State College High wins 1-0 behind Mason Mellott
STATE COLLEGE — It took only one run on a throwing error, but State High baseball was able to pull off a 1-0 victory in a pitchers’ duel April 18 against the Cedar Cliff Colts.
State High pitcher Mason Mellott and Cedar Cliff pitcher Denny Snyder were dealing, and shut down their respective opponent’s lineup.
State High head coach Troy Allen was impressed with his pitcher’s performance, especially the adjustments that he made in game.
“He battled with mostly his four-seam and two-seam,” Allen said. “When you’re a good pitcher you have to figure out a way. I’m not sure I’ve seen him pitch better than today.”
The lone blunder that would ultimately cost the Colts the game occurred in the second inning with one runner on and two outs. State High first baseman Evan Smith led off the frame with a shot into left field, netting him a double.
A successful sacrifice bunt put Smith in scoring position with one out, but third baseman Kevin Karstetter could not plate the runner in the following at-bat. Catcher Tyson Cooper then stepped up to the plate and grounded one up the middle.
Cedar Cliff shortstop Jimmy Losh flagged it down, but lost his balance and made an errant throw past first base, allowing Smith to score.
In the fourth, the Colts were in the perfect position to get the equalizer and even take the lead. After second baseman Maddux Ryan drew a walk and catcher Donovan Ball singled, Cedar Cliff was in business with no outs.
The game intensified when right fielder Colin Dorrell laid down a sacrifice bunt to move his teammates over to second and third. With his back against the wall, Mellott pitched out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.
Mellott used the speed and command of his fastball to paint the corners and record seven punch-outs in six innings of work. Mellott’s faith in his defense gave him the courage to attack the Cedar Cliff hitters.
“I knew I could strike them out because I had all the confidence in the world and all the confidence in my defense,” Mellott said. “The team just gave me a bunch of confidence. I know they believe in me and I can tell every game that they believe in me. I trust them as much as they trust me.”
Synder did all the he could to preserve his team’s hopes of a comeback, but fell short when all was said and done. Along with Mellott, the junior allowed no earned runs, while striking out five Lions’ batters and going the distance to pitch a complete game.
A lot of Mellott’s motivation and extra efforts sparked from the competition that Snyder was able to provide.
“You don’t want to be the guy on the bad end of the game,” he said. “You want to pitch as good as him, if not better, and just keep the zero in your column.”
State High (4-4) is back in action Thursday, April 20, at Central Dauphin.