Mifflin County’s Peyton Reesman stood on the mound, glove under his left arm, and rubbed the ball down before going for the game’s final out. He used his cleats to smooth over the dirt on the mound, slipped his glove onto his right hand and stepped on the rubber.
Then, the left-hander fired a fastball for a strike. He caught the outside corner to put State College’s Dalton Barger in an 0-2 hole and induced a groundout on the third pitch to end the game.
Reesman ran to his catcher Isaac Maclay and shook his hand after the final out, starting the celebration of his one-hitter and the Huskies’ 4-1 victory Tuesday.
Reesman struck out nine, walked two and hit batters three times in seven innings.
“I’m glad we don’t have to face him,” Huskies coach Bernie Howard said.
Moments earlier, Howard noted Reesman’s physical gifts. The Pittsburgh commit stands nearly 6 feet, 7 inches tall and throws 89 mph. As State College coach Troy Allen said, he’s going to a Division-I school and getting looks from professional scouts for a reason.
Still, Allen is concerned with his team’s offensive production.
Tucker Triebold recorded the Little Lions’ lone hit, a single in the second inning. Brandon Raquet scored the team’s lone run, thanks to aggressive baserunning in the first inning.
It wasn’t enough for pitcher Bailey Ishler, who turned in a quality start. The right-hander went five innings, striking out eight while allowing four runs on six hits and three walks to take the loss.
“I think most of our losses have been on our offense,” Allen said. “Our pitchers have been phenomenal and I couldn’t ask for more from ‘em. I’ll take an outing like that any day of the week. That wasn’t on Bailey. That was on our offense.”
Mifflin County (5-4) got on the board after seeing seven pitches.
Huskies leadoff hitter Cade Attick lined a single up the middle after working a full count in the top of the first inning. Isaiah Kearns followed Attick and hammered the first pitch he saw over the center-field fence for a two-run home run.
“It was outta here in a hurry,” Howard said. “He’s just a quality, quality player. … He can really stroke it.”
Ishler bounced back to strike out the side in the first inning.
The Little Lions cut into the 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the first.
Reesman hit Raquet with a pitch with one out. The lefty then tried to pick him off, but Raquet got a good jump and reached second after Mifflin County first baseman Eddie Hamman’s throw sailed into the outfield.
With two outs, Raquet took off for third before Reesman went into his windup. Reesman then started to come to the plate and didn’t throw a pitch, knowing Raquet had an easy steal. The next pitch got past Maclay, rolling a few feet from the plate to allow the speedy Raquet to score.
The Little Lions (4-4) never scored again.
Triebold singled past the diving attempt of Attick, Mifflin County’s second baseman, in the second inning.
It was the team’s first and only hit against Reesman.
“He had really good control of all of his pitches, really — his fastball, his curveball, all of his offspeeds,” Triebold said. “Really whenever we went up to the plate, we had the mentality, just hit the fastball and lay off of his curveballs.”
But the Little Lions couldn’t catch up to the fastball.
“When you haven’t seen that kind of speed before, and we haven’t up to this point, hitters were behind,” Allen said. “(We) hit a lot of ground balls because we’re late.”
State College had one runner reach second base in the final six innings, and Reesman retired seven straight batters to finish the game.
The one-hit performance highlighted State College’s weakness so far this season.
“I honestly don’t have too many positives to say about our hitting,” Allen said. “We just got to get in practice and start working things out. We got to redo everything hitting-wise.”