SHILLINGTON >> Joe Adametz’s day wasn’t quite yet finished.
Even after throwing a 100-pitch complete-game shutout on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Mifflin’s junior left-hander still had some work to do.
“This is my place to come and gather my thoughts,” he said while raking the dirt around the pitcher’s mound. “I like to take care of my home here — win or lose.”
Benefitting from the defense behind him — which featured a clutch play at the plate in the top of the seventh to keep the opposition scoreless, Adametz powered his way through Daniel Boone’s lineup on the way to a 1-0 win at Governor Mifflin’s Rulon L. Griffith Field.
The win improves Mifflin to 7-2 in Berks Conference I play (14-5 overall) as the Mustangs pick up sole possession of first place in the division with just one conference game remaining. Daniel Boone, right on the heels of a surprise 8-1 loss against Exeter, drops to 6-3 (12-3 overall) and into the No. 2 spot in the division as next week’s Berks County Interscholastic Athletic Association (BCIAA) playoffs loom.
Wednesday’s game provided everything that comes with a high-power clash between two teams: two standout pitchers dealing from both sides; two you-call-it plays at the plate.
It was everything Mifflin head coach Chris Hole and the two-time defending conference champions had anticipated.
“We spoke at practice (Tuesday) about how this would be a playoff atmosphere for us,” said Hole. “We maintained that focus. Guys needed to step up and make plays and they did that.”
Adametz had the Blazers handcuffed most of the way, limiting them to just three hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts.
“All my pitches were working real well,” said Adametz, who features a fastball and a slew of offspeed pitches. “My fastball has always been with me. This year I’ve been working to try and establish more pitches because as a starter you’ve got to have everything working.”
He kept Boone from reaching third base through the first six innings before running into trouble in the top of the seventh inning.
Carson Zuber reached on an infield error to lead off, then stole a base and reached third on Ty Esenwein’s single to center. With no outs and men on the corners, designated hitter Connor Cleaver knocked a slow-roller down the first-base line. First baseman Phillip Henry charged then flipped it over to Noah Angstadt covering for the force. Angstadt then had the wherewithal to turn and fire it to the plate as Zuber was tagged out by catcher Justin DelVecchio on a bang-bang play that would have tied it up.
“It was a conglomeration of things,” said Daniel Boone head coach Jason McCord, who stood by Zuber’s aggressive base-running. “I was calling on the down contact, seeing that it was a bounding ball. He (Zuber) retreated a little bit then reacted when he saw the first baseman turn. The kid (Angstadt) made a great play.”
“It was nice to come out on the positive end of that circus,” said Hole of the seventh inning. “That whole play could have went a multitude of ways, but our guys stayed calm and kept their composure.”
Mifflin staked the game’s lone run in the bottom of the first inning as shortstop Ajay Sczepkowski led-off with a double to left-center. After moving over to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Trey Paige, Sczepkowski then came around to score on a wild pitch with two outs.
Other than that, Boone starter Zach Brightbill was similarly dominant to his counterpart. The right-hander pitched all six innings while holding Mifflin to six hits, walking none and striking out four.
Like Adametz, Brightbill benefitted from a close call at home.
Angstadt tried to score from second base on Paige’s one-out drive to center field, but was thrown out on a bullet from Matt Stevens in center field.
“Zach’s a warrior. He goes out and battles every day,” said McCord. “He gave us a chance to win and we played really well in the field behind him.”
Staring down their second consecutive loss — their only losing streak all season — McCord explained that his team may have been brought back down to Earth in a way.
“I almost feel like we got caught looking ahead because we were rolling so well,” he said. “Just understanding that we’re doing well and we’re excited about where we can potentially go, forgetting that there’s work to do before you get there.
“What’s happening with us right now is we’re not executing well in the offensive game,” he said. “We had what? Three hits on the day, very few baserunners. We’ve just got to work on getting better and we’ve got to hit.”