Somerset Wins Pitching Duel

By Jake Oswalt
Central PA Area Scout

StifflerIt was a clash of pitching styles. Both were effective and made for quite the pitching duel. In the end, Somerset’s Ian Stiffler was more dominant despite his team being no-hit by Huntingdon’s Josh Foster. Somerset scraped across a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to win 1-0 and moves on to next week’s District 6 AAA championship game against Hollidaysburg.

Foster, a senior righty, held the talented Somerset offense without a hit, but suffered the loss. Using a combination of knuckleballs and curves he was able to tame a Somerset lineup that entered with a team batting average of .377 and had averaged 10 runs per game.

Stiffler, a VCU recruit, allowed two hits, walked one, and struck out 13. Sophomore third baseman Nate Gerhart was the only Huntingdon player to solve Stiffler, going 2-for-3 for the Bearcats (9-11). Stiffler struck out the side in the first and sixth innings. The senior struck out five consecutive batters in the fifth and sixth innings as well as sitting down seven of eight batters between the fourth and sixth innings. No Huntingdon hitter advanced past first base in the dominating performance. Stiffler threw 86 pitches, 58 of which were strikes.

Somerset mounted its only scoring threat in the 6th inning when Stiffler worked a leadoff walk. 2B Ross Dirienzo sacrificed him to second but reached base on a throwing error by the catcher putting runners on second and third with no outs. After a fly out, Somerset (17-4) attempted a suicide squeeze but Stiffler left a hair early and got in a rundown. The athletic senior eventually eluded a tag at the plate to begin and end the night's scoring.