Delta’s Gabe Freeman threw 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball and eventually ended up with a one hitter as the righty led the Panthers to an 8-2 win over Pettisville on Friday.
Pinch hitter Logan Rufenacht fouled off a pair of 0-2 pitches before dropping a flare into short right field for a two-run single and the only hit Freeman gave up on the day, in the seventh.
Before that, after a pair of first inning walks, the Panther righty blew threw the Blackbird lineup, putting out 15 of the next 16 Pettisville hitters before Christian Barhite reached on an error leading off the seventh.
The only runner Freeman allowed before that time was Landon Roth who reached on an error in the third.
“I think Gabe reached the 100 pitch mark for the day, which was about 25 more than what we wanted him to throw,” explained Panther mentor Damon Mattimore. “But then again the scoreboard had a story to it, in that he was going for something special. It didn’t quite work out tonight but he is yet another young pitcher for us who has bought into getting ahead and throwing strikes early in counts and usually good things happen for our defense from that point on.”
The Panthers staked Freeman to a 1-0 lead in the second when Tim Sonick walked, stole second, advanced to third on Travis Barnes’ hit, then scored when Barnes got hung up in a rundown on the hot box play.
Delta blew the game open in the next inning against Blackbird starter Landon Roth, picking up four more runs.
No one could make a play on Ron Vargyas’ leadoff chopper down the third base line and after a sacrifice, Owen Jagodzinski sliced a single into left to plate one tally.
A two-out walk put a runner at first and second when Aaron Abbott bounced a single up the middle to make it 3-0, then Sonick came up with the big blow of the inning, a double into right center that scored two more.
Austin Sayen’s RBI double in the fifth padded the count to 6-0, then in the sixth, Jagodzinski’s sacrifice fly and a two-out Pettisville error bumped the score to 8-0.
“We’re believing in getting ahead in the count and trying to hit fastballs. We’ve got seven seniors and they are all buying in to what we are trying to get done here and it’s a good feeling here at Delta so far,” said Mattimore.
For the game, Freeman walked two and struck out 12, twirling his masterpiece that moved the Panthers to 3-0 on the season.
Roth took the loss for Pettisville, going the first 4 1/3, walking three and striking out four while giving up seven hits.
Delta hosts Montpelier today, and is at Bryan Thursday and Otsego on Friday. Pettisville is at Swanton today and hosts Hilltop Thursday before heading to Evergreen for a doubleheader on Saturday.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org