Timely hits often prove to be a key to victory and Cashtown had them in spades in its 6-1 victory over visiting Biglerville in Game 1 of the teams’ best-of-five South Penn League semifinal series Tuesday evening at the Cashtown Fire Department.
Every one of the Pirates’ runs were scored with two outs and four of them came in innings where the Black Sox had retired the first two hitters of the frame.
“We just couldn’t get off the field defensively,” Biglerville manager Travis Byers said. “They scored in each of the first four innings, all after there were two outs in the inning. Credit to them for getting the key hits, but we’ve got to get ourselves off the field.”
Cashtown (28-3) scored in the first inning when Robert Rohrbaugh poked a single into left field, and a muff by Black Sox left fielder Chase Long allowed Tyler Reinert to come all the way around from first for the opening salvo of the contest.
Biglerville (12-19) had a chance to even the game in the second, but Reinert flagged down Tyler Kime’s smash with two on and none out and turned it into a double play as he tagged third and then fired across the diamond to retire Kime at first.
“That was the biggest play of the game,” Byers said. “If that gets by him, we get a run and have two on with none out with a chance to take the lead.”
Cashtown hurler Chase King said of Reinert’s play: “That was a big momentum boost for us. That ball was smoked and he stayed in front of it, knocked it down and got a double play out of it.”
The hosts added a run in the second when J.C. Collins singled home Simeon Davis, who had singled with two down before stealing second to set up the run.
In the third, King aided his own cause when he tomahawked a double to right-center to chase home Reinert and Chris Schachle, both of whom drew walks earlier in the inning. Schachle’s free pass came on a 10-pitch at-bat.
“I got down 0-2 in the count and had no idea what to expect,” King said. “I was guessing fastball, took a defensive swing at it and it worked out.”
Back-to-back two-baggers with two down in the fourth from Zach Ketterman and Michael Tempel plated another run for the Buccos to bump the advantage to 5-0.
The following inning saw Long create the only run of the evening for the Black Sox when he reached on an error with one down. He then stole second and third and came home on a throwing error.
King went the distance to earn the victory and allowed an unearned run and three hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. He tossed 90 pitches, with 66 of them for strikes.
“Biglerville can hit the ball and I wanted to keep them guessing at the plate,” King said. “I mixed in a slider that I don’t usually use very much tonight and that worked well.”
Game 2 of the series is set for Thursday evening at Biglerville’s Oakside Community Park with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. The Black Sox will send Brendan Delridge to the hill looking to even the series, while Cashtown manager Eric Ketterman hadn’t decided who he would use, but mentioned Reinert or Cody Smith as the likely candidates to get the ball.
“Biglerville had just swept a good Littlestown team, so we knew that they’d come in confident tonight,” Ketterman said. “We’re definitely not overlooking them. They have a good team.”
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Biglerville 000 010 0 — 1 3 3
Cashtown 112 101 x — 6 8 2
Tanner Byers, Seth Redding (7) and Pat Armor; Chase King and J.C. Collins. WP: King. LP: Ta. Byers. SO-BB: Byers 1-4, Redding 0-0; King 9-1. 2B: C-Zach Ketterman, Michael Tempel, King.