Central Mountain baseball team advances
WINGATE — With a 12-0 victory over Peters Township Monday, Central Mountain solidified itself as one of the top-eight teams in the state.
The Wildcats’ shutout win was highlighted by a combined no-hitter and four home runs. CM is now slated to play its quarterfinal game Thursday afternoon as just eight Class 5A teams remain in contention of a state title.
“It’s exciting. We just got to keep doing our work each and every day, we have to just keep working hard and I’d put this team up against anybody. They’re a great group of guys,” Central Mountain coach Mike Kramer said following his team’s win. “I don’t think I have ever seen four home runs in one inning. I have seen a lot of baseball. The momentum was in our favor and the confidence is there. We talked about lifting mental barriers before the game, they lifted them, and we expected to do well.”
Central Mountain’s big inning came in the fourth. The Wildcats tallied eight runs in total after entering the inning with a 4-0 lead over Peters Township. Cy Probst kicked off the scoring spree with a solo shot to left-center to get things rolling in the Wildcat dugout. Kaden Falls, who finished the game with five RBIs, later came up to the plate with the bases loaded. Falls launched a grand slam into the woods behind the BEA baseball field to give the Wildcats a 9-0 lead. The fireworks did not stop there, Aidan Major joined the home run party as he hit a two-run homer.
“I couldn’t be outdone. I had to go get one on my own,” Major said in regard to the Wildcats’ handful of big swings. “It’s so cool for our team and the individuals who have been a part of that. That’s the first time in my life I have seen something like that.”
Peters Township then made its second pitching change of the inning following Major’s homer. Probst finished off the best inning of his career by hitting his second home run of the inning.
“I just wanted to put the ball in play and help my team out, and fortunately both times I was able to put a good swing on it. My other teammates saw the ball very well today, we were able to put a lot of runs up against a good team. We’re in states now and we’re going to see some really good teams, and this was one of them,” Probst said.
After Central Mountain’s eight-run third, Major remained on the mound with a no-hitter still in effect. Major took down the side in the top part of the fourth to wrap his day up. The senior struck out four in four innings of hitless baseball. Brush finished off the work for the Wildcats as the sophomore retired all three Peters Township batters faced in the fifth.
“In the playoffs you want to try to preserve your pitching. Getting out in a game early in the first round is huge. Aidan will be ready to go in our next outing, Chase Brush came in and threw strikes, finished the game off for us,” Kramer said.
It was nothing but smiles from the Wildcats after their smooth-sailing victory Monday.
Major, who is eligible to pitch in Thursday’s quarterfinal game, said the team is just glad to still be playing ball.
“It’s just good to put Central Mountain baseball back on the map. It’s been several years since we’ve made the state playoffs,” Major said. “It’s good to finally get back here and make some noise.”
Peters Township 000 00–0 0 2
Central Mountain 048 0x–12 11 2
W–Aidan Major. L–Sam Miller.
Top Central Mountain hitters: Kaden Falls 1-3, HR, 5 RBIs; Cy Probst 2-3, 2 HRs, 2 RBIs; Blade Myers 2-2; Gabe Johnson 2-3, RBI; Aidan Major 1-3, 2 RBIs.
Next game: Central Mountain vs. Franklin Regional or West Allegheny in PIAA Class 5A quarterfinals, Thursday, TBA