BASEBALL: Cedar Cliff squeezes out 3-2 victory over Chambersburg
SCOTLAND >> After struggling a little in the first inning, Cedar Cliff pitcher Noah Malone was lights out for the next five frames and escaped a jam in the bottom of the seventh.
That was enough to lead the Colts to a 3-2 victory over Chambersburg in Mid Penn Commonwealth Division baseball action Friday afternoon at Greene Township Park.
"I got into a good groove after the first inning," Malone said. "My stuff was working better and I stopped starting every batter with a fastball. The first time I faced those guys, I started most of them with a fastball and had to change it up today."
Chambersburg (9-7, 6-6 MPC) took the first matchup between the schools, 3-0, behind Tristan Daywalt's one-hitter.
On Friday, the Colts were held without a hit through the first four frames. Trojan hurler Austin Suders rolled into the fifth inning working on a no-hitter and the only Colt runner to reach in the first four innings was a leadoff walk by Jordan Stiles in the second.
Tyler Lafaver led off the top of the fifth with a line-drive single, Tommy Savastio followed with a single just inside third base and a bunt single by Jimmy Losh packed the sacks with one down. Malone then helped himself with a sacrifice fly to score Lafaver with the tying run.
Cedar Cliff (11-5, 8-4 MPC) took the lead in the top of the sixth when Stiles tripled to the gap in right-center to chase Grant Breneman home. Breneman had doubled to left on a ball that Manning Brookens appeared to run down only to have it fall out of his glove when he crashed into the fence.
Lafaver then bunted Stiles home for a 3-1 lead.
Hunter Brindle walked with one out in the bottom of the seventh for Chambersburg and pinch runner Johnnie Myers stole second base and came home on Suders' single with two outs. Brookens then reached on an error, but Malone induced a ground out to end it with the winning run parked on first.
"Noah is a bulldog," Cedar Cliff coach Scott Lackey said. "He's our ace and when he pitches, we expect to win every time."
Malone allowed two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks. It took him 86 pitches and he threw 55 of them for strikes.
"Malone is one of the better pitchers in our league," Chambersburg coach Bob Thomas said. "We were able to beat him the first time we faced him, but couldn't do it today. We hit the ball well, but their defense made some nice plays behind him."
Suders (1-5) was strong in defeat for the Trojans – he allowed three runs and six hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
"Austin has pitched well all year for us, but he hasn't had any luck," Thomas said. "We either don't score him runs or we make errors behind him. But every time he goes out there, he gives us a chance to win."
In his six games, Suders has produced a fine earned run average of 1.75.
Chambersburg broke on top in the bottom of the first with a pair of doubles. Carlin Christian smacked Malone's first offering of the game for a two-bagger down the leftfield line. Then with two down, Christian came home on Daywalt's double.
Cedar Cliff 3, Chambersburg 2
W — Noah Malone; L — Austin Suders (1-5).
LOB — CC 3, Chbg 4; 2B — (CC) Grant Breneman, (Ch) Carlin Christian, Tristan Daywalt; 3B — (CC) Jordan Stiles; SB — (CC) Malone, (C) Johnnie Myers, Colton Brookens.
T — 1:40.
JV — Chambersburg 6, Cedar Cliff 1. Brenton Byers pitched a three-hitter with five strikeouts and two walks. Kaden Hoover was 2-for-3 with a triple, Garret Mickey finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Byers helped his own cause by going 2-for-4 with a double.