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Game 63: York 6, Long Island 3

On one side of the field, 15 former major leaguers and a number of other big name players filed off the field stunned. They wondered exactly how another lead, another game and another series got away from them.

Yet, on the other side of the diamond, a team with an odd mix of talent congratulated each other. A 15-year minor league veteran (Chris Ashby) who is now entrenched as a clutch No. 3 hitter, a right fielder (Sam Rosario) who was hitting .263 in the Can-Am League a couple weeks ago and a starting pitcher (Aaron Myette) who hadn’t pitched professionally in nearly two years before this spring all celebrated another win.

No, the York Revolution can’t match the big-money machine Long Island Ducks — in name recognition, paycheck girth or steroid allegations. But York proved once again Sunday afternoon that a successful ballclub is not made with dollars alone.

York rallied back from a three-run, first-inning deficit and capped a sweep of Long Island with a 6-3 win at Sovereign Bank Stadium — a victory that helped York (27-36) improve to 6-0 against the Ducks (28-35) at home and 8-2 overall. The win came before an announced crowd of 4,481 and also gave the Revs — winners of seven out of nine games — a share of third place in the Freedom Division with Route 30 rival Lancaster.

The momentum is building for a second half that can’t get here soon enough.

“I think the come-from-behind wins are telling,” York manager Chris Hoiles said. “We came back today and at Bridgeport (last Thursday) and we’re never out of it. They believe they can score.”

The Ducks jumped on the board with three runs in the first inning off Myette, who surrendered a cheap, opposite-field, two-run jack to former Oriole Jay Gibbons. But Myette (5-5) buckled down from there with five scoreless innings despite unintentionally throwing a pitch behind the back of Long Island’s Dennis Donovan at one point.

Meanwhile, York’s offense took advantage of four errors from the Ducks — the Revs scored their first four runs despite only one hit — and used its newly found team speed to manufacture runs. York stole a season-high four bases, with all coming against former major leaguer pitcher Alay Soler (four innings, three earned runs), and also had a season-best three sacrifice flies.

Matt Padgett continued his recent tear with three hits and Kennard Jones (right) led the effort from the top of the order with a 1-for-3 performance that included two runs and an RBI. The former Big Ten Player of the Year at Indiana is fitting in nicely. York is 10-5 with Jones in center field and 5-1 when he leads off.

“It’s a lot more laid back here and there’s a lot less politics,” Jones said of his first couple weeks in the Atlantic League. “That kind of stuff can wear on you (in affiliated ball) and here they put the best nine on the field. It’s refreshing.”

York also got another dominant outing from its bullpen — Dave Veres, Jason Olson and Nick McCurdy all pitched a scoreless frame — and Rosario looked impressive. He manned right field admirably for the second straight day, although he’s normally an infielder, and Rosario added a hustle triple and two runs scored.

“This is a better league with stronger players,” Rosario (pictured) said of moving up from the Can-Am League to the Atlantic League.

Notes: York will face Newark in a three-game home series starting tonight. Frank Castillo (0-0, 7.71 ERA) will start against the Bears’ Jose Garcia (2-2, 5.22 ERA). … Former Revolution pitcher Wayne Franklin was released by Tijuana of the Mexican League last week. Franklin had an 0-2 record with a 9.20 ERA in three starts. … McCurdy’s scoreless ninth earned him his sixth save.

*Photos by Dispatch photo chief Randy Flaum.


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