Oak Hill’s Maverick Swan gets back to the bag in time as Mt. Abram first baseman Ian Allen takes the throw in Wales on Friday. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

WALES — Mt. Abram pitchers Ben DiBiase and Trevor Phelps admire and respect each other as teammates and friends.

The duo put that trust in each other and teamed up to put the kibosh on determined Oak Hill with a 2-0 victory in a Mountain Valley Conference baseball game on a chilly, wind-swept Friday afternoon.

DiBiase said he was feeling fine, but he had no problem being relieved of duty.

“I was feeling pretty good,” DiBiase said. “Getting into the fourth inning, I could kind of feel my velocity going down. So I could kind of tell it was time to come out, but I was definitely feeling good all game. I have trust in Trevor to come in after me.”

For Phelps, he embraced the challenge to close out Oak Hill.

“I love the challenge. It’s always fun coming in, trying to close the door,” Phelps said. “The best feeling in the world is getting that strikeout at the end of the game. It felt awesome to come in.” 

DiBiase, who went four innings, got the win on the mound and dug his way out of a couple of close calls. But it was Phelps who slammed the door on the Raiders after he came in at the top of the fifth. Between the two of them, they gave up just two hits in the shutout — and Oak Hill left six men on base.

“You always got to have pitching,” Mt. Abram coach Jeff Pillsbury said. “I think we walked a couple of batters and played some defense. So you’ve got to like the pitching and so you’ve got to like the defense.” 

Oak Hill Starting pitcher Gavin Rawstron goes into his wind-up against Mt. Abram in Wales on Friday afternoon. Tony Blasi/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

For two innings, the teams tried to push a run across the plate.

The Roadrunners got some momentum in the third inning. With one out, Tucker Plouffe and Kaden Pillsbury both got on with walks and began circling the diamond thanks to a stolen base and passed balls, placing them at third and second base, respectively.

With two teammates just itching to score, Kenyon Pillsbury belted a single, bringing home Plouffe. Hunter Warren’s sacrifice bunt did the trick as well, sending Kaden Pillsbury across with the Roadrunners’ second run of the game.

From there on in, both pitchers faced a few tense moments, but Mt. Abram outlasted Oak Hill the next four innings. Gavin Rawstron, Jackson Arbour and Ethan Vattaso pitched well enough to keep Oak Hill in the game.

The Raiders did hit some long balls but they never made it past Mt. Abram’s outfield.

“We felt like we had some opportunities,” Oak Hill coach Chad Stowell said. “We got some guys on base and credit to Mt. Abram, they made the plays when they had to make the plays.

“I don’t think we did anything terribly wrong to not scoring runs. Today, Mt. Abram was just a little bit better than us.”

Stowell knew his Raiders were facing a good team.

“I thought they would be good coming in,” he said. “They are a well-coached team. He has a group that he has been working with a lot over the last few years. He is going to be able to reap some benefits from that this year.”

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