Mifflin County scratched by Wildcats
LEWISTOWN – Pitchers, no matter how good they are, need to rely on their defense to make plays behind them, and Mifflin County’s Peyton Reesman is no different.
Reesman’s defense failed him during a 6-1 loss at the hands of Central Mountain on Wednesday at Mifflin County High School.
The Huskies made seven errors on the day, including six while Reesman was on the mound, as they couldn’t take advantage of the Husky lefty’s nine-strikeout day.
“I think it’s definitely something we definitely have to look at,” Mifflin County coach Travis Zook said. “All the way through the game until the sixth inning, we didn’t make one throw across the diamond from any infield position to first base and make an out. That’s just unacceptable. I don’t know if we weren’t ready mentally. I don’t know what the problem was. We’re going to look at it. I’m not going to wash this away.”
The rough start began with back-to-back errors to start the game, putting Wildcats on first and second.
Reesman rallied to strike out the next hitter and then walked the clean-up hitter to load the bases.
After a pop-up to give the Huskies a second out and a light at the end of the tunnel, a wild pitch scored the first run of the game for Central Mountain in the top half of the first.
Reesman hit the first batter of the second inning, who advanced on the pitcher’s errant pickoff throw.
The Huskies’ starter came back to strike out Ethan McGill and John Michael Maclay threw out the courtesy runner attempting to steal third.
Reesman struck out Ryan Yost for his fourth strikeout of the day to end the second inning.
“I thought Peyton did a good job,” Zook said. “His last two starts, he had trouble with command and walking guys. There were still a couple of walks here and there. I thought he did a good job on the mound, but he didn’t have any defense behind him. I thought he did a good job out there.”
For the third straight inning, Reesman allowed the leadoff hitter to reach, this time via the walk, and he came around to score on a double-steal of second and home.
Mifflin County came out pounding the ball to start the bottom of the third.
Kyle Bodtorf started the inning with a single to right field, but was erased when he was caught stealing on the next pitch.
Maclay, Isaiah Kearns and Heath Hidlay each singled with Hidlay’s hit scoring the first Mifflin County run of the day to make it 3-1.
With Lucas McKay up and the tying run on first, Central Mountain starter Caleb Seyler picked off Hidlay to end the inning and the threat.
The Wildcats got that run right back to start the fourth when Seyler helped himself with a lead-off single.
Dylan Kerstetter’s double scored Seyler’s courtesy runner, making it 4-1 through three and a half.
Mifflin County got back-to-back hits to lead off the sixth from Hidlay and Hayden Snook, but the Central Mountain right-hander got Max Remy and Hunter Walker swinging and Isaac Strohecker on a pop-up to second to end the inning.
Central Mountain got its leadoff hitter on for the sixth time in seven innings to start the final frame and then he came around to score.
The Wildcats added one more insurance run to make it 6-1 before the Huskies could hit for the last time.
Mifflin County went down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Zook employed a new lineup with center fielder Bodtorf hitting leadoff and Snook playing first base and hitting fifth.
The lineup did produce nine hits including three from Maclay, but only the lone third-inning run.
“We had a lot of hits today,” Zook said. “It’s not a bad day hitting. It’s a lot of the same guys getting two or three hits. We’ve been moving some guys around and trying to get some guys in position when they get some more fastballs and get them settled in a little. I’m not sure what the solution is, but we’re going to continue to work on it and try to improve.”
The Huskies (5-4, 5-3 Mid-Penn) get right back out on the diamond today when they host Cumberland Valley.