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CM baseball win its fifth straight

Central Mountain's Connor Foltz slides into third base. TIM WEIGHT/For the Express

MILL HALL – Central Mountain’s fifth straight victory came in unique fashion. Despite using three separate pitchers and plunking four batters, the Wildcats managed to defeat Shamokin, 14-4, in five innings Monday.

It was quite the day at the plate for senior Peyton Johnson. Johnson–who went 3-for-3 with a homerun and a pair of RBIs–now has a total of 18 hits this season.

“We were hitting the ball well,” Johnson said. “It was a great win, and we came back with the energy late in the game. We need to get back to work and see what happens. We’re getting into the groove a little bit, as time goes on, we will be in good shape.”

Central Mountain tallied 14 hits in total. Outside of Johnson’s trio of hits, Nate Helms, Aidan Major and Gabe Johnson each recorded multiple-hit games. Offense played a crucial win during Monday’s win for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Central Mountain picked up three runs in the first inning after Cy Probst and Cru Stover were both able to string together a pair of solid at-bats. Probst’s two-run double broke the scoreless tie and later scored on a SAC fly from Stover.

Gabe Johnson tossed 2 & 1/3 innings for CM in the win. TIM WEIGHT/For the Express

Cayde McCloskey–who earned the win on the bump for the Wildcats–recorded two more strikeouts in the second inning to bring his total to four in just two innings of action. Johnson’s homerun then occurred in the bottom part of the second as Central Mountain lead 5-0 after two.

Things were looking solid for the Wildcats after two complete. Neither team managed to push any runs across the plate during the third as the score remained 5-0 heading into the fourth.

That is when the Shamokin Indians managed to make the game interesting. Thanks to a pair of walks, HBPs, and singles, Shamokin scored four runs in the fourth to make it a game. Central Mountain used two different pitchers as right-hander Gabe Johnson was able to get the Wildcats out of the dreaded inning with their lead still intact.

“We got complacent. We scored early which is good, we always want to score first. Things just started falling apart. Pitching started to let us down a little bit and then when we finally realized we have to throw strikes and let our defense play and everything worked out,” Wildcats coach Mike Kramer said.

Following the four-run inning from Shamokin, Central Mountain scored nine runs over the next two innings to secure the 10-run rule win. Shamokin’s Matt Long–who suffered the loss for the Indians by giving up eight runs–was pulled after the fourth inning.

Gabe Johnson pieced together a couple of hits in the closing innings to help Central Mountain close the game out. The Wildcats also got some solid bat production late from Levi Schlesinger and Connor Fultz.

“We ended up coming through when we needed to. The young guys came through big today to end the game early. These guys got their opportunities, and they came through,” Kramer said.

The Wildcats travel to Mifflinburg Wednesday and host Selinsgrove Friday in hopes of continuing their win streak.

Shamokin 000 40X X–4 4 0

Central Mountain 320 36XX–14 14 0

Pitchers: W – Cayde McCloskey; L- Matt Long

Shamokin top hitters: Hunter Rodman 1-2, 1B; Hayden Kramer 1-3;Tyler Whary 1-3; Hunter Bates 1-3.

Central Mountain top hitters: Peyton Johnson 3-3, HR 2 RBIs; Nate Helms 2-2 3 RBIs; Cy Probst 1-1, 3B, 2 RBIs; Gabe Johnson 2-2, RBI; Aidan Major 2-3; Tanner Swinehart 1-1, 3B.

Records: Shamokin 0-9, Central Mountain 7-3.

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