A classic and memorable pitchers' duel took place Sunday night.
Shane Suter, this year's winner of the Altoona Greater City Baseball League outstanding pitcher award, engaged with Shawn Delozier, who led ProActive Sports with four regular season wins.
It's a shame somebody had to lose.
Delozier and his ProActive Sports team bested Suter and JnD Guns, 2-1, in game one of the best-of-three semifinal round series at Vets Field.
"It was well-pitched by both sides," ProActive player/manager Tom Smith said. "Both pitchers threw great."
ProActive Sports got to Suter with one out in the fifth inning. Suter walked eight-hitter Jimmy Clancy. After a groundout by Sean Gority, leadoff hitter R.J. Barnard doubled down the left-field line to plate Clancy. Then Jake Hargreaves drilled another double, this one scoring Barnard with the go-ahead and eventual winning run.
"R.J. and Jake both had clutch, two-out hits for us," Smith said.
Delozier did not allow a run until the top of the fourth inning.
"Two great pitchers went at it tonight," JnD Guns player/manager Brian Farabaugh said.
After both pitchers had perfect first innings, Delozier allowed the first baserunner on a walk, but induced his first of four double plays to end the top of the second. Following a scoreless bottom half of the second, Delozier allowed a one-out single to Josh Farabaugh, his team turned a 5-4-3 double play to clean up the mess again.
Because of the play of the defense, Delozier had still only faced the minimum of hitters through three innings.
"The defense was great," Smith said. "Turning four double plays limits rallies."
After a one-out single by leftfielder Matt Ballos, Andy Bagley scored him with a single. Suter kept ProActive Sports off the board in the home-half of the fourth, allowing one runner on an error by third baseman Andy Glass. ProActive Sports turned its third double-play in the top of the fifth inning, when Delozier induced a 6-4-3 twin-killing.
Josh Farabaugh led off the top of the sixth with a walk, and Courtney Grove dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Farabaugh to second. After a groundout to Barnard for the second out, Barnard ended the inning with an unbelievable barehanded scoop of the ball to just barely get Ballos running to first.
"I think [Barnard] saved four runs," Brian Farabaugh said.
After a three-up, three-down bottom of the sixth, Bagley led off the seventh with a double and Ryan Pollicino reached on a one-out walk, ProActive ended the game by turning a final double-play.
Delozier finished the game with two strikeouts, four walks and allowed just four hits.
"Delozier has been like this all year for us," Smith said. "He throws strikes and changes speeds."
ProActive Sports will try to end the series tnight. Smith believes he will start Tyler Neff. Brian Farabaugh is still undecided as to a starting pitcher.
JND GUNS (1): Klausman 1b 300, Ballos lf 311, Bagley cf 302, Pincherri c 300, Pollicino ss 100, Glass 3b 200, David dh 200, Suter p 000, J. Farabaugh rf 101, Grove 100. Totals-19-1-4.
PROACTIVE SPORTS (2): Barnard 2b 311, Hargreaves 3b 301, Snyder cf 200, Mas. Hershey dh 200, Delozier p 000, Saxman 1b 200, Stiffler 1b 100, Baker rf 301, Nedimyer c 300, Clancy lf 110, Mat. Hershey lf 000, Gority ss 100. Totals-21-2-3.
SCORE BY INNINGS
JnD Guns000 100 0-1 4 2
ProActive Sports000 020 x-2 3 0
DP-ProActive 4. E-Glass 2. 2b-Baker, Barnard, Hargreaves, Bagley. SAC-Mas. Hershey, Grove. RBI-Barnard, Hargreaves, Bagley. WP-Delozier. LP-Suter. SO-Suter 3, Delozier 2. BB-Suter 3, Delozier 4.