Harrigan’s scoreless relief stint helps PA Rebels take Top 25 opener

By DN WRITING STAFF | August 15, 2023

Jack Lerch of PA Rebels dives safely into first ahead of pickoff throw.

By Sean Reilly 

Ethan Harrigan stepped onto the mound for the PA Rebels in a relief role in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against Untamed Exposure at the Diamond Nation Super 17/U Top 25. 

He walked off three innings later with a win. 

Harrigan allowed one hit during his scoreless stint, as his team rallied for a 5-2 victory in its tournament opener in Flemington. 

The Rebels followed with a 1-0 triumph over the Connecticut Whalers to sit atop the tournament standings after the first day of action.

The right-handed Harrigan, a rising junior at West Chester Henderson High School in Pennsylvania, struck out two and walked one while quieting Untamed Exposure, whose roster features players from mostly Union County. 

“I had my slider going the first two innings really well,” he said. “That, mixed up with my fastball, confused a lot of their hitters and gave me the advantage to tackle them.” 

The PA Rebels took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Cody Heyduk led off by reaching on a dropped third strike. He moved to second on a ground out, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Gavin Trainer’s sacrifice fly to right field.

Untamed Exposure, which had just one hit in the game, took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of third. 

Vincent Mariniello led off and was safe on an error. Jake Monaco was up next and walked. A wild pitch moved both into scoring position. 

Jordan Jones came to the plate with one out, and a wild pitch scored Mariniello with the tying run before a balk brought in Monaco with the go-ahead run.

PA Rebels pitcher Ethan Harrigan (5), who pitched three innings of scoreless relief, is congratulated by teammate Cody Heyduk after the final out. 

The Rebels rebounded with two runs in the fifth. Jack Lerch drew a one-out walk and advanced on a wild pitch. He scored the tying run as Eddie Cwiertniewicz singled on a full count between first and second, just beyond the reach of a diving first baseman. 

Cwiertniewicz stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a two-out balk to give the Rebels a 3-2 lead. 

The Rebels tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth and final inning. 

Brett Connolly led off and reached on an error. He stole second, and also stole third. The throw to third went into the outfield, allowing him to score for a 4-2 advantage. 

Will Roth, who had been hit by a pitch and was the trail runner on Connolly’s steal of third, scored the final run on a wild pitch. 

The only hit for Untamed Exposure was a leadoff single by Monaco in the fifth inning, but Harrigan worked out of that situation before pitching a 1-2-3 sixth, with the game ending due to the expiration of the 1:50 play clock. 

“This was a great way to start off,” Harrigan said. “We were behind and came back, and got a good team win.”

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