Mudhens, Hawks pitchers duel at Miesville
Amateur baseball fans watched the Miesville Mudhens and the Hastings Hawks face off Sunday in a pitching battle that ended with 14 strike-outs, four hits, one broken bat, and, in eight and a half innings, no runs.
"That's what happens when you have the two best pitchers in the league," Hawks player/manager Adam Barta said.
Mark Moriarty pitched eight complete innings for the Hawks at Miesville's Jack Rohr field. His only strategy was simply to "pound the strike zone," he said.
It worked. Moriarty struck out 11 batters before being relieved by Derek Pfeffer in the top of the ninth.
"Especially against this lineup, it's a good day," he said.
"Mark was awesome," Barta said. "He kept us in it the whole way."
Chris Olean threw seven complete innings for the Mudhens, and while he only struck out three, the Hawks only got one hit out of him. He was relieved by Luke Rasmussen, who also allowed one hit.
Neither team had been able to score going into the bottom of the ninth, but that was no surprise to either team.
Pitching against Moriarty, "you know you can't get many runs," Olean said.
It was Miesville's Paul Eppen who finally made it around to home plate. Pfeffer walked Eppen and Matt Vanderbosch advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt. A ground-out by Nate Otto sent Eppen to third, and from there he scored on a wild pitch to win the game for Miesville, 1-0.
Olean and Miesville player/manager Garrett Retka both said the win was a lucky one.
"We knew we were gonna see one of the best pitchers in the league," Retka said.
"We were very fortunate to have won," Olean said.
Three Miesville errors allowed Hastings to gain a few bases, but the Hawks couldn't use the opportunities to score.
Miesville is leading the standings in the Classic Cannon Valley League with seven wins and no losses. Overall, the Mudhens are 12-2. Hastings is 3-4 in the CCVL and 8-7 overall.