Disque too much for Spring Mills
It was a Regional semifinal game where one school had 10 state championships and the other was only in its second year of existence. Jefferson came to Spring Mills with a glittering 33-2 record and the Cardinals had lost more often than they had won.
But this was no mismatch.
Instead, it was a classic pitcher’s duel where the Cougars showed strike-throwing left-hander Andy Disque and the Cardinals countered with hard-to-hit righty Wyatt Stuckey.
In the end, neither pitcher really buckled at all.
Disque struck out 10 and allowed only two baserunners through the game’s first six innings. Stuckey was nearly as stingy, allowing just three hits through his first six innings of what was a scoreless duel witnessed by fans ringing the field’s perimeter in their lawn chairs and with their rooting interests.
Jefferson got two runs in the seventh without the benefit of a hit.
Chase Crockett was hit by a Stuckey pitch, and after a sacrifice bunt, Disque drew a walk.
Stuckey retired the next Cougar, but uncorked a wild pitch to move the Jefferson runners to second and third.
Neither team had made an error to that point in the scoreless struggle.
But Wil Oliver unloaded a grounder toward third that couldn’t be handled. Both runners scored unearned runs and the Cougars had finally dented Spring Mills’ armor and taken a 2-0 lead.
Disque didn’t have it easy in his part of the seventh. Cody Hammond and Bryant Scheuch had singles to begin the last offensive effort by the Cardinals. Disque regained control of the situation. He struck out Eli McGargee who had vainly tried to sacrifice. Matt Mason was out on a routine fly to Crockett in right field. And Disque had protected his hard-won lead when he induced Ben Wright to ground into a fielder’s choice that went from shortstop Paul Witt to second baseman Andrew King.
Disque had a nifty four-hitter. And he hadn’t walked any batters or hit any of them with an errant pitch.
Stuckey had a three-hitter, but he hit a man and walked another in what proved to be the pivotal seventh inning.
The Cougars earned a berth in the Regional finals, which they played at home on Wednesday, May 27, against Buckhannon, a team that defeated Elkins in the other Regional semifinal.
The large crowd had seen a timeless baseball axiom played out again. “Pitching is at least 75-percent of the game” the adage claims. In the Disque-Stuckey matchup, pitching was at least 95-percent of the game.