MOUNT WOLF — After he lost a 1-0 decision to Mount Wolf on June 11, Glen Rock pitcher Nick Cicio asked his manager for a favor.
"He said I'd like to pitch against them the next time up here," Glen Rock manager Marty Heyne said.
Cicio got his wish.
The next time arrived on Tuesday evening, and this time, he walked off the field the winner of a one-run game.
The left-hander, who fell to the Wolves on a walk-off homer in June, won a late-July duel from another talented pitcher, Mount Wolf's Dan Dierdorff. The Rock edged the Wolves, 3-2.
Cicio struck out eight and walked two. He allowed six hits. Dierdorff gave up 10 hits while striking out three and walking two. Just one of the runs the right-hander gave up was earned.
"Any time, you face a guy of his (Dierdorff's) caliber, you know you have to bring your 'A' game," said Cicio, who threw 115 pitches. "My change-up was pretty good tonight. My curve ball was up in the zone."
Cicio's ability to get his change-up over for strikes made his fastball even more effective. He joined Glen Rock this season after pitching in the Minnesota Twins organization.
"I grew up with Joe Young (Glen Rock catcher), and he said, 'Nick, come and play with our team this year,'" Cicio said.
Heyne said Cicio has been a "huge addition" to the team.
"Last year, he came and watched us play," Heyne said. "This year, he attended our January meeting and signed, so he was ready to go when the season started. Nick's a team guy. When he's not pitching, he still wants to be in the lineup."
Cicio gave up a run in the first inning, but then pitched four scoreless innings before Mount Wolf tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth on a walk to Mo Moriarty followed by Steve Pokopec's double to the gap in right-center field. Pokopec was out when he tried to stretch the hit into a triple.
The tie didn't last long. Glen Rock struck for what proved to be the winning run in the top of the seventh. Leadoff hitter Troy Miller jumped on a 3-2 pitch and drove the ball into left-center for a double. Dan Rhodes sacrificed Miller to third and left-handed hitting Justin Anderson followed with an opposite-field double to deliver Miller.
"He (Dierdorff) started me off with a change-up and came back with a fastball," Anderson said. "He left it up a little, and I got the good part of the bat on it. It felt good."
Anderson finished with three hits and two RBIs for the winners, and Scott Merkel and Rick Goebeler added two hits apiece.
"When we heard that Danny (Dierdorff) was going for them, we felt it going to be the pitching match-up of the year," Anderson said.
Glen Rock (25-3) used the same formula on Tuesday (excellent pitching, solid defense and clutch hitting) that allowed it to win the Central League regular-season title for the first time in five years.
"They (the players) really compete," Heyne said. "We want to win every time. Win baby win, just like Al Davis said."
Nick Sprenkle went 2-for-3 for Mount Wolf (16-9-2) and Pokopec drove in both of the Wolves' runs with a double and a groundout.
OTHER CENTRAL LEAGUE GAMES
Shiloh 0, Stoverstown 0 (8 innings): At Stoverstown, it's not every day that a pitcher throws a no-hitter and doesn't come away with the victory. But that's exactly what happened to Stoverstown's Jordan Lehman on Tuesday. Lehman didn't give up a hit in eight innings, while striking out four and walking four. Keenan Stare was almost as brilliant on the hill for Shiloh. Stare also went the distance, striking out 10 and walking three. Both pitchers hit three batters. The game's biggest threat came in the first inning when Stoverstown's Matt Brooks was able to record a one-out single off Stare, who hit the next two batters to load the bases. However, Stare got himself out of the jam by striking out the next two batters. Stare struck out three in the opening frame. Brooks would later add a double for the game's only other hit. Shiloh is 16-10-2, while Stoverstown is 15-12-1.
Manchester 8, Pleasureville 2: At Manchester, the home team scored in five of its six innings. Josh Reeser was the big hitter for Manchester, going 2-for-3 and driving in three runs. Starting pitcher Jeremy Pagano held Pleasureville to two runs on six hits in the complete-game win. For the visitors, Chet Haifley went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Manchester improved to 16-12.
Dillsburg 2, Dover 1: At Dillsburg, the home side scratched across a run in the bottom of the fifth, breaking a 1-1 tie. Nick Horvath drove in a run for Dillsburg, while Jesse Lovejoy pitched a complete game to earn the win. He only allowed one run on four hits and struck out seven. Paul Rogerson was the tough-luck loser for Dover, pitching a complete game, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits, a walk and three strikeouts. Colt Zarilla drove in the only run for Dover.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.