COAL TOWNSHIP — In any sport, a game is usually decided by just a few plays. Shamokin did not have those plays go in their direction in Monday’s loss to Millville.
Things looked good for the Indians after they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to some well executed baserunning by Quinn Rollman who stole second, reached third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a passed ball.
Shamokin (2-2) stayed aggressive with runners on base, and an RBI double by Jake Thompson added to the Indians’ lead in the fourth inning. Nathan Miller, who scored on the play, got himself into scoring position by stealing second.
“We got a lot of speed guys in the beginning of our lineup,” Shamokin’s head coach Andrew Derr said. “We’ll steal on anybody, and that’s how we’ve been for the last couple of years.”
Casen Sandri had everything working for him on the mound, and played a big part in keeping the lead for the Indians. The freshman had a no-hitter going into the fifth, and was able to pitch out of a few tough spots despite Millville sending some fly balls out towards the warning track.
In the fifth, the game started to take shape.
Millville (4-1) was able to pack the bases loaded with just one out. But with the way Sandri was dealing on the mound, runs weren’t a guarantee. After an infield fly, he was just a few pitches away from getting out of another jam. However, a throwing error allowed Millville’s first two runs of the day to cross home plate. A single in the next at-bat stretched the Quakers’ lead to 4-2, which is where the game stayed.
Shamokin’s Mark Wetzel looked like he was going to cut the deficit in half after hitting a deep shot to left field in the sixth inning, but it hooked into foul territory at the last second. Also, a close play at second base that could’ve gone either way squashed a scoring opportunity and got Millville out of the inning. Derr pleaded his case to the umpire following the play and was tossed from the ballgame.
The Indians again looked to do some damage at the plate in the seventh after getting two runners in scoring position and the go-ahead run to the plate. They couldn’t rattle Millville’s strong bullpen though, which closed things out for a 4-2 victory.
“I’m happy with the way they played for the most part,” said coach Derr. “We’re fighting and we’re in every game. We had the winning run up to the plate after going down there, and we just kept fighting.”
Shamokin will return to action on Thursday at home, where they will take on Mount Carmel at 4:30.