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York ousted from playoffs

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Twenty years from now, after the dust has settled and memories have faded, the final scores in this playoff series will suggest the York Revolution went down swinging like a famed prize fighter.

But in reality, that is not how York’s crushing exodus from the postseason should be remembered. The Revs had their chances to give Yorkers their first pro baseball postseason victory in 46 years. Too much timid play from the Revolution simply would not allow it to happen.

York committed three errors for the second straight night while watching another close loss circle the drain. The Revs were ousted from the Freedom Division Series Wednesday night after Somerset’s 6-4 victory before an announced crowd of 6,346 at Commerce Bank Ballpark.

And the end of the season came after York seemed to wake up in big fashion during a three-run seventh that created a one-run lead. But George Sandel overthrew first baseman Chris Ashby on a routine ground ball that would have ended the seventh. That error, which gave Somerset the tying run, allowed the Patriots to smell blood and they went in for the kill.

“We gave them both games,” Sandel said. York lost 3-2 in Game 1. “We had our chances and we didn’t hit this whole series.”

Amazingly, York (0-2) stayed in the game despite a subpar outing from Rolando Viera — who had pitched 15 1/3 scoreless innings at Somerset this year. Viera left the game in the fourth after surrendering nine hits and three earned runs and the Cuban-born pitcher barked at home plate umpire Kareh Valentine on his way to the dugout.

But the Revs rallied from their 3-0 deficit methodically thereafter. Kennard Jones’ solo homer in the sixth got York on the board and then Jason Aspito’s deep homer to the right-center gap tied the game, 3-3. York plated its final run on a Matt Padgett double play grounder for the 4-3 lead.

But Sandel’s mistake tied the game, 4-4, then Elliot Ayala ripped an RBI double just out of the outstretched arms of a diving Aspito in right. Somerset (2-0), which will face Camden in the Atlantic League Championship Series, tacked on another insurance run in the eighth.

For Revs manager Chris Hoiles, however, the disappointing loss couldn’t overshadow the closeness his team displayed durings its run to the second-half Freedom Division title.

“These guys really came together as a team, with the way they played, and it’s hard to put into words,” Revolution manager Chris Hoiles said. “All 25 guys fight for each other. … We got the big hits today when we needed them, we took the lead and then the defense faltered. Would I like to have 12 runs a game? Yeah. But I think we did the little things to score runs but our defense gave it right back.”

Despite the gutwrenching loss, the Revolution locker room was jovial after the game. Players exchanged phone numbers. Wayne Franklin circled the room — looking for every teammate’s autograph on a tan bat. Some men had tears in their eyes, but those soon turned into wry smiles.

And although the way this team lost will create quite the hangover, no one was ashamed of the effort that went into the season.

“It’s just being around the guys,” outfielder Matt Esquivel said of York’s bond that has grown exponentially in the summer months. “It’s not every year you get to play with the group of guys we have right now. Not only do we get to share the baseball field, but we get to share our personal lives. And it’s just one of those things where I’ve been able to open up.

It’s not just a couple people, either. It’s all 25 guys. I’m going to miss that.”


YORK — 000◊001◊300 — 4◊7◊3

SOMERSET — 111◊000◊21X — 6◊13◊1

REVS 1ST: Jones flies out to left; De Renne grounds out to first; Ashby pops out to second.

SOMERSET 1ST: Smith strikes out; Olivares singles to right; Pressley walks, Olivares to second; Larson’s single through the third-base hole scores Olivares (Pats 1-0); Belcher 4-6-3 double play ends the inning. 

REVS 2ND: Aspito grounds out to second; Esquivel singles up the middle; Perez flies out to center; (Esquivel steals second base) Padgett lines out to right.

SOMERSET 2ND: Hagen broken-bat single to left; (Hagen caught stealing 1-3-6) Granato walks; Anderson walks, Granato to second; Ayala RBI single through the third-base hole, Granato scores (2-0 Pats); Smith strikes out looking; Olivares reached on error by Perez; Pressley grounds out to second.

REVS 3RD: Taveras strikes out swinging; Sandel singles to left; Jones hits into 4-6-3 double play.

SOMERSET 3RD: Larson smokes laser solo homer to left field (3-0 Pats); Belcher hits seeing-eye single up the middle; Hagen flies out to right; Granato walks, Belcher to second; Anderson infield hit off Ashby’s glove loads the bases; Ayala flies out to center, Jones’ assist from center gets Belcher at the plate for the F-8-2 DP.

REVS 4TH: De Renne lines out to shallow left; Ashby flies out left-center; Aspito strikes out swinging.

SOMERSET 4TH: Smith lines single to left field; Olivares strikes out swinging; Pressley lines single to center, Smith to second; (Rolando Viera removed for Dan Foli); (Smith steals third base) Larson walks to load the bases; Belcher grounds into another 4-6-3 double play.

REVS 5TH: Esquivel grounds out to shortstop; Perez grounds out to first; Padgett strikes out swinging.

SOMERSET 5TH: Hagen strikes out swinging, Granato lines out to second; Anderson strikes out swinging.

REVS 6TH: Taveras lines out sharply to right; Sandel grounds out to short; Jones drives solo homer to deep, straight away center field (est. 415 feet) (3-1 Pats); De Renne grounds out to second.    

SOMERSET 6TH: Ayala lines out to center; Smith singles through the hole at first; Olivares flies out to center; (Smith steals second base) Pressley walks on full count; Larson pops up to shortstop.

REVS 7TH: Ashby singles to center, Aspito rips monster two-run homer into the right-field gap on first pitch (3-3); Esquivel reaches on throwing error from Bouknight, moves to second; Perez singles to center, Esquivel to third; Padgett hits into 6-3 double play, Esquivel scores (4-3 York); Taveras’ long fly to center hauled in by Smith, who crashes into the wall.

SOMERSET 7TH: Belcher singles down the left-field line, moves to second on Esquivel error; Hagen sac bunt moves Belcher to third; Granato strikes out swinging; Sandel throwing error on routine grounder allows Anderson to reach, Belcher scores (4-4); Ayala RBI double down the right-field line scores Anderson (5-4 Pats); Smith flies out to right.

REVS 8TH: Sandel grounds out to second; Jones flies to center; De Renne flies to center.

SOMERSET 8TH: Olivares walks; Pressley walks;Larson singles over the head of Ashby, Olivares scores (5-5); Belcher grounds out to third; Hagen walks; Granato lines into double play. 

REVS 9TH: Ashby doubles down the left-field line; Aspito strikes out swinging; Esquivel lines out to left; Perez strikes out swinging.


YORK (0-1)

Kennard Jones — CF

Keoni De Renne — SS

Chris Ashby — 1B

Jason Aspito — RF

Matt Esquivel — LF

Kenny Perez — 3B

Matt Padgett — DH

Luis Taveras — C

George Sandel — 2B

Rolando Viera — LHP


Sean Smith — CF

Teuris Olivares — 2B

Josh Pressley — 1B

Brandon Larson — 3B

Jason Belcher — DH

Matt Hagen — LF

Anthony Granato — SS

Travis Anderson — C

Elliott Ayala — RF

Kip Bouknight — RHP

*Photo courtesy of the Courier News’ Jason Towlen.


6 Responses

  1. Come on guys!!! You can do it!!!

  2. Thanks for a good year guys!!!! Have a great off seasons everyone!!!

    GO REVS!!!!

  3. My friends and I just want to say thank you to all of the York Revolution players, coaches and staff who have made this an incredible summer for us. Even though it didn’t end the way we hoped we are all so proud of you. You’ve all helped us make a ton of incredible memories at Sovereign Bank Stadium and we can’t wait to come back next season & start it all over again. Hopefully, we’ll get to see you guys again but if not we wish you all the best of luck.
    Thanks for the countless autographs, pictures, laughs, smiles and yes we’re even thankful for the teasing. :) We’re gonna miss you all so much!!!

    Best wishes from Emily, Kristy, Steph, Tasha & Donna

  4. Thanks to all the players, coaches & staff for a wonderful season. I’m sad it ended the way it did but I’m already looking forward to the 2009 season.

  5. Great season, many thanks to all the players, coaches and fans who made it so. Sad to see things end in the fashion they did with the defensive let-downs, but those are the breaks I guess. It’s just extra frustrating to think that in both games the Revs had a very reasonable chance to win.

    Adding to that is the idea that because of the nature of the A-league, this roster is almost guaranteed to look different come opening day ’09. None the less, I join my fellow Revs fans in anxious anticipation of the first chance to hear the Cannon at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

    Indeed this is only one man’s opinion, but none the less I think this would hold true for a lot of people.

    Being from the “male aged 18-34” demographic that is so heavily marketed to and sought after today, here’s why I think baseball in York has been successful (I won’t call it a far and away sweeping success just yet).

    1. It’s an alternative form of entertainment in York, if nothing else. I mean this in a broader sense than just being a “sports” alternative. Going to a Revs game provides something other than going to a bar and drinking til you do something stupid, which it seems is all people of my demographic around here are concerned with.

    It also beats going to a movie in my mind. Considering there are fewer and fewer good movies out anymore I’d rather take my 10 dollars and get into a Revs game than a POS movie. Plus concessions at both places are about the same, and even still if you must drink you can at a ball game. And movies anymore are done in a hour and half. When’s the last time the Revs haven’t at least doubled that haha, plus with their come-from-behind nature the Revs are more dramatic.

    So once you eliminate getting drunk or going to a movie or under-rated ghetto mall what else does York offer? The Strand is nice but horribly under-utilized (they’re called MARQUI acts for a reason, and one with modern relevancy wouldn’t hurt either. ) and other then that York is all but culturally bare. Pullo is up-and-coming but still just that.

    Sure you can do to dinner, but that’s more about the company than the actual venue. Although I have heard Yorkers say that going to certain restaurants are the highlight of their night out, furthering my position that York is entertainment starved.

    2. The league does a great job of promoting the “family experience.” Being a die-hard baseball fan first I obviously take in games for the pure sport of it. However, I’ve talked to many of those who like it for the family aspect.

    The Revolution games provide something for everyone from the purist who wants to kick back with their manual scorecard to the DownTown Playground area; something I took great joy in when I was able to watch my nephew enjoy both the playground and start to earn an appreciation for the game of baseball.

    The campy antics of all the promotions provide suitable filler entertainment for the game action between innings. Sure some are kind of lame and under-produced, but what else is there really?

    Besides, sometimes they can provide memorable moments for young fans when the players provide help to the way-ward fruit during the fruit-race, or video-board fodder during the “dance offs.”

    3. The cost is reasonable, and in an area as frugal as York this is key. Being a transplant from Pittsburgh, I’m astonished at how a quick 4-hour jaunt to the east places me in one of the tightest towns I’ve ever seen. I found it sometimes sad that even in games where the Revs would be ahead, the largest cheers would be given to the fact that “Yorkers just got something for FREE” as I heard it put by some natives.

    Regardless the people, I think this works because it beats the heck out of driving to Baltimore and paying the MLB’s jacked up prices for things. Don’t get me wrong I totally understand that there really is nothing like “The Show”; but if you’re simply looking to economically catch quality baseball in a nice setting this makes it much easier to simply “stay home.”

    Sure the concession prices seem a little lofty since their aren’t million dollar salaries on the field, but in all actuality they’re the same if not a few dollars less on average. Even for drinkers this still beats a bar in my mind, 3 beers at SBS runs about 16 so when you pay 5 in cover 2-3 a piece per beer and then tip the bar tender your close to 16 anyways. I will say there are absolutely no bars in York where the atmosphere could possibly rival that of a live ball game, let alone that of a paper bag.

    4. The quality of baseball is, again at least in my opinion, is AA or better. Sure there are a lot of “has beens or never-will-bes” but for every one of those there are tons of intriguing and very interesting stories. You just have to be willing to do the research (which is why I would gladly take the Dispatch’s blog over the YDR’s any day)

    I have talked to some locals who are delusional enough to spout off about their local rec leagues (Susquehanna and Central if I’m not mistaken) being of better quality than the Revolution. I dismiss this instantly along with all the types who say with all honesty “I could play better than….” Such statements make me ill at their lack of credibility. After all, if these guys had topped out after HS most of them would DOMINATE their local leagues. Plus I’ve also heard stories of numerous sand-lotters failing at A-League tryouts.

    Sure I will give them the whole Mark Hendrickson argument, but outside of him…. Get real. The A-league pitching alone would be enough to dominate even the best sand-lotter.

    5. Sovereign Bank Stadium. York fans are treated to a premier independent facility, one that by the opinion of many even best’s Harrisburg’s affiliated “Chitty Island”. The ballpark is quite aesthetic, what with the tallest wall in all of baseball, and there’s really not a bad seat in the house.

    6. Even the staff at the stadium is wonderful; my only complaint with them is they need people who care a bit more about children working the playground. Maybe it was the day I was there, but I found myself watching out for not only the safety of my nephew but numerous other children as well as the young ladies (looked like gabby little HS girls) who were supposed to be “working” were more interested in chatting and paying no attention to anything else.

    Let’s face it, if one of those children got hurt do you think the parent who just up and leaves their child there is going to blame themselves…NO WAY..they’ll blame the attendant, and to a degree rightfully so when they act as nonchalant about the job as these ladies did.

    7. Let’s also not kid ourselves, the winning helps. It’s human nature that if you’re on the fringe of checking out something new to the area like pro-sports, and you’re not already a die-hard fan of it, you’re not likely to go check out a perennial loser.

    Believe me, I know. No matter how beautiful and pristine PNC Park is, going to watch a perennial-loser is only fun for so long for some. I, sadly, will always take the opportunity to see the Pirates, but I could easily see where the more fair-weather fan has grown tired. The same can be said for York, I can easily see SBS watching fewer and fewer through the gates if they were progressing through a terrible year.

    8. If anything it has given some legs to this idea of trying to gentrify downtown York. There is those sure-to-be-expensive lofts as one result, there’s the Northwest Triangle initiative which seems to be gaining steam thanks in part to the success of the Revolution and I’m sure various local business owners will admit to at least some spike in business thanks to baseball in York.

    Ultimately the problem with York’s gentrification is the same as any other, you can fix and spruce things up all you want but “How do you fix apathy?”

    All things considered, York is lucky to have something like this around. And it won’t be long before its considered a far reaching success.

    Many thanks to all who made 2008 special, most importantly the players. I for one am looking forward to getting my 2009 70-game package.

    Great job Revs, see you next year.

  6. Great season this year Revs! It was nice coming home and seeing the team take the community cup from those Lancaster dirtbags. While it would have been nice to go all the way, it gives the organization a goal for next year and that can’t be a bad thing.

    I think special consideration should go to the GM for the pickups of Chris Ashby and Kenard Jones, two guys who provided an instant spark to the lineup. Also, as much as is pains me to do this, kudos to Chris Hoiles for his management during the second half of the season. The guys really played hard, and seemed to embrace the team concept. It was also quite evident that they enjoyed each other’s company, and I hope that encourages some to resign with the Revs next year.

    I curse the era that I grew up in while living in York. I wish this would have been around, I probably would have gone to 30 plus games a year. Still, it’s nice to have a team in York, and I look forward to seeing them at SB Stadium and in the NYC area next year. Nice meeting you in Lancaster Jeff, although that Lancaster mascot did slap my butt while talking to you. I’ll have to arrange for Downtown to give him some payback next year.

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