One run takes all

LEWISTOWN – Wednesday evening’s American Legion baseball game featured a classic pitcher’s duel between Mifflin County’s Ross Torquato and Beech Creek’s Phil Holter. In the end, Torquato proved to be a bit better as Mifflin County edged the visitors 1-0 at Mifflin County High School.

Both pitchers threw complete games and got themselves into very little trouble. Holter was more impressive early on as he took a no-hitter into the fourth inning before Mifflin County got into the hit column when Max Remy singled to left to lead off the inning.

Remy advanced to second on Heath Hidlay’s sacrifice bunt and moved to third on Drew Hannon’s single up the middle. Holter then intentionally walked designated hitter Hayden Snook to load the bases and set up a golden scoring opportunity for Mifflin County. Lucas McKay came through with a sacrifice fly to center, but Hannon was tagged out in a rundown between second and third base for a double play that got Beech Creek out of the jam having only allowed one run.

That one run was all Torquato needed. No Beech Creek hitters were able to reach third base against the right-hander despite only striking out two times over his seven innings. The Mifflin County battery of catcher Cy Treaster and Torquato baffled the visitors into repeatedly making poor contact.

“Tonight Ross and Cy did a great job of working different pitches in there and keeping them off balance,” Mifflin County manager Larry Wolfe said.

Torquato was in danger of giving up a run only once. He surrendered a one-out double to Darrin Masorti in the top of the fourth but was able to retire Chuck Probst on a fly ball for the second out. Cole Hanley then hit a shot to deep center that was hauled in by a diving Kyle Bodtorf. The play preserved Torquato’s shutout and drew praise from Wolfe.

“Kyle made a whale of a catch in center field,” he said. “Defense like that equalizes a lot of mistakes sometimes.”

Holter took the loss for Beech Creek despite only allowing two hits. Mifflin County hit the ball harder than the statistics show, including several deep drives that center fielder Probst was able to snag to steal extra-base hits from Mifflin County.

“Their center fielder, like Kyle (Bodtorf), he made a couple catches that were really tough look really easy,” Wolfe said. “Their outfield can really cover ground out there.”

Beech Creek tried to rally in the seventh when Trapper Kunes singled to lead off the inning, but the threat was quickly put to rest when Gage Gardner fouled off two bunt attempts and then bounced into a 6-4-3 double play that cleared the bases. Torquato then got Kenny Heverly to fly out to Hidlay in left field to finish the complete game shutout.

Mifflin County will compete in the Frederick (Md.) wood bat tournament today through July 7.