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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Nate Packer Fashions Mound Masterpiece for Hawley Post 311

  • The fireballing southpaw ace twirled a no-hitter during District 11 American Legion Baseball action.
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  • Nate Packer just recently put the finishing touches on a stellar scholastic baseball career at Western Wayne.
    The hard-throwing southpaw struck out exactly 200 batters over the course of three varsity seasons and will take his skills to the next level this fall.
    Packer is headed to Penn State University's Harrisburg campus to play Division III ball.
    "I'm really excited," Nate said. "It's a very good program. I like the coach and I liked the school when I went there to visit. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
    Milestone Moment
    Lions skipper Ryan Down will be getting a front-of-the-rotation type pitcher in Packer, as evidenced by Packer's most recent achievement.
    On Saturday afternoon, Nate drew the starting nod for Hawley in District 11 American Legion action and authored a masterpiece.
    Packer dominated Carbondale/Lakeland en route to a 4-1 victory and a no-hitter.
    "I had no idea it was a no-hitter," Packer said.
    "I asked our scorekeeper in the top of the sixth and I was pretty surprised. The last two innings, I tried really hard not to work the corners and not catch too much of the plate."
    That strategy worked well as Packer piled up 12 strikeouts and allowed only one unearned run in seven innings.
    The ultimate result was a 4-1 win for the Toros, their third of the young season. Hawley will be back in action Thursday evening, at home versus Valley View.
    First pitch for that contest is slated for 5:30 p.m. at Wallenpaupack Area High School.
    Page 2 of 3 - Big Win
    The visitors from the Pioneer City actually struck first in this one, plating an unearned run in the top of the first.
    Hawley retaliated quickly, though, scoring twice in the home half of the frame. This was all the support Packer would need on this day.
    Nate dominated Post 221 batters the rest of the way, fanning a dozen and not issuing a single walk.
    "My change-up was working really well," Packer said. "My travel team coach taught it to me a couple years ago. I have a lot of confidence in my change and I'm not afraid to tnrow it on any count."
    Offensively, Peter Kelly paced the Post 311 assault. A slugging third baseman who just graduated from Honesdale, Kelly ripped two hits and collected a pair of RBIs.
    James Goetz also played a key role at the plate. Hawley's veteran second sacker reached base three times and tallied two runs.
    Packer helped his own cause with a clutch base knock and two RBIs of his own.
    Lead-off man Ean Hibian and leftfielder David Ortiz rounded out the attack with one base knock apiece.
    Familiar Foes
    An interesting side note to this District 11 encounter saw Packer pitching against three of his Western Wayne teammates.
    Kyle Johnson, Lucas Karnick and Tanner Gillette are all on the Post 221 roster this summer since the demise of District 15 left many Wayne County players homeless.
    "They were talking a little bit of smack to me before the game," Nate said with a laugh. "It was all good-natured and friendly, but throwing a no-hitter against the, was pretty sweet revenge."
    The three Wildcats went a combined 0-for-7 against Packer. Johnson came on in relief for Carbondale/Lakeland, working two innings and allowing two runs.
    Page 3 of 3 - Score by Innings...
    CAR (2-2) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 1
    HAW (3-1) 2 0 0 0 2 0 x - 4

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