his first pitch. (Dallastown eventually built a 6-0 cushion).
"Going out there with the lead, that gave me a lot of confidence," he said. "My control was on today, and my slider was working."
Dallastown assistant coach/pitching coach Casey Markey said Butcher's ability to pound the strike zone keeps the defense in the game.
"Tyler moves the ball around really well, and he has confidence in all his pitches," he said. "We had someone ready to go (in the sixth inning), but I wanted to give Tyler a chance to finish."
Markey was pleased to see his team play well in a game that the Wildcats needed to stay in the thick of the division race.
"This is our third game in three days," he said. "To their credit, the kids put the last couple of games behind them (Dallastown rallied for a 4-3, 11-inning victory over New Oxford on Monday), and came in like they won seven in a row. It was very important for us to get ahead early and play with confidence."
Mike Godfrey and Wyatt Tyson collected two hits each for Red Lion. Godfrey accounted for the Lions' first run in the fourth inning with an inside-the-park home run.
"We could have easily rolled over at 6-0, but we kept hitting and scored some runs, and I'm pleased with that," Hake said. "We have all new faces this year, and it's exciting to see how hungry they are."
CENTRAL YORK 3, SPRING GROVE 2: At Spring Grove, for the second straight day, Central knocked off a York-Adams Division I power. On Tuesday, the Panthers surprised Dallastown, 4-2. Going into this week, Central was winless in Division I action. Tyler Lingg pitched a complete game, striking out six and walking just two, to get the win. Nate Snyder and Zane Knaub each had two Central hits. Jordan Chicanias had Central's lone RBI. Brandon Warner had three Spring Grove hits, with an RBI and a run scored. Nick Spangler and Levi Krause each added two hits. Krause pitched 62/3 innings for the Rockets, allowing just two earned runs, with seven strikeouts and one walk, but he took the loss.
SUSQUEHANNOCK 19, YORK SUBURBAN 6: At Glen Rock, Sammy Miller and Bryan Kerr each had three hits and four RBIs to power the Warriors' 14-hit attack. Mike Spadafore added two hits, two RBIs and three runs scored, while also picking up the win on the mound. A.J. Hammond homered and drove in two runs for Suburban. Caleb Baughman also drove in a pair for the Trojans. Susquehannock improved to 9-4 overall and 8-2 in York-Adams Division III.
YORK CATHOLIC 16, YORK TECH 1: At Spry, the Spartans committed 10 errors in the mercy-rule loss that ended after five innings. Matt McKim pitched four shutout innings to get the win and also went 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs and three runs scored. Clint Bohn (3-for-4, double, four RBIs, four runs scored), Josh Elsen (3-for-4, three runs scored, RBI) and Erich Hartman (2-for-3, triple, three runs scored, three RBIs) also excelled for the Fighting Irish.
LITTLESTOWN 6, EASTERN YORK 2: At Wrightsville, the Thunderbolts scored five runs in the top of the seventh to break open a 1-1 game. Adam Forsythe pitched a complete game for Littlestown, allowing eight hits, with four strikeouts and two walks. He also had two hits, including a double, with a run scored and an RBI. Mike Dunn had two hits, including a double, plus an RBI for Eastern, while Devin Strickler had two hits and an RBI. Littlestown improved to 12-1 overall and 10-0 in York-Adams Division III. Eastern fell to 8-6 overall and 7-3 in the division.
NEW OXFORD 5, DOVER 3: At New Oxford, Anthony Lippy pitched a complete game to get the win, striking out three and walking three. Jake Toal led the Colonials' offense, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Kenny Horney added two hits. Grant Hoover, Brady Hilbert and Jacob Sterner each had two hits for Dover.
WEST YORK 10, NORTHEASTERN 0: At Mount Wolf, West York pitcher Joe Prego shut out Northeastern on six hits while collecting three hits of his own. The umpires halted the game after five innings because of the 10-run rule. Prego struck out two and didn't issue any walks, and the six hits he allowed were all singles. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, raked Northeastern pitching for 15 hits. Chase James went 2-for-3 and scored three runs, and Brett Kinneman drilled a solo homer. West York improved its York-Adams Division II record to 5-5 and its overall mark to 8-5. Northeastern fell to 3-6 and 7-6, respectively.
-- Reach Dick Vanolinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com.