Content courtesy of the Trib HSSN:
Maclean Maund said his go-to pitches weren’t working for him. The fastball wasn’t popping and his curve missed its spots.
Not that it showed.
The Penn-Trafford senior pitcher soundly negotiated his deficiencies, as minor and well-hidden as they were to the audience at Seton Hill, and tossed a gem.
Maund struck out nine in six innings Wednesday before giving way to senior Bobby Kusinsky for the save in a tidy, 1-0 victory over Hempfield in Section 2-6A that kept the Warriors undefeated.
A classic pitchers’ duel had to produce a hard-luck loss for the other guy: Spartans senior Shane Stuchell pitched a three-hitter over six innings. Like Maund, Stuchell was backed by an error-free defense.
No. 2-ranked Penn-Trafford moved to 9-0 overall and 2-0 in section. Previous No. 2 Hempfield (6-4, 1-1) was looking for its third straight win. The Spartans, who started the season 4-0, recently fell from the top five.
“When you don’t have your best stuff, you have to find a way to work through it,” said Maund, a Seton Hill recruit. “We played well as a team today and (senior catcher) Cade (Patterson) called a great game.”
The lone run came in the bottom of the first. With two outs, junior Anthony Sherwin singled to left and stole second. Senior Luke Fabac followed with a single to right to give the Warriors a 1-0 advantage.
Penn-Trafford did not get a baserunner to third the rest of the game, but Hempfield threatened a few times.
In the fifth, freshman Aiden Dunlap led off with a single and junior Tyler Wiederstein followed with one of his two base hits.
But just as quickly as the rally started, it was quashed by Maund and the Warriors’ gloves. Repeatedly starting ahead in counts, Maund delivered a strikeout and induced a flyout and groundout to end the inning.
“Maclean was a bulldog,” Penn-Trafford coach Dan Miller said. “He wants the baseball in the big games. And he doesn’t want to come out. He can only throw 100 pitches, but he wants to throw 200.
“Patterson and Mac really stayed with our game plan. That fifth inning was a game-changer for us when they had first and second with no outs.”
The Spartans looked primed to rally again in the sixth, this time with two outs. But Maund continued to be dismissive.
Senior Luke Hudson singled and stole second, and sophomore Mike Honsi walked. A passed ball with Dunlap at bat moved Hudson to third and Honsi to second.
Maund struck out Dunlap.
“Maund is a good pitcher, and we certainly knew that coming in,” Hempfield coach Tim Buzzard said. “He is coming (to Seton Hill) for a reason. We got one against him last year. He throws three pitches for strikes. We had plenty of opportunities; it was a 1-0 game. We didn’t get it done.”
With his fastball and curve off a bit, Maund said he worked in a circle change-up and a knuckle-curve.
“The knuckle-curve was working, but it hurts my finger,” Maund said, showing a sanded-down nail on his index finger. “It was nice to be able to work out of some innings. They have good hitters.”
Kusinsky struck out two batters in a 1-2-3 seventh.
Stuchell still pitched one of his best games, sans the run support.
“Shane was awesome,” Buzzard said. “We just didn’t get that big hit today. P-T is a very good team across the board.”
Penn-Trafford moved up Friday’s home game against Plum to Thursday because of forecasted rain Friday.
To check out the full article in the Trib HSSN click HERE.