Thomas outdueled Murphy's Zander Clouse, holding the powerful Wildcats offense to its lowest scoring output of the year. Thomas scattered four hits over six innings and struck out nine to earn his fourth win of the season. Clouse also struck out nine and allowed six hits, but took the loss, the Wildcats' first since their season opener against Burlington-Edison. The defeat also prevented Murphy from clinching the Cascade Conference title.
"It was a pitcher's duel," said Cedarcrest head coach Scott Goldsberry. "Thomas had his curveball working, was able to locate it and keep them off balance. Clouse had a good fastball today and was throwing a decent curve too. . .both pitchers seemed to be catching the other side's hitters with pitches they didn't expect. There were several backwards Ks (called strikeouts) on both sides."
Cedarcrest opened the scoring on Adam Davenport's two-out RBI single in the second. Wildcats catcher Alex Galgano responded with his own two-out hit to drive in Casey Dawes to even the game in the third.
But the Red Wolves put together another two-out rally in the fifth. After Clouse retired the first two hitters, Austin Patsy and Colton Sandhofer hit back-to-back singles to set the stage for Ballweg. The Cedarcrest senior drilled a pitch to the wall in right center to score two.
Davenport pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to record the save.
The win keeps Cedarcrest's hopes for a conference title alive. The Red Wolves now trail Murphy by one in the loss column, with four games remaining, including games against the Wildcats on Wednesday and Friday. But Goldsberry knows it will be a tough task.
"It'll be a tall order to do it," said Goldsberry about Cedarcrest's chances of catching Archbishop Murphy. "They are a good team and have done a lot of winning over the last several years. We know they'll be ready to go on Wednesday."
At Cedarcrest H.S.
Archbishop Murphy 001 000 0--1 4 1
Cedarcrest 010 020 x--3 6 1
Zander Clouse and Alex Galgano. Max Thomas, Adam Davenport (7) and Blaine Wagner. WP--Thomas (4-1). LP--Clouse. 2B--Sam Ballweg (C). Records--Archbishop Murphy 15-1 league, 16-2 overall. Cedarcrest 12-2, 12-4.
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