It was a day for the pitchers.
Only one run was earned, but the one earned proved to be crucial as a series of errors handed both Williamsport and Hughesville a run apiece.
The only earned run went to the Spartans, who beat Williamsport, 2-1, Friday night under the Bowman field lights.
Hughesville’s Jesse Hulien is safe at first base as Williamsport’s Ryan Hostrander reaches for a throw Friday at Bowman Field. View additional photos at cu.sungazette.com.
"It was a total team effort today and I'm proud of the team," Hughesville coach Casey Waller said. "It was a good win for the team, especially before playoffs."
The lone earned run came about when Justin Lambert connected with a line drive down the left field line. Bowman's size helped out, giving Lambert second without a throw. Tyler Potts singled two batters later to score Lambert.
Both teams committed errors, but both teams also made outstanding defensive plays, as well.
"We made the mistakes that we usually make at the beginning of the year," Williamsport coach Dave Cipriani said. "We don't have much time before playoffs, but there are games to sharpen it up."
Levi McCarty made a diving catch in the first inning to prevent Williamsport from getting its first runner.
Sam Bubb connected with the second pitch, sending a hard line drive into the gap between first and second. McCarty quickly got his glove in front of the liner, stopping what could have been the start of a Williamsport rally.
Hughesville's defense came through again in the second when Jason Stroup snagged a liner at third. He then doubled up Jared Mahaffey at first for a momentum killing double play.
"Our infield had been playing good," Waller said. "Our pitchers have been doing a great job of letting the defense play."
Williamsport capitalized off two third inning errors by Hughesville to post its lone run.
A difficult catch in shallow left field bounced out of the short stop's glove, moving Sadiq Burkholder to second with no outs. Joey Cassidy then singled to advance Burkholder to third, who eventually scored when Sisto Campana reached first on an error at third.
The two-error inning didn't stick with Hughesville, which faced only two batters over the limit the rest of the way.
The defense was good for Hughesville, but the pitching combination of Scott Myers, Josh Saar and Justin Lambert were outstanding. The three combined to three-hit Williamsport, earning seven strikeouts with only two walks.
"I proud of the pitching staff today," Waller said. "We planned on getting them work before the playoffs. Scott Myers pitched a great game, Saar came in after battling a concussion earlier in the year and Lambert came in and finished the game for us."
Lambert was especially dominant, entering in the seventh and freezing the last out with a nasty curve ball. The Spartan closer fanned four batters in two inning of work.
"Lambert's a competitor," Waller said. "He's a sophomore, but he's a young sophomore. He came out there tonight and grinded it out."
Hughesville scored in the first, taking advantage of Williamsport's inconsistent fielding. Both Williamsport fielding errors were committed in the first, giving Jesse Hulien and Jason Stroup an extra chance on the bases. And much like Williamsport was able to do, scoring a run thanks to two Spartan errors, Hughesville returned the favor, capitalizing off of Williamsport's blunders.
"We didn't hit the ball again," Cipriani said. "Four errors and only three hits won't get it done."
Hulien, from the number two spot in the lineup, reached on a throwing error, advancing to second when the ball rolled into the Spartans dugout. A batter later and another throwing error gave Hulien a free pass to home for the first run.
Williamsport 001 000 0-1 3 4
Hughesville 110 000 X-2 4 2
Sadiq Burkholder, Jett Batholomew (4) and Joey Cassidy. Scott Myers, Josh Saar (4), Justin Lambert (7) and John Poust.
Top Williamsport hitters: Burkholder, run; Ryan Hostrander 1-3. Top Hughesville hitters: Tyler Potts 1-3, RBI; Lambert 2-3, 2B; Poust 1-1.
Records: Williamsport 11-8. Hughesville 10-5-1.