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Central Mountain edges Lewisburg in baseball, 1-0

TIM WEIGHT/For The Express Central Mountain’s Aidan Major pitches against Lewisburg on Wednesday.

MILL HALL — After Central Mountain right-hander Aidan Major delivered a pitch to Lewisburg’s Kaiden Wagner in the bottom of the fifth inning in scoreless game, Wagner hit it right back at the mound to Major.

Major, who took two steps to his right, used his bare hand to pick the rolling ball off the infield grass and throw Wagner out at first base. The out marked five shutout innings for Major and the Wildcats as he strolled to the Central Mountain dugout with 10 strikeouts under his belt.

The play to end the top of the fifth and retire Wagner was a glimpse of what Major was able to do in during Central Mountain’s 1-0 win over Lewisburg on Wednesday.

Later, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Major came to the plate with nobody out as teammate Peyton Johnson standing alone on third base. Major lofted the pitch into deep center field, scoring Johnson on the sacrifice fly and breaking the 0-0 tie. Johnson, who tripled to begin the bottom of the inning, would go on to be the only player on either team to touch home.

It was the definition of a pitchers’ duel between the Wildcats and Dragons. Lewisburg’s Owen Arndt went five innings, surrendering one run and striking out six. As for Major, he threw 6 1/3 in a one-hit effort.

TIM WEIGHT/For The Express Central Mountain’s Peyton Johnson slides into third as Lewisburg’s Max Mitchell awaits the throw.

“This is huge. Not only for myself but for the ball team as well,” Major said. “I know to we started off the season with a bit of a slump, but this will be our first win of the season at home. That’s a huge bonus, this is a great team victory.”

Major was responsible for a 10-strikeout performance on the mound, the game’s only RBI at the plate and the win on the mound. He said he was able to keep his composure on the hill by remembering and trusting his training.

“I was trying to keep doing what I’ve been told all the way up the ranks. Keep believing in my catcher, who was doing a heck of a job behind the plate. Just working through the zone and ahead of hitters.”

Central Mountain’s narrow victory over Lewisburg marked its second win of the season after a 1-3 start. Wildcats coach Mike Kramer said his team’s preparation paid off as they were able to leave Mill Hall with a win for the first time in two years.

“It’s been a long time coming. We’ve worked hard and prepared, we came out on top today. It was a great pitching performance on both sides. Aidan did an excellent job,” Kramer said. “I would have liked to see the lead to be extended a little more or even see us score earlier in the game. That’s something, as we’re going through, that will get better. I was happy with how we approached the at bats. We put good contact on the ball, and we had guys taking good at bats.”

TIM WEIGHT/For The Express Central Mountain’s Peyton Johnson scores against Lewisburg during Wednesday’s game.

Kramer said Major’s ability to work ahead in the count during Wednesday’s outing helped him find success in terms of longevity.

“He was able to go further in the game because he was able to get out on top. In the beginning of the game, he was getting a little behind and then he figured it out and was able to get his command. That was huge. Once he gets his feel, he’s tough to hit,” Kramer said.

Lewisburg 000 000 0 — 0 7 0

Central Mountain 000 010 x — 1 1 0

Owen Arndt, Josh Heath (6) and Shea Girton. Aidan Major, Ashton Probst (7) and Cy Probst. W–Major. L–Arndt.

Top Lewisburg hitter: Josh Heath 1-3, 1B. Top Central Mountain hitters: Peyton Johnson 2-3, 3B, run; Aidan Major 1-2, RBI ; Cru Stover 2-3, 2B.

Records: Lewisburg (2-4), Central Mountain (2-3).

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