By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- When he needed a pitch to get out of a tough spot in the middle innings Monday, Mason Fausnaught went to an unusual, elevated off-speed pitch for a critical strikeout.
An inning later, the Danville senior dialed up the unique offering again for a third-out swing and miss.
Asked post-game for specifics about the dynamite weapon, Fausnaught willingly shared his secret.
"They were accidents," he said sheepishly, admitting he'd hung a couple sliders. "Every once in a while you get lucky."
It was that kind of do-no-wrong outing for the Ironmen's ace right-hander, who couldn't have turned in a much better start against perennial power Loyalsock. He threw a four-hitter at the Lancers, surrendering no earned runs in the hardest of hard-luck losses, 2-1, at Danville High School.
"It's like I told the kids: When we don't give up an earned run, we have to win the game," said Ironmen coach Devin Knorr. "Mason was outstanding. He had command of all his pitches and did a great job of keeping them off-balance. Unfortunately, we squandered some opportunities."
Fausnaught was matched, if not surpassed, by Loyalsock's Luke Glavin, who shook off Shayne Riley's second-inning home run and finished with a flourish that saw him fan six of the last seven Ironmen that came to the plate and 13 overall.
"He's a gamer," Lancers coach Jeremy Eck said of the sophomore righty. "We're struggling offensively right now and it's no secret. So for Luke to come out and shut the door, keep us in the game long enough for us to scratch out a run to go ahead was absolutely huge."
Loyalsock (7-1) scored in the fourth and sixth innings, turning one-out hits into runs with the help of an infield error each time. The first miscue tied the score and forced Fausnaught to strand a runner a third base; the second error cashed in a Tommy Baggett double that tucked itself just inside the right-field line for the game's lone extra-base hit.