One of the biggest headlines during basketball season was the rivalry between the Southern Fulton and McConnellsburg boys basketball teams. But with the Indians being one of the top District 5 baseball teams for the last few years and the Spartans getting off to a rough start, few predicted the rivalry to continue through the spring.
But after breaking a nine-game losing streak, the McConnellsburg baseball team rekindled the flame with a 4-2 win over top-ranked Southern Fulton on Tuesday.
It was the second-straight loss for the Indians, who had won nine in a row, and the second year in a row that McConnellsburg handed Southern Fulton one of its few losses in the regular season.
OFF-BALANCE WORKS: Greencastle-Antrim’s Cade Bender threw a three-hitter in his first complete game in a 2-0 win over Fleetwood in the first round of the Muhlenberg Tournament last week.
On a team that boasts speed and efficiency from its top pitchers, Greencastle coach Eric Shaner said Bender is a different style of pitcher on the G-A roster.
“With all of these guys who think you have to throw 90 mph to be effective, he’s one you have to watch out for. He got the ball and worked quickly,” Shaner said. “He trusted his defense and efficiently attacked hitters. He had a great game.”
Bender struck out one batter and walked another in seven innings.
UNDER THE RADAR: While Greencastle ace Myles Gayman performed in front of a batch of scouts Thursday, his Shippensburg counterpart Teagan Staver did the job, too.
In G-A's 2-1 win, Gayman struck out 14 and allowed six hits and no walks. But Staver gave up only five hits and two walks and fanned seven. Only one of the Devils' runs were earned.
"In the first inning, he made some great pitches to get out of that (bases-loaded, one-out) jam," Greyhound coach Nate Rosenberry said.
Greencastle coach Eric Shaner said, "Staver was outstanding. He made the pitches he had to in certain situations. He was throwing that splitter or whatever it was, and it worked."
NEW HITTING PHILOSOPHY: While the Blue Devils have a seemingly endless number of pitchers to use in its rotation, Greencastle is also hoping to find its groove at the plate, taking on a new hitting philosophy that the seniors, in particular, have taken it to heart.
“Coach (Eric) Shaner has been preaching to us, no matter who is throwing, we can hit them,” Myles Gayman said. “Sometimes we are jittery or nervous at the plate, but he just says to go out there and have fun and play the game. We have 10 seniors and it’s our last year and we need to leave everything out there on the field. That has made a huge difference on our approach at the plate ... it definitely changed mine. Once you relax it makes a big difference, get it out of your head.”
Greencastle remains in the top spot in District 3 Class AAA with a 12-1 record.
WALKING PROBLEM: Monday, the Fannett-Metal baseball team combined for 10 walks in a loss to Everett, while on Tuesday, Forbes Road benefitted from struggling pitchers, with a 10-0 win over Tussey Mountain thanks to multiple free passes dealt by Titan pitchers, who sent 10 Forbes Road batters to base on balls.
MAKING AN IMPRESSION: Shalom Christian's Colby Maun continued his impressive season with a win in extra innings over Heritage. Maun threw five shutout innings to start the game, but Heritage scored four unearned runs between the sixth and seventh innings to force the eighth frame.
In the eighth, Maun hit a single in the gap between first and second to bring in the game-winning RBI. On top of the game-winning hit, Maun also struck out 15 batters and walked four in eight innings of work. His ERA on the season has improved to an impressive 1.95 through 15 starts.
MILITARY APPRECIATION: Last Saturday, the Waynesboro baseball team donned camouflage uniforms in its annual Military Appreciation game.