Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Mounts in D3 Baseball Finals

In the first inning Dillon Good slammed the door.

Then the Ephrata ace double-locked it.

Riding a fastball that seemingly generated as much heat as Tuesday’s high-80s temps in Hummelstown, Good shut down Cumberland Valley 1-0 on four hits to lead the Mountaineers to their first District Three title game and clinch the program’s first PIAA playoff berth.

Evan Frees’ two-strike single in the bottom of the second scored Nick Auker with the eventual winning run.

The third-seeded Mounts (20-5) advance to Thursday’s Class AAAA championship opposite No. 9 Governor Mifflin (17-7) at 1:30 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading [directions]. The Mustangs handled No. 13 Cedar Cliff 6-0.

“From Game One (of the playoffs),” said Frees, a clutch postseason performer, “we showed we can be a championship team.”

Ephrata turned in several sterling defensive plays, web gems by Auker in right, Patrick Gallagher at second and Andrew Thomas in left.

The latter occurred in the seventh and short-circuited a potential rally by the No. 7 Eagles (15-8).

Good got the game-ending out one batter later when he induced Zach Belansek to fly out to Adam Schwartz in center field.

“I struggled early but as the game went on I was more confident,” said Good. “My fastball got me through.”

Good pitched to contact, striking out two and walking three. He labored in the opening inning, throwing 27 pitches but did not need more than 16 in any succeeding inning. He threw 95 pitches total, 59 for strikes.

“Every once in a while I asked him how he was feeling and he said good,” Mounts skipper Adrian Shelley said. “I thought he pitched well from the third inning on.”

Good received all the run support he needed in the second. Auker reached on a fielder’s choice, took second on Mitchell Storb’s walk and scored when Frees sliced Mitch Hoon’s 1-2 offering to center.

“That (run) was huge,” said Good. “Pitching with a lead allows you to settle down.”

“I was looking for my pitch,” Frees said of the low and away fastball. “He gave me my pitch and good things happened.”