CURWENSVILLE — The playoff push is on for high school baseball, and for the first time in many years, the Curwensville Golden Tide are ready for some post-season action. But, the regular season is still not done, and on Monday night the next-to-last game for the Tide meant a visit from the West Branch Warriors, who already beat the Tide earlier in the season.
This game went entirely the opposite way, as the Tide played strong defense from the opening pitch to the final out, and did not allow one run to cross the plate, taking home a 6-0 win that almost ensures a winning season for 2021.
“We played extremely well today,” Tide head coach Tom Harzinski said afterwards. “This is when we need to be in stride, and we certainly have that. Jake (Mullins) pitched excellent today, getting ahead of the count on a lot of batters.”
The ace pitcher not only pitched a shutout, but did so by being on the hill for all seven innings. Mullins yielded only six hits, none more than a single, while fanning nine batters, and only walking two.
Curwensville got on the board first in the opening inning. With two runners on, Keegan Wilson connected on a full count line-drive into center field. The RBI-single brought in Spencer Hoover, while advancing Tyler Lee into third. Two batters later, Mullins helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly into right field, bringing Lee in for the second run of the game. Curwensville then added another run in the third on an RBI-single that scooted by second baseman Doug Kolesar, bringing Hoover across home for the second time.
The fifth inning is when the Tide put the game away on back-to-back at bats. An RBI-single from Wilson, his second of the game, and a fielder’s choice from Jake McCracken put the game at 5-0 in favor of the Tide, and at that point the Warrior dugout made a pitching change, pulling Owen Graham.
Graham got tagged with the loss in four innings of work, giving up five runs, four earned, and striking out five.
Curwensville’s final run came in the sixth inning courtesy of Butler, whose RBI-single into center field brought in Nick Fegert.
Harzinski’s team has been on a roll this season, scoring it’s ninth win of the season on Monday. Considering that last year, the baseball diamond was bare, with no batting practice, or fielding drills, this has been a successful year for the Tide, and for the town.
“We’re just so fortunate to be playing this year. It is great for the kids, the coaches, and the community. It’s a great season for sure, and these kids deserve it,” Harzinski said.
Curwensville (9-8) has one remaining game on the regular season, one that Harzinski already knows will be a critical game. On Wednesday the Tide host their season finale against the Kane Wolves, who beat Curwensville back on April 6, 9-4. First pitch is slated for 4:15 p.m.
SCORE BY INNING
West Branch 000 000 0 – 0 6 0
Curwensville 201 021 X – 6 11 0
West Branch – 0
Doug Kolesar-2B/SS 3020, Zach Tiracorda-SS/P 2000, Isaac Tiracorda-C 2010, Tyler Biggans-RF 2000, Logan Folmar-1B 3000, Kyle Moore-LF 3010, Brody Rothrock-3B 3010, Anthony Guglielmi-CF 3010, Owen Graham-P/1B 3000. TOTALS 24 0 6 0.
Curwensville – 6
Spencer Hoover-C 3320, Thad Butler-SS 3221, Keegan Wilson-1B 3022, Jake McCracken-CF 3012, Jake Mullins-P 2011, Matt Brown-DH 3000, Shane Sunderlin-3B 3010, Jayson Rowles-CR 0000, Chase Graham-RF 2020, Nick Fegert-CR 0100, Tyler Lee-2B 2000. TOTALS 24 6 11 6.
SAC: Z. Tiracorda/Lee
CS: Butler, C. Graham, McCracken
West Branch: Graham-4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 SO, 2 BB; Z. Tiracorda-2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 SO, 0 BB.
Curwensville: Mullins-7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 9 SO, 2 BB.