It isn’t the safe play, but it is always worth a shot. Base coaches, for the most part, aren’t telling runners to “look out for the hidden-ball trick.” And a runner on second base is without a base coach right next to him to mutter instruction.
Which brings us to earlier in the week when Huntingdon (Pa.) pitcher Ben Briggs, with help from his teammates and coaches, decided there’s no better time than the tournament to reach into their bag of tricks. In the third inning of Huntingdon’s Penn. District 6 Class 3A baseball semifinal with Juniata (Mifflintown, Pa.), Briggs and his teammates decided it was go time.
As Briggs fakes the pickoff attempt to first, you can see the first basemen scrambling while hearing those on the Huntingdon side screaming, “Get the ball.” The ball, of course, was still in Briggs’ hand. It was a fact that the runner going from second to third realized all too late, as Briggs threw to the third baseman for the tag out.
While Huntingdon would still trail 3-2 after four innings, it came back to take a 5-3 win. The Bearcats improved to 12-7 and clinched a date with Central (Martinsburg, Pa.) in Saturday’s district final in Altoona, per the Lewistown Sentinel.
The Bearcats are moving on, and Briggs was a major part of it. Of course, it takes a team working together to be that tricky.