Good pitching, and a solid defense behind that pitching, is usually a good recipe for cooking up a win.
Bellefonte’s baseball team got both of those in its 6-0 shutout of Philipsburg-Osceola on Tuesday.
Red Raiders starting pitcher Jeremy Warefield picked up the complete game win, doing so in just 88 pitches. Their defense was spot on, not committing any errors to the Mounties’ two.
“Any time we can minimize mistakes, the team’s going to be in a good position to win,” Bellefonte coach Jeremy Rellinger said. “It doesn’t matter who you are. We’ve played pretty good defense all year behind our pitchers.”
After having a shaky first inning which saw the first three batters reach base, Warefield got a fly out and ground out to close out the inning. From there, it was smooth sailing on the mound.
“He’s a competitor just like the rest of the guys,” Rellinger said of his pitcher. “He feels real comfortable out there and we expect our defensive guys to stay in tune and back him up and things worked out for us today.”
Warefield gave up seven hits for the game, with two strikeouts, no walks and one hit batter.
“I just kept mixing up all my pitches and changing my spots,” Warefield said. “I think I calmed down a little bit and started hitting my spots a little bit better.”
He also induced eight ground ball outs from the Mounties (4-7).
“It’s a different game with these BB-core bats,” Mounties coach Doug Sankey said. “Once he settled in, he got comfortable. He pounded the (strike) zone and we seemed like we played pepper with the middle infielders.”
Bellefonte (7-4) was outhit by P-O 7-5, with six of those Mountie hits coming from two bats. Tanner Wilson collected two singles and a double and Logan Williamson had three singles.
“It was tough coming back after yesterday (an 8-7 loss to Hollidaysburg),” Sankey said. “We kind of lost focus there for a bit. It’s just disappointing after yesterday playing really well against Hollidaysburg. I think Mitch (Winters) pitched well enough to keep us in the game.”
Winters gave up the five hits but it was two three-run innings, helped out by the Mounties’ errors, that the Red Raiders picked up in the victory.
In the second inning, Bellefonte’s Adam Kuhn opened it up by drawing a walk. Storm Smith followed with a single and Gehrig Schuster came up with a bunt that was overthrown to first allowing Kuhn to score. Smith later scored after a balk was called on Winters, and Schuster was driven in by Vance Przybys to put the Red Raiders ahead 3-0.
In the fifth inning, Bellefonte got a leadoff single from Tyler Kreger. Kreger then stole second and came around to score on another throwing error on a ball hit by Taylor Butts. Butts took second on the throw and was driven in by Kuhn with a double to the right field corner. Kuhn then scored on a sacrifice fly from Schuster.
One word came to mind with Rellinger about the win.
“Confident,” he said. “No matter who is out there, when we put guys in different spots and they get their number called, its a confidence thing. This group has really got that good, confident, competitors’ mentality.”