By Jason Peake
Missourian Sports Writer
No-hitters are supposed to be rare occurrences.
Not for the Washington Post 218 Juniors.
Washington pitchers Matt Miller and Kody Halmich both recorded no-hitters in weekend victories for Post 218.
Miller allowed no hits in his team’s 10-0 victory over Pacific on Sunday at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field. Halmich’s no-no came on Saturday, a 10-0 win over Sullivan.
“We had a very successful weekend, picking up two district victories that were oddly similar,” Washington Manager Phillip Kleekamp said. “Both games were 10-0 victories, and both games were no-hitters that ended in walk-off fashion with us pushing across the game-ending runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.”
Washington hosts St. Peters Tuesday and is at Union on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
“Hopefully we can keep it rolling this week,” Kleekamp said. “We will have a lot of Ninth District tests coming up, so this weekend was a good way to start things off.”
Miller went all five innings and allowed only one walk while striking out nine.
“Matt Miller delivered his second no-hitter this season,” Kleekamp said. “Due to the rain, Matt had not pitched in almost a week and a half, but I thought he was pretty sharp overall. He went deep into some counts early in the game but became more aggressive as the day went on.”
Washington scored three runs in the first inning against Pacific starter Blake Coleman. Two runs scored on Halmich’s single and then Zach Marquart’s RBI single made it 3-0. Adam Gauzy and Garrett Leimkuehler drove in runs in the second. Three more runs in the fourth and two in the fifth ended the game early.
“Putting three runs on the board in the first inning really helped set the tone early in the game,” Kleekamp said. “We took advantage of some walks early and got off to another quick start.”
Miller, Halmich and Zach Marquart all had two RBIs apiece, while Adam Gauzy recorded one RBI on three hits and also scored three runs. Kyle Tuepker scored four times and had two hits.
“We had contributions up and down the lineup,” Kleekamp noted. “Zach Marquart picked up two hits in three trips to the plate and has really improved over the last week or so. Kody Halmich also went 2-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Kyle Tuepker also had a great game out of the leadoff spot going 2-2 with two walks and scoring four runs. Adam Gauzy, who batted in the two-hole for the first time all year, also picked up three hits in three at-bats, a walk, and scored three times. When you get that kind of production from the top of your lineup, usually, good things are going to happen.”
Sam Fuchs drew the walk for Pacific. Coleman pitched four innings and allowed six earned runs. He struck out seven and walked three. Noah Miller pitched one-third of an inning for Post 320.
Halmich threw a no-hitter as the Washington Post 218 Juniors handled Sullivan, 10-0, on Saturday
Halmich went all five innings and allowed nothing. He didn’t allow a hit or a walk while striking out six. One Sullivan batter reached base due to an error.
“Kody was sharp right off the bat,” Kleekamp said. “He only needed around 50 pitches to secure the no-no. Sullivan’s hitters were aggressive early, and Kody was able to take advantage of that. I believe it only took 10 pitches to get through the first two innings. Our defense was solid behind him as well, making some good plays. Kody was able to be aggressive while changing speeds. I don’t think Sullivan hit a ball out of the infield all day.”
Washington scored four runs in the first, two in the second, one in the third and three more in the fifth to end the game early.
“Our hitters have really been aggressive early,” Kleekamp noted. “We were also able to take advantage of six walks and three HBPs.”
Miller went 2-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Trey Hunter and Chris Schweissguth both drove in two runs apiece. Marquart added one RBI. Adam Hinson and Gus Kleekamp both scored two runs apiece.
“We have been doing a much better job of jumping ahead early in the game,” Kleekamp said. “Our pitchers have been more aggressive in the strike zone, which has led to quicker innings on the defensive side. We have also been able to score in the first inning in each of our least three or four games.”