YORK TWP. — Sophomore Sean Saterlee took the ball Tuesday as Keystone faced Buckeye in a battle of the last teams undefeated in the Patriot Athletic Conference.
Thanks to Saterlee, the Wildcats stand alone atop the league.
He was masterful in guiding Keystone to a 7-0 victory over the Bucks to pick up his second win of the season.
“This is a big win for us, we’ve been talking about this all year,” Saterlee said. “(The Bucks) and Firelands are going to be the two teams to beat is what we’ve been saying.”
The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning against a Bucks offense averaging more than 10 runs a game, 12 in PAC play. Saterlee allowed two hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out seven in a complete game.
“He did a great job of taking advantage of what was there, pitched everybody away, away, away and we didn’t do a very good job of making adjustments,” Buckeye coach Mike Wolf said. “My hat’s off to him, he pitched a great game.”
Saterlee only faced more than four batters in an inning once, never faced more than five and didn’t allow a runner to reach third.
“He did a great job, exactly what we expected out of him,” Keystone coach Bert Fitzgerald said. “This was his third time on the hill for us and he’s been super consistent.”
The Wildcats (11-2, 8-0) were kept off-balance the first time through the lineup, but began to crack their way through in the third inning. Sophomore leadoff hitter Nathan Archer doubled to right field with one out and scored from second when Bucks starter Bryan Benedict’s pickoff attempt of Cameron Emerick at first sailed wide.
Keystone broke open the game in the fourth, sending all nine hitters to the plate. Junior Kyler Yusko started the rally with a one-out single and the Wildcats loaded the bases on walks to left fielder Joseph Gaughan and catcher Nathen Prunty. Archer reached on an error that plated Yusko, and Emerick singled home Gaughan. Third baseman Michael Mileski capped the inning with a bases-clearing double to center that put Keystone ahead 6-0.
“We’ve been seeing slow pitchers early in the season,” Saterlee said. “This was our first game where we’ve seen a decent pitcher throwing harder and we just timed him up good and put the ball in play.”
Buckeye (13-2, 6-1) broke up Saterlee’s attempt at a no-hitter in the fifth when Max Wilson led off with a single down the first base line. An inning later center fielder Adam Matras added the other hit.
On the two occasions when Buckeye managed to get a runner on second base, Saterlee and his defense quickly closed out the inning.
In the third, Derek Thomas reached second on a two-base error, but when the following hitter smacked a line drive, Emerick snagged the ball and tossed it to shortstop Kevin Mealwitz to catch Thomas off second for an inning-ending double play.
Following Matras’ sixth-inning single, he advanced to second on a walk by Jake Case, but Mealwitz made a nice play in the hole on a Rob Banaga groundball and Yusko finished the play with a full stretch to retire Banaga.