The third game of the Curve Classic at Peoples Natural Gas Field was a classic pitchers duel between Huntingdon's ace, Hunter Price, and Central's stud hurler, Mike Mock.
The Dragons of Central edged Huntingdon, 2-0, Friday evening.
Mock was solid on the mound. He pitched six innings, allowed just three hits, fanned seven and walked a pair. Price allowed only two unearned runs, four hits, struck out five in a losing cause.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Central center fielder Zach Slagenweit is congratulated after making a tough catch during the second inning.
"There were two great pitchers out there," Dragons coach A.J. Hoenstine said. "He [Price] threw great. He worked hard to get out of a few tough spots. Mock is just a junior, but if I was a college coach, I'd be very interested in him."
"That's a great baseball team; they're a great hitting baseball team," Bearcat coach George Zanic said. "[Price] was fantastic tonight. He kept them off-balance. Mock is the best pitcher in our league, but he was still able to throw pitch to pitch with him."
The pair traded scoreless inning after scoreless inning, until the sixth inning. After Mock retired the side, three-up-three down in the top of the sixth, the Dragons were finally able to plate some runs.
All games at Peoples Natural Gas Field
Bishop Carroll 4, BIshop Guilfoyle 3
Altoona 10, Clearfield 8
Central 2, Huntingdon 0
Hollidaysburg 3, Latrobe 1
Bishop Guilfoyle vs. Huntingdon, 10 a.m.
Clearfield vs. Latrobe, 12:30
Bishop Carroll vs. Central, 3
Altoona vs. Hollidaysburg, 5:30
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.
Price walked No. 3 hitter Jay Stern to lead off the frame. The next hitter, Bradi Moore, reached on a fielder's choice when Stern was retired. The following hitter, Mock, singled, and Nick Hoenstine immediately walked. With both Mock and Hoenstine on base, Josh McKnight hit a fly ball to Bearcat left fielder Josh Neyman who missed the ball and both runners scored.
"McKnight, who's a freshman, who's played a lot for us, batted and put a good swing on the ball," A.J. Hoenstine said. "It was a tough play for the left fielder [Neyman]. If you keep putting good swings on the ball, good things will happen."
"We played great on defense," Zanic said. "Their defense was great. But right at the end, we had that one slip up."
Following the two runs scored by the Dragons in the home half of the sixth inning, Mock began the top of the seventh inning by striking out Logan Fisher, but allowed a single to Kodiak Heaton. With the tying run at the plate, Central turned a game-ending double play.
Even with both pitchers performing so dynamically, both teams had some runners on base, due to walks and hit by pitches. But some of the rallies were killed by runners that were caught stealing (three) and runners that were picked off (one).
The Dragons, who remained unbeaten at 7-0, play Bishop Carroll Saturday in the second round of the Curve Classic.
Huntingdon fell to 2-3. Devon Claar was the lone player with multiple hits for either team, collecting a pair.
HUNTINGDON (0): Wagner ss 200, Claar c 302, Price p 200, Cook cf 300, Fisher rf 300, Heaton dh 301, McLaughlin 2b 000, Baney pr 000, Neyman lf 300, Alleman 3b 100, Stetchock 1b 200. Totals 22 0 3.
CENTRAL (2): Cunningham 201, Lewis rf 301, Stern 1b 201, Moore lf 300, Mock p 311, Hoenstine 2b 010, Frederick dh 200, Ritchey c 000, McKnight ph 100, Vollkommer 3b 300, Slagwenweit cf 200. Totals 21 2 4.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Huntingdon0000000 0 3 1
Central000002x 2 4 2
DP Central 1. E Neyman, Cunningham. 2B Stern. SB Frederick, Cunningham, Hoenstine. WP Mock. LP Price. SO Mock 7, Price 5. BB Price 5, Mock 2.
Records: Huntingdon (2-3). Central (7-0).