ALTOONA – Solely the PIAA-mandated launch restrict might cease Aidan Main. If not, Central Mountain and Bethel Park might proceed enjoying proper now.
Main left PNG Discipline dejected Monday, however left it as champion. He left after cementing his place amongst a number of the finest highschool pitchers on this space. He left after nearly wishing his staff to a historic victory.
Main pitched eight scoreless innings yesterday, however David Kessler’s Three-pointer and the run that adopted led Bethel Park to a dramatic 1-Zero victory within the nine-inning Class 5A state semifinals. The West Virginia-bound senior gave up simply three hits, walked none and silenced a robust offense that had produced 12 runs in its first two state match victories.
In a season that included so many masterpieces, this might have been Main’s virtuoso efficiency. His proper arm was a robust instrument and nearly each notice he produced was excellent.
“I simply needed to preserve doing what I’ve achieved all 12 months and preserve preventing.” Main mentioned. “We have now used the slogan ‘Work Wins’, and that is it. I simply needed to preserve working and sprucing. “
Three days after throwing 105 pitches in an exhilarating Three-2 win over West Allegheny, Main was once more untouchable, throwing 76 of his 101 pitches for strikes and did not attain 9 balls till the fourth inning. He allowed solely three singles, went to a three-ball depend twice, struck out six and by no means allowed a working again to achieve third base when Central Mountain (18-6) got here so near reaching its first state championship.
Main grew stronger as the sport progressed and peaked at 95 miles per hour within the eighth inning. It additionally effectively detected his curveball, slider, and shift. On the few events Bethel Park (21-Four) threatened, Main went to a different stage and saved him hitless in scoring place in six at-bats.
This was a recreation wherein there was completely no margin for error. Main was completely sensible. He simply would not let his staff lose whereas pitching.
Oh yeah, Main did all of that too regardless of enduring a 47-minute rain delay within the fifth inning. Nothing might bewilder him. As was the case all season lengthy, few had been in a position to hit him.
“All the pieces was working in the present day on any account”, Main mentioned. “Fastball, curveball, slider, change … no matter I wished to throw, whether or not it was on the depend or ahead on the depend, I might do no matter I wished all day lengthy.”
“Having the ability to throw 105 pitches three days in the past and with the ability to get out and pump and go the space in the present day is a bulldog.” Stated Bethel Park coach Pat Zehnder. “That is a man who’s not going to let his coach not put him on the mound. That is who you wish to pitch in these conditions and that is why ‘he is going to achieve success on the subsequent stage.’
Main went to a different stage this season. Final week I wrote about Montgomery pitcher Religion Persing placing collectively some of the dominant seasons anybody has loved within the 2000s. Space baseball now has Aidan Main.
The longer term Mountaineer was Eight-1 with a Zero.97 ERA and struck out 109 batters, a program document, in 65 innings. Much more spectacular he allowed solely 21 hits. Probably the most hits a staff had in opposition to Main was 5 and he capped the opposite 11 to a few or much less combining a no-hitter and twice about to throw a no-hitter.
Main had a restricted preseason job and wasted time with COVID. Take away his first begin that got here simply after he got here again and Main went Eight-Zero, surrendered 18 hits and struck out 107 in 62 2/Three innings. These are mind-boggling numbers. These are online game numbers.
“He could not put anybody above him, that is for positive.” Zehnder mentioned. “We had been up in opposition to a man who was pitching within the mid 90’s a pair weeks in the past and we had been up in opposition to a variety of actually good WPIAL arms, however I could not say that none had been above or higher than this man.”
There isn’t a model of the Cy Younger for Pennsylvania highschool, however Main will surely be within the working if there was. And if he included the postseason, he might be a winner in a race. The larger the video games, the higher Main was. The extra stress constructed on him, the extra Main favored him.
Main went Four-Zero this postseason, permitting simply two runs, no earned runs and simply seven hits in 30 2/Three innings whereas putting out 39. It hardly appears doable to be that good at the moment of 12 months, however Main at all times appeared to steer. an enormous pink ‘S’ below his shirt. On this reporter’s 22 years on the job, solely Ryan Miller of Montoursville and Kyle Datres of Loyalsock had been that ridiculously good throughout the playoffs and that is a fairly bizarre air.
Main is an incredible chief, a selfless participant who was at all times fast to congratulate his teammates and / or redirect reward in his personal manner. However he is additionally a fighter, and regardless of how upset he was about shedding, Main understands that he can at all times look within the mirror and know that he did the whole lot he might to assist his staff attain the state ultimate.
“These are the state playoffs with the highest 16 groups within the state,” Main mentioned. “For me, to have the ability to put these numbers up in opposition to some actually good groups, in opposition to a number of the finest batting groups within the state, is one thing that I’m positively pleased with and can carry with me for the remainder of my profession.”
As Roy Hobbs’ father tells him in early “The pure,” Main was born with a present. Nonetheless, there are various gamers blessed with comparable items who by no means learn the way good they might be or might have been. Main does the other. He’s a blue collar employee who maximizes all of the potential he has.
What Main did yesterday, and this 12 months was unbelievable, nevertheless it wasn’t an accident. His teammates, the varsity, and his followers witnessed the completed product, however this was one produced for numerous hours honing his expertise when nobody was trying.
“He’s the kind of one that trains, prepares and takes care of his arms all 12 months lengthy. He is doing it within the offseason to arrange for these moments. “ Central Mountain coach Mike Kramer mentioned. “That is why he was in a position to exit and do what he did in the present day. Aidan was going to do no matter it took for us to win. “
There are lots of methods to explain Main. At his core, he’s a winner and a fighter. You possibly can throw arduous, spin the ball, and seemingly place it wherever. Nevertheless, what separates Main, what made him considered one of Pennsylvania’s finest pitchers, and what makes him such an thrilling faculty prospect, is past his attain.
That X issue is pounding inside his chest and it might take Main a good distance. It actually did at Central Mountain.
“It’s positively among the many finest we now have ever had. It has matured rather a lot over time. “ Kramer mentioned. “I really like what he does and I really like him as an individual. I like how a lot it has grown. He will do nice issues in his life, and I sit up for watching and following him as he goes. “
Chris Masse covers highschool baseball and could be reached at email@example.com. Observe him on Twitter at @docmasse.