Cashtown wins thriller to take 2018 SPL Crown

The Cashtown Pirates scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a deadlock and held on to defeat the Hanover Raiders 4-2 Thursday night at Cashtown to win the 2018 South Penn League Championship. Playing in front of a huge crowd, the two teams traded leads throughout in a tension-filled game that lived up to its hype. Cashtown grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Zach Ketterman singled and raced home from first on a hit-and-run single by D.J. Cool. The Raiders tied it up in the top of the second when Kody Kibler blooped a single to score Hanover starter Andrew Burke. The game remained deadlocked for the next two innings as respective aces Burke and Chase King grinded out of several jams. In the fifth inning Hanover took its only lead of the game when Alex Smith reached on an error, advanced to second on a bunt, and scored on Mark Phillips' two-out, full count single to left. The Pirates came right back, however, knotting the game at 2-2 on Chris Schachle's Texas-leaguer that scored Ketterman. King escaped another jam in the top of the sixth without damage before leading off the bottom of the frame with a solid single. King moved to second on a passed ball, and Ethan Ketterman followed with a bunt that failed to advance King to third, but was well placed for an infield single. J.C. Collins' sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position with one-out, prompting group huddles by both teams. Cashtown lead-off man Michael Tempel worked the count to 2-1 before dropping a suicide squeeze sac bunt down the first base line that scored King with the go-ahead run. Zach Ketterman then belted his fourth hit of the night, a double, to drive in brother Ethan. King took the mound in the top of the seventh and hit Smith with a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs. Robert Rohrbaugh relieved King at that point and retired all three batters he faced in order to preserve the victory and hand Cashtown its second consecutive league championship.