LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County baseball team got a stunning performance from Tanner Kibe in a quick and efficient pitchers' duel on Thursday against Selinsgrove as the Huskies took the win 3-1.
In a game that took less than two hours, Kibe and Selinsgrove pitcher Ryan Wagner both went the distance for their teams, worked fast and threw plenty of strikes making some innings seem more like a commercial break.
Kibe was in rhythm from the beginning as he sat the Seals down in the first in order with a fly to left, a strikeout looking and a grounder to third. The Huskies jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the first as Hunter Walker doubled to left and was brought home when Tanner Kibe singled between third and short.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Selinsgrove’s Alex Moyer, right, slides into second base ahead of the throw to Mifflin County’s Evan Pupo (13), who is backed up by teammate Hunter Walker Thursday in Lewistown. See more photos online at cu.lewistownsentinel.com
In the second both pitchers easily worked as Kibe sat the Seals down after giving up a leadoff infield single and Wagner took the Huskies down in order in the second and both pitchers breezed through the third.
In the top of the fourth the Seals got on the board when Alex Moyer walked and stole second. Lorenz Schall hit a bloop single over first basemen Ted Wilson's head, which put Moyer at third. Seals first baseman Erick Elliot then hit a slow chopper to short and although Walker booted the ball it was hit too slow for him to get Elliot on a clean play. Schall scampered home to tie the game.
The Huskies came right back in the bottom of the fourth as Kibe was hit by a pitch and reached second on a passed ball and Wilson doubled to left center scoring Kibe. After Wilson reached third on Dalton Long's grounder to second, Josh Rosefky singled to left scoring Wilson.
Mifflin County hosts Central Mountain today
From there Kibe took the ball and controlled the game throwing strikes and keeping the Seals off balance.
"They're a good ball team, so the plan was to keep the ball down, work the spots and let the defense do the work," Kibe said.
The defense didn't get much work as Kibe struck out eleven and gave up just two hits on the day, changing up his approach as the game went on to keep the Seals guessing all afternoon.
"We changed some pitches up and threw a lot of curveballs the second and third time around instead of just fastballs," Kibe said.
Ryan Wagner kept the Seals in the game as the Huskies didn't score again, even in the sixth after they got a leadoff single from Kibe and a double from Wilson. With two on and no outs, Wagner got Long to line out to short, Rosefsky to ground to short and Trevor Peachey to fly out to left.
Huskies coach Travis Zook was happy that his team got the win but that stranding those runners made the game that much tighter.
"There was a couple times in the game where we left runners on base, especially there at the end we left runners on second and third," Zook said. "I would've like to gotten one of them in, but other than that I thought we got guys on and we got them in."
Kibe, Walker and Wilson had two hits and a run each for the Huskies as they provided the offense. Zook knew that a close game like this provides experience for his team against tougher competition down the road.
"I think it helps a lot, it allows us to make some adjustment especially in the batters box," Zook said. "Defensively we didn't get a whole lot of play in the field but it keeps us mentally sharp on the game and focused on what's going on, cause any small mistake and a good team like Selinsgrove will capitalize on it. So it makes us work harder and that will help us in some games we got coming up like tomorrow with Central Mountain."
The win keeps the Huskies undefeated, now at 8-0. They're back home again today against Central Mountain.