He sent a soft toss to first base.
It was a short throw, a pick-off attempt, just to keep the runner honest at the bag.
Altoona, though, didn't see it that way.
"That's his best. That's all he's got," the murmurs creeped out of the dugout.
Trey Stover just soaked it - and other things - in.
Never once did it rattle him.
"Motivation," he said.
Sometimes, it's best to just let a sleeping dog alone.
Don't poke it with a stick.
Don't try to rile it up.
Altoona was wrong. Dead wrong, in fact. Stover was saving his best for when batters came to the plate.
Eleven walked back, bats in hand. Some just shook their heads. Others just stood there, trying to compute what exactly happened.
One player needed two at-bats, and watched seven pitches before he even lifted the bat off his shoulder.
"He doesn't want to swing the bat, Trey," someone yelled from the CM dugout.
Altoona manager Tom Smith, standing in the coach's box at third, shook his head in agreeance.
"I can't disagree, there. He hasn't swung the bat, and I don't know why," he responded back.
He worked the corners to perfection.
His fastball popped Ryan Hill's mitt, as the sound of cracking rawhide resonated probably to Farrandsville.
His curve broke, starting chest-high and dropping to the knees in an instant.
That's the difference between Trey Stover of 2009 and Trey Stover of 2011.
He's a mature hurler who understands the game - and maybe even himself - better.
"I learned how important it was to have command," said Stover, a senior pitcher at Central Mountain. "That's probably one of the biggest things. I have command of my pitches. My curve and slider has definitely improved, and I learned that I just have to throw strikes. When I was a sophomore, you think that you have to strike everyone out. But I have a good defense behind me, and I am confident that they will make the plays."
Stover broke on the scene in 2009 as a sophomore making his varsity debut against Huntingdon at the Mill Hall Community Park.
Amazingly, he remembers it vividly.
"I gave up four runs, and I got the win," he said. "I remember that (Cody) Dolan came in to close it out. I gave up seven hits, but a lot has changed since then."
One thing that hasn't changed is his passion.
You can see that throughout the course of seven innings.
He's calm, cool and collected when pitching.
But when that ball is put in play, he yells for his teammates. He's the first to clap his hands, trying to pump up the bats as he runs off the hill.
"Trey just loves the game of baseball," CM manager Mike Kramer said. "He battles and competes every game. All he wants to do is be on the field. He did an outstanding job at the plate for us, and he's a valuable asset in the field. I expect to see more of that as we continue through the playoffs."
Love and respect for a sport that's his life.
"This is the love of my life. I love baseball. All I wanted to do was go to college and play baseball," said Stover, who will continue his career at Hartford University in the fall. "I just love being around the game."
"For me, it's been a very passionate season. There is a lot of passion on this team for the game of baseball, and we've been playing together for so long that we just love being around each other. It's a great atmosphere to be around."
With his 11 strikeouts Thursday, Stover set the single-season record for punch outs with 74. In his Wildcat career, he's 13-1 with 131 strikeouts. In 2011, he's 7-0 with a 1.24 ERA.
He's also on a streak of 14 straight scoreless innings, and he hasn't allowed an earned run in his last three starts.
Right now, those stats don't matter.
Tuesday's District 6-9 Class AAAA championship vs. DuBois at Blair County Ballpark.
"I'll remember this one forever, but you have to move on to the next one," Stover said after the Altoona game. "The district championship is going to be a big game. We just have to take it one game at a time. We'll find out next week what happens."
Tom Fox is sports editor at The Express. He can be reached at email@example.com.