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Pilots fly past Cougars for 7-2 victory

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Frontier catcher J.D. Schmidt, right, makes a diving tag attempt on River’s Mark Martie during a high school baseball game Thursday in New Matamoras. Martie was ruled safe on the play as the Pilots won 7-2.

NEW MATAMORAS — Elijah Wayt tossed 4 1-3 innings of no-hit ball on a rainy Thursday evening to help lift visiting River to a 7-2 victory versus Frontier.

The 3-3 Cougars of skipper Kurt Satterfield, who return to action at 3 p.m. Saturday at Shadyside, didn’t record their first hit until a Slade Amos infield chop single to third. After he stole second and third, he scored on losing pitcher Noah West’s run-scoring double to left, but the hosts still trailed 7-1 after five.

Wayt went five innings and allowed just two hits, one earned run and issued two free passes to go along with six punchouts. Hunter Nething worked the final two frames in relief. He gave up one hit, one walk and an earned run.

“We popped it up a lot when we did hit it and we didn’t hit very good until like the fourth inning we finally started making contact,” admitted Satterfield, who watched West work 3-plus frames with one walk, five strikeouts and six hits and four earned runs allowed. “Straight up in the air. We had a game this year we popped up 12 times and it’s usually against slow pitching like that.

“We actually hit the better pitching, better, as far as harder. That’s what killed us and they had an inning or two when they did it. It wasn’t because we threw around or made errors. They hit the ball. We’re young. We got a bunch of sophomores out on the field. That wasn’t the reason. We just weren’t hitting at all.”

Catcher Max Casto singled to start the third and stole second. Pilot leadoff man Mark Martie then delivered a run-scoring single to left as outfielder Karter Satterfield nearly had an assist. River went ahead 2-0 on Jake Rose’s RBI single to left which plated Martie on what turned out to be a bang-bang play at the dish as Cougar catcher J.D. Schmidt was adamant about making the tag in time.

“That was a little bit of a momentum changer,” coach Satterfield added. “That was a big play in the game. If we get that out it stops the bleeding a little bit and that took the wind out of us a little.”

River (3-1) was able to take control with a five-run fourth as the visitors sent nine batters to the plate. Wayt’s stand-up leadoff three-bagger got things going and it was 3-0 after Nething’s RBI knock, which led to West being replaced by Lucas Cox, who worked 2 1-3 innings and allowed one hit, an earned run to go along with three free passes and as many strikeouts.

After Conner Hunter drew a walk to load the bases, Martie hit a shot to Amos in center and he nearly made a sliding catch. However, he was able to get an outfield assist as Casto was tagged out en route to third after having to hold up. No. 2 hitter Brody Lollathin then produced an RBI double and the lone Cougar error followed for the 7-0 score.

Although Schmidt came in relief of Cox to record the final five outs in order, which included a pair of strikeouts, the Cougars only mustered one more run in the last of the seventh. Austin Holdren doubled and after Amos was hit by a pitch and stole second to put runners on second and third, West had an RBI groundout. Nething coaxed a Gaige Bowersock pop up for the final out.

“We didn’t quit and for a team that’s lost a couple in a row it would’ve been easy to say the heck with it,” noted coach Satterfield, who got an outfield assist on an inning-ending 9-6 double play from right fielder Jacob Gutberlet in the second.

“We played seven innings in a mud hole and I’m proud of them for that. We just have to get on the sticks. I’m just impatient as a coach. We’ll come around I think.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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