Fast strike dispatches Big Valley 11s

13-run first too much for locals to overcome

Sentinel photo by MATT STRICKER
Big Valley catcher Ike Curry tags out State College runner Jenner Chestnut as he tries to score on a wild pitch Friday in Reedsville.

REEDSVILLE — State College lit up the scoreboard with 13 runs in the first inning and never let up in its 23-0 win over Big Valley in a Little League District 5 Minor 11 baseball game Friday.

“It was rough but they’re a very good team,” Big Valley manager Jake Ward said. “We wish them luck moving on to play Bellefonte.”

Things began to unravel quickly for Big Valley. With one out and with the bases loaded, Ben Graupensperger drew a walk that scored Joey Sabol, Jack Messina scored on a wild pitch then Logan Shannon drew another walk to load the bases again. It was the last batter that starting pitcher Sam Ward faced.

But State College kept the offense going against Hunter Bailey as Jensen Chesnut hammered the ball to left-center field that drove in Gino Pighetti and Graupensperger.

Big Valley was able to get the second out of the inning on a fly out to right but it drove in a run.

“Very good, very strong bats,” Jake Ward said.

Many of the runs were due to Big Valley mistakes. Errors and wild pitches plagued the local team. Both Sam Ward and Bailey struggled on the mound as the two combined for seven walks in the inning.

State College came back for more in the top half of the second. Messina and Nate Price hit back-to-back home runs as the lead increased to 17-0.

Overall State College scored 23 runs off 15 hits, led by Messina, who went a perfect 4-for-4 with two home runs, two doubles and four RBIs.

“They brought a team, they brought a team to beat,” Jake Ward said.

Big Valley was held to just two hits in the game with Sam Ward and Brett Zook getting them. Big Valley struggled to get the offense going against State College pitcher Price who went three innings with seven strikeouts and only walked one. Price also struck out the side twice in both the second and third innings.

“He was very good,” Jake Ward said. “We were surprised with him.”