ALMEDIA–Nick Reeder silenced the Athens offense all night, throwing six masterful one-hit innings. And but Athens stored speaking.
So Maddix Dalena lastly quieted the Wildcats for good.
Reeder and Grayson Rinker mixed on a dominant one-hitter and Dalena responded to each a controversial hit batter and, contemplating the rating, juvenile taunting by blasting a titanic 2-run, sixth-inning house run. Reeder’s pitching and Dalena’s clout highlighted a robust group efficiency as Montoursville overpowered Athens, 9-2 in Thursday’s District 4 Class AAAA semifinals at Central Columbia. The Warriors (14-7) scored six fourth inning runs to interrupt a tie and earned a spot of their third straight district closing, their first on the 4A degree, Saturday at Bowman Area in opposition to Midd-West.
“I’m excited. I’m glad for this group. I believe we would have liked that huge time,” Montoursville coach Jeremy Eck stated. “I informed the fellows, ‘You’re getting your alternative and it’s important to take advantage of it so right here it’s. We’re seven innings away and we have now to attempt to maintain us enterprise.’
Enterprise was booming for Reeder who made probably the most of his first playoff begin. The left-hander placed on a pitching clinic for six innings, surrendering no earned runs and permitting only a swinging bunt single.
Reeder was the sport’s star, however Dalena may need stolen the present together with his sixth-inning house run.
Throughout that six run fourth inning, Athens accused Nolan Kutney of a stealing an indication whereas standing on second base. An Athens coach then stated Kutney could be thrown at when he batted once more. And two innings later when Kutney got here up, he certainly was hit by the primary pitch he noticed.
It was not solely an unsportsmanlike transfer in opposition to a highschool participant, however a extremely illogical one. Montoursville led 7-2 and placing Kutney on base whereas additionally chanting “0 for 3!” at Dalena was pouring gasoline on the hearth. One pitch later the state of affairs exploded as Dalena walloped a large drive nicely over the left-center discipline fence.
Athens responded to one thing it disliked by hitting a batter as an alternative of making an attempt to get him out. Montoursville responded like a two-time defending champion. The Connecticut-bound Dalena earned the final snort as jubilant teammates stormed out of the dugout and greeted him at house after he made it, 9-2.
“I used to be simply in search of one pitch and it got here in. After Kutney received hit I knew I needed to do one thing to get him in. It ended up going over the fence” Dalena stated. “I form of gave it a couple of steps after which I glanced a bit bit after which I knew it was over (the fence). The fellows within the dugout have been all overestimated and it was thrilling.”
Reeder produced pleasure all night time, complementing his pitching by going 2 for 4 with a two-run double and shutting the sport with a incredible diving catch in heart discipline as Grayson Rinker threw a hitless seventh. Nonetheless, it was Reeder’s pitching which stood out most. The left-hander used his arm to color a baseball masterpiece and every stroke was sensible.
The junior was simply the second left-hander Athens had seen this season and he had them befuddled from the beginning. Reeder retired the primary 9 hitters earlier than Karter Impolite opened the fourth inning together with his swinging bunt simply previous the pitcher’s mound. Reeder drilled the strike zone, moved the ball round, stored hitters guessing and threw 60 of his 81 pitches for strikes. He additionally threw 16 first-pitch strikes to 23 batters, struck out six and continued a breakout season which incorporates stellar performances in wins in opposition to Jersey Shore and Danville.
“My mindset was simply throw strikes and let my protection deal with it. That’s all there was to it,” Reeder stated. “I used to be actually excited. I knew I used to be the proper match for this. They’ve solely seen one lefty this 12 months in reduction, so I knew this might be an ideal sport for me to point out off what I’ve.”
Reeder’s very good efficiency was much more important since Montoursville performs once more Saturday. His potential to go deep into the sport stored each different Warrior pitcher obtainable to throw Saturday. He additionally allowed two or fewer runs for a 3rd time in 4 begins.
“It’s his first time in an enormous state of affairs so far as not attending to play as a sophomore and never seeing a lot time as a freshman,” Eck stated. “This was his first dwell district playoff baseball the place it’s a bit totally different. It’s a bit extra intense, the expectations are a bit greater and he got here out and did a incredible job from the beginning for us.”
Montoursville took benefit of two errors to attain a second inning run and Athens took benefit of a two-base error to tie it, 1-1 within the fourth. The Warriors emphatically answered within the backside of the inning, stringing 5 hits collectively, scoring six instances and constructing a 7-1 lead.
Dylan Moll hit a one-out single and sensible execution introduced him house with the go-ahead run. AJ Llorente moved Moll to 3rd with successful and run single. Catcher CJ Signor then pushed a wonderfully positioned bunt single up the grass close to first base, giving Montoursville a lead it by no means relinquished.
“We haven’t been in a position to make use of a variety of small ball this 12 months, however we got here by way of after we wanted it,” Dalena stated. “It was an enormous state of affairs and CJ got here by way of with an incredible push bunt to get a run in and that received us going.”
“We have been a bit flat coming in after they tied it 1-1, however as quickly as we received one other run in a spark went off,” Reeder stated. “Then we simply caught on hearth.”
James Batkowski drew an RBI stroll earlier than Reeder and Kutney fanned that spark into an inferno. Reeder scorched his two-run double down the right-field line earlier than Kutney drove a two-run double deep into the right-center discipline hole as Montoursville went up, 7-1.
The Warriors know they need to clear up their protection for the championship after two errors allowed Athens to attain one other run within the sixth inning. Athens put runners on second and third with two outs, however by no means rattled Reeder who induced a softly hit grounder whereas once more displaying that actions communicate louder than phrases.
“He’s been working all 12 months making an attempt to get higher and higher,” Dalena stated. “He got here out and proved it.”
Athens 000 101 0–2 1 3
Montoursville 010 602 x–9 7 4
Mason Lister, Lucas Kraft (4) and Caleb Nichols. Nick Reeder, Grayson Rinker (7) and CJ Signor. W–Reeder, (3-0). L–Lister.
Prime Montoursville hitters: Reeder 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs; Dylan Moll 1-3, 2 R, SB; Signor 1-3, RBI; Nolan Kutney 1-2, 2B, 2 RBIs, R; Maddix Dalena 1-4, HR, 2 RBIs; AJ Llorente 1-2, BB, R.
Information: Montoursville 14-7. Athens 12-9.
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