By: Tim Birney | | May 6, 2021 | Photo courtesy Brian Fees


ATHENS — It wasn’t a perfect day for Mason Lister, but when the Wildcats needed him most, the sophomore came up big — on the mound and at the plate — to lead Athens to a, 3-2, come-from-behind win over Wellsboro here Thursday afternoon in NTL Large School Division baseball action.

The win avenges a 10-run early-season loss at Wellsboro.

“They beat us 11-1 the first time we played them, that’s one heck of a bounce-back win,” said Athens coach Charlie Havens.

“The kids were really excited about this win,” Havens added. “It’s a good win for us.”

The Wildcats took a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Junior Karter Rude led off the inning with a line-drive single to centerfield, and scored on a  one-out RBI double by sophomore Cameron Sullivan.

After the first inning, Athens had just two hits off Wellsboro starter Brock Hamblin until the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Wellsboro had plenty of runners reach base, but only managed two runs off Lister.

Isaac Keane and Kaiden Mann reached base on errors to lead off the top of the second inning, and Hamblin flared a single to right field to load the bases.

After Lister hit Dylan Abernathy with a pitch to force home a run, he induced a pop fly on the infield, and registered two strikeout to escape further damage.

Darryn Callahan homered to dead center field to lead off the third to put Wellsboro up 2-1.

The Green Hornets maintained the lead until the bottom of the sixth inning.

“(Hamblin) kept us off balance. We were out in front quite a bit,” said Havens.“He had a really nice curve ball that kept buckling us.

“He had us guessing, so we really didn’t have a lot of good at-bats.

“They also ran down a lot of balls tonight,” noted Havens. “Their center fielder killed us in the first game, too.

Rude led off the sixth with a  double, and scored moments later on an RBI double by sophomore Caleb Nichols to tie the game at 2-2.

With one out, Lister, who had struck out in his first two at-bats, ripped an RBI double off the fence in left field to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.

“In the sixth, (Rude and Nichols) hit back-to-back doubles to tie the game, then Lister hit a bomb — I don’t know how it didn’t get out,” said Havens.

“(Lister) had a rough night at the plate, but he came through in the sixth inning,” added Havens.

Hamblin led off the top of the seventh with a single, but was wiped off the bases on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Connor Adams. After a walk to Callahan, the runners advanced to third on a groundout off the bat of Cameron Brought.

With Lister at the pitch-count limit, Sullivan relieved and induced a fly ball to left field on his second pitch to end the game and record the save.

“(Lister) pitched out of a few jams … when he had to be tough tonight, he was,” said Havens. “He did a great job.

“And, our defense played well behind him,” added Haven. “Our defense is really coming around. We’re really improving there.”

Wellsboro left eight runners on base, including five in scoring position.

Sullivan doubled and singled, and drove in one run, and Rude singled twice and scored two runs to lead Athens at the plate, while Nichols singled, scored one run, and drove in one run, Loister doubled and knocked in one run, and Kaden Setzer added a double.

Lister allowed two runs — one earned — on four hits, while striking out five and walking three to earn the win.

Athens, now 9-7, are scheduled to host Wyalusing Friday.


About the Author

Tim Birney Author Bio
Tim Birney

Tim Birney is the founder / owner of River Road Media Group. He was born and raised in the Valley, graduating from Waverly High School in 1984.

Birney earned an Associate's Degree in Journalism from SUNY Morrisville in 1986 and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism / Public Relations from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1988. He began his newspaper career at The Daily Review in Towanda in 1989, before moving on to The Evening Times in 1995. He spent more than 10 years at the Times, the last four as Managing Editor.

River Road Media Group includes five sites in "The Sports Reports" family that cover 24 school districts in five counties: Valley Sports Report (launched Aug. 10, 2009), Tioga County (NY) Sports Report (Aug. 13, 2018), and Northern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 31, 2020); Northern Tier West Sports Report (March 15, 2021) Southern Tier Sports Report (Aug. 16, 2021).