Even hitting into a triple play couldn’t sidetrack Willie Palmer on Tuesday evening.
The right-hander fired a one-hitter in a dominating performance to lead Masontown over the visiting Fayette Raiders, 2-0, in a Fayette County Baseball League clash at German-Masontown Park.
Palmer surrendered a two-out single to Lane Zekir in the first inning, then mowed down the final 19 batters in faced. He struck out 15, including nine in a row from the third through the fifth inning, with no walks in tossing a 75-pitch complete game.
“I’d say that’s definitely in the top three,” said Masontown manager John Palmer, who is also Willie’s father. “He had great command tonight. He throws a fastball, curveball, changeup, but he was going mainly with the fastball tonight.”
Masontown needed to score to make sure Palmer’s near-perfect game didn’t go to waste and they plated all they would need in the third inning when consecutive singles by Austin Bergman, Willie’s brother Darion Palmer and Kaine Frye produced a pair of runs off losing pitcher Dylan Brosky.
Masontown had a golden opportunity to score in the first off Brosky when Willie Palmer came to the plate with runners on first and second with no outs. Palmer ripped a line drive that was snagged by Fayette first baseman Travis Bevard, who tagged the runner off first and threw to second baseman Trevor Stewart before the lead runner could return to complete the triple play.
“I’ve been coaching a long time and that’s the first time that ever happened to me,” John Palmer said. “The kid made a great play, I give him credit.”
Palmer’s son shook off the frustration of the that moment and quickly got back to business on the mound.
“He didn’t let it bother him,” John Palmer said. “In fact, I think it kind of motivated him even more.”
Masontown is a new team in the FCBL this year and was coming off an opening-day 6-2 loss to defending champion Carmichaels in which it played admirably.
“Carmichaels is a powerhouse team, and (manager) Dickie Krause is a really good coach,” John Palmer said. “I call him a legend and it was a tough assignment for our first game.
“That felt so good to see the kids come back and play like they did today. We didn’t hit great, just enough, but we didn’t make any errors and Willie was so strong out there. We have a very young team so I’m proud of them.”
Brosky was a tough-luck loser, allowing just the two runs in five innings with six strikeouts and one walk.
Masontown totaled eight hits, all singles, including two by Michael Coll.