News flash for anyone who doesn’t know it. Delta’s Gabe Freeman is good.
In fact, Monday he was dominating as the junior right-hander fired a no-hitter, walking just one and striking out 14 as Delta scored early, then again late to beat Evergreen 8-0 at home to even both teams’ NWOAL record at 2-2.
“It was his day,” Panther coach Damon Mattimore explained. “He got ahead early and really had it going. He was really, really on today.”
It was Freeman’s second no-no of the season. The first came against Woodward the opening day of the year.
Freeman struck out the first five Evergreen hitters before an error allowed only one of two base runners on the day.
Meanwhile, the Panthers got to Viking starter Bryce Hudik for four first inning runs for all the insurance Freeman needed on the day.
Freeman himself started the rally with a sharp single to center, and after a pair of walks, a wild pitch, and a throwing error, Travis Dunning delivered the big blow in the inning with a two-run single to right that gave Delta a 4-0 lead and ended the day for Hudik.
Teagen Pinkelman came in to relieve for the Vikings and basically matched Freeman pitch for pitch from that point on, allowing just one hit and a walk while picking off two Panthers at first base.
That story lasted until the bottom of the sixth, when Jason Beverly ripped a single to left and stole second.
Justin Anderson followed with a run scoring hit to make it 5-0. Then the Panthers got a pair of breaks to blow the game open.
Cole Mattin’s pop-up behind the plate was muffed, and the Delta second baseman took advantage with a base hit to center.
Dunning followed with what should’ve been an inning ending ground ball that was misplayed for an error to get Chris Brick to the plate with the bases jacked and just one out.
Brick hammered a Pinkelman offering into the left center field gap to clear the bases and mark the last three Delta runs.
Hudik took the loss going just a third of an inning.
Pinkelman’s line was very solid as the senior righty went five, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits. All four runs and four of those hits came in his last inning of work.
Delta moves to 10-6 on the year while the Vikings fall to 2-13.
The Panthers host league leading Archbold Thursday at 5 p.m. Evergreen travels to Liberty Center.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org