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Dallastown reliever Morgan Smith earned a rare start in the American Legion baseball playoffs, but he came through in a big way. He tossed a complete-game shutout.
Jim Seip, YDR

It might have looked easy.

But it sure didn’t seem easy to Dallastown Post 605 manager Phil Jeanmenne.

Especially when he filled out his lineup card.

He didn’t have key players. 

He was missing starters. 

He also turned to relief pitcher Morgan Smith, with the hope Smith could last four or five solid innings.

“I did joke with him, ‘You could always throw a complete-game shutout,’ ” Jeanmenne said. 

Smith ended up doing just that, picking up a complete-game shutout to lead Dallastown to a 2-0 victory against Gettysburg Post 202 in a York-Adams American Legion baseball semifinal Saturday at Shyrock Field in Spry. 

Dallastown will host the title game Monday at a time to be determined. It will face the winner of the Pleasureville and Gettysburg game scheduled for Sunday. 

Smith struck out three, walked three and allowed two singles. And he didn’t even seem bothered by a rain delay that stopped the game for about 30 minutes in the middle of the third inning.

Dallastown’s Ben Writer drove in one run with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and Nick Parker and Pete Capobianco hit back-to-back doubles to plate a run in the third. 

The game served as a microcosm for American Legion baseball.

For several Dallastown baseball players, the sport is a year-round love. Legion baseball is just one more team thrown into the mix. 

“These kids have jobs during the day, so they come in and might say they’re sore from spreading mulch or their back is sore,” Jeanmenne said. “You never know what you’re going to get.” 

Some players go to the beach during the season. 

Some head on family vacations. 

“Every team goes through the same thing,” Jeanmenne said. 

But for many at Dallastown, Legion baseball is yet another way to stay around the sport year-round. Some play for their high school team, a travel team, a fall ball team and a Legion team. Even in the winter months when they don’t have games to play, they have to lift — for baseball.

It’s part of the grind to become better, and that’s why they are willing to keep coming back to the diamond month after month. 

“If you want to be good, you have to do that,” said Capobianco, who will be a sophomore in the fall. “It goes year-round, it never stops.”

Going from high school to Legion, players switch out metal bats for wood bats and keep on swinging. 

Parker, who is a Coastal Carolina commit, is in the weight room in July in part because he lost about 10 pounds during a recent trip down south.

“I get a break in the winter when it’s cold,” Parker said. “After October, I shut everything down for a month or two, but then I pick it right back up again. I think it’s good to take a little bit of a break, but you can always lift to get bigger and faster.”

The reason he does it simple to explain: “I love it,” he said.

Capobianco, who started at second base Saturday, has a similar schedule to Parker. He started on the high school’s state final team as a freshman and goes year-round.

“I never get sick of it, because it’s so fun,” Capobianco said.

That’s not to say they don’t miss a game for personal reasons in the summer, but when it comes down to crunch time most of them want to be back on the field. 

“They’re just a special group of kids, coming out of a very great program at Dallastown High School,” Jeanmenne said. 

Dallastown 2, Gettysburg 0
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Gburg, Derrick Ivey, Kyle Redding and David Buxton; Dt, Morgan Smith and Keegan Wolf. SO-BB: Ivey 2-2, Redding 2-1; Smith 3-3. 2B – Dt, Nick Parker, Pete Capobianco.