Central Mountain cruises past MC, 5-3

LEWISTOWN – When Central Mountain’s Von Walker looks back on his high school baseball career, he will have fond memories of the Huskies’ field.

In the District 6 Class AAAA tournament, Walker has used his bat and his arm to eliminate Mifflin County two years in a row.

Last spring, Walker smashed a key home run late in the game to beat the Huskies in the district semifinals.

On Thursday, Walker again ended the Huskies’ season in the semifinals when he used his arm to beat Mifflin County, 5-3. He pitched a complete game and only had one inning (the seventh) where he had any problems.

Central Mountain will now advance to the district finals next Thursday.

Walker gave up six hits, but until the last inning, the Huskies’ offense put up no major threats.

And as the Mifflin County season has rolled out at 9-12, it was the same old story – good pitching and lack of support with the bats and gloves.

Seth Wagner went a strong six innings. He struck out 10, walked two and hit a batter. The Mifflin County defense committed three errors behind him.

“Our pitching has been good all year,” Mifflin County coach Travis Zook explained. “But, our defense again was not what it should have been. I hate to look at the amount of errors we had compared to the strikeouts that our pitchers (had).”

Trailing 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, Mifflin County did make it exciting.

Isaac Strohecker opened the inning with a walk. Cy Treaster advanced him to second on a base hit and both batters moved up on a wild pitch.

One out later, Drew Hannon came up with a clutch two-base hit to bring Strohecker and Treaster home, but then Walker got the next two batters as Aaron Michaels flew out to center and Jacob Larson grounded out to end the game.

“We made a nice comeback,” Zook said, “but you can’t wait to the final three outs. We have 18 other outs to work with in the game.”

Mifflin County scored its first run in the fourth as Lucas McKay started the inning with a double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Heath Hidlay and scored on a base hit by Strohecker.

Wagner was in control for the first two and a third innings as he struck out four and only had two balls hit to the outfield.

But, with two outs in the third Ryan Yost was hit by a pitch. Dylan Kerstetter reached on an error and then Luke Wise put Central Mountain on the scoreboard with a base hit.

For the next two and two third innings, Wagner was again in control as he recorded five strikeouts in a row between the fourth and fifth inning.

Then with two outs in the fifth, Central Mountain struck again.

Kerstetter ripped a double and Luke Wise, who proved to be nothing but trouble for the Huskies with his three-hit effort, singled home Kerstetter.

Leading 2-1, Central Mountain manufactured a run in the sixth. Johnny Wise opened the inning by drawing a walk. He stole second and when the ball went into centerfield, he ended up on third base. He later scored on a wild pitch.

After the sixth inning, Wagner was pulled for Hidlay. With one out, Luke Wise tripled and Walker was given an intentional walk. Carl Tanner was sent in as a courtesy runner.

Tanner stole second and Cayden Stover drove both Tanner and Luke Wise home with a single.

But, those two insurance runs proved to be the difference as the score was 5-1 before Mifflin County made its seventh inning comeback.

Notes: Luke Wise and Johnny Wise are cousins. The two of them combined for three hits, two runs and two RBIs…Walker finished with seven strikeouts, walked one and gave up six hits…Wagner retired eight and six men in a row during two stretches in the game…Michaels had Mifflin County’s first hit of the game, a double down the third baseline…Logan Swineford got in as a pinch runner in the last inning…Michaels, Treaster, Swineford and Wagner played their last game of their careers for Mifflin County. Rodney Patterson, a pitcher, is the only other senior on the team…The game marked the first time that the Huskies’ new scoreboard was turned on.