COAL TOWNSHIP — Any matchup between Mount Carmel and Shamokin, whether it’s baseball, football, or even checkers, is sure to make for an entertaining contest. Spectators were given just that at Thursday’s baseball game in between the two rivals, which ended up being a 8-3 victory for the Red Tornadoes.
MCA jumped out to a quick start in the top half of the first inning. After John Ayres was hit by a pitch, Thomas Schultz hit a double and the Tornadoes had two runners in scoring position. Ayres scored on a wild pitch, and Schultz would score on a sacrifice fly making things 2-0 heading into the home half of the inning.
Shamokin came out swinging during its first at-bats. After a stolen base by the Indians, an RBI single by Casen Sandri cut the early deficit in half. Sandri, however, was thrown out attempting to reach second on the play — and any potential scoring opportunities for the Indians were put to a stop.
“We like to preach getting on top early because it’s definitely deflating as a high school team to give up runs in the first three innings and now all of a sudden you’re playing catchup the whole game,” said Mount Carmel’s head coach Brenton Eades.
“Shamokin is a great team, they have a great coach, great players, and you can tell they were fighting the whole game, but it just wasn’t enough to catchup.”
In the second, the Red Tornadoes added one more to their lead after two errors were committed by the Indians’ defense, making things 3-1.
Shamokin responded by doing what they do best — steal bases. With Mark Wetzel on third and John Delorso on first, the base runners each bolted for a new bag. After MCA catcher Logan Wills threw down to second base, Wetzel scored, keeping the Indians in the game.
Now a 3-2 ballgame in the third, it was Mount Carmel’s turn. Wills got the bats rolling again with an RBI double and after another costly error by the Indians, the Tornadoes found themselves up 5-2.
Shamokin responded with a run of its own in the third, but that was all the Indians’ offense had left in them. They hit the ball well in the first three innings and even knocked some in the gaps. But after three frames, Schultz and the Red Tornado defense settled in and did not allow another run to cross the plate.
Mount Carmel added a pair of runs to its lead in the seventh inning, making it an 8-3 ball game.
Schultz, who recorded nine strikeouts on the day and threw just over 100 pitches, hurled a complete game. The righty closed the door on the Indians in the final inning with a strikeout, groundout and a fly ball to center field.
“Obviously a Shamokin-Mount Carmel game is a big game. These kids grew up together, played teener league together and legion together. So, they were ready for this game,” said Eades.
“Just have to take things one game at a time and we have a big road ahead of us.”
Shamokin is now 2-3 on the season and will be back in action on Saturday when they will take on Sugar Valley Rural in Loganton at 10 a.m.
For Mount Carmel, Thursday’s win was its fifth on the year, makiing them 5-1. It’s next game will be at home on Monday, when it will take on Hughesville at 4:30 p.m.