BaseballNORMAL – University High senior pitcher Zach Frey tossed his very first no-hitter as the host Pioneers blanked Corn Belt Conference rival Stanford Olympia, 8-0, at Duffy Bass Field on Tuesday.

Frey, who will be attending the University of Illinois at Springfield in the fall, struck out 10 and walked four in the process of sealing the victory for the Pioneers, who increased their season record to 18-2, and 8-2 in the Corn Belt Conference. Frey, who beginning this fall will be attending and playing baseball at University of Illinois at Springfield, registered 10 strikeouts and four walks against the Spartans’ offense.

Stanford Olympia (10-18, 4-9 Corn Belt Conference) struggled on the mound as head coach Ron Smith pulled starter Clayton Willis after just 16 pitches in favor of Andy Davis who managed to go 5 2/3 innings before handing off Mason Marquis. Marquis had been in the game at third base before getting the nod to the mound from his coach.

U-High PioneersU-High began getting their scoring started while Willis was still on the mound as Pioneers third baseman Jon Rink singled and Frey doubled, scoring Rink, giving the Pioneers a fast 1-0 lead. A single to deep left field from catcher Jake Armstrong scored Frey, increasing U-High’s lead, 2-0, and was the cue for Smith to pull Willis off the mound in favor of Davis.

Olympia head coach Ron Smith his starter for this game, Clayton Willis had pitched the previous week and had broken a finger on his left pitching hand. Smith admitted he probably put Willis back on the mound too quickly after the injury. During this contest, Willis only threw 16 pitches before he was removed in favor of the game’s eventual losing pitcher, Andy Davis. Davis pitched for 5 2/3 innings.

The Pioneers didn’t make Davis’ innings on the mound any easier. With two out in the bottom of the second inning, U-High first baseman John Gibson walked and was followed by a single from designated hitter Matt Mier. Gibson and Mier scored on a single from shortstop Billy Mote, increasing the Pioneers’ advantage, 4-0.

An inning later, Mote provided another run batted in singling to deep right field, again scoring Gibson who was walked by Davis. That increased the Pioneers’ advantage, 5-0.

OlympiaU-High scored three more runs in the sixth inning, as third baseman Jon Rink led off with no outs hitting a single. Next, Frey doubled, and was followed by right fielder Austin Galindo, who doubled, scoring Rink and Frey, increasing U-High’s lead, 7-0. That score became 8-0 when Galindo scored, having been walked at the plate, and advanced on an out made on Keegan Ummel.

Frey said the entire time the no-hitter was in progress, he was trying “to stay positive, sitting at the end of the bench trying to focus on the game, trying not to give up a hit, of course.”

Getting a lead helped his pitching, Frey said. “Once I get a lead, I tend to keep it that way. Getting those two runs at the start of the game gave me all the confidence in the world. I knew I had the best defense in the world to back me up.”

“It was a pretty balanced performance by our whole team,” U-High head coach Steve Paxson said. “And, of course, Zach was our best pitcher last year, and he’s been our best pitcher this year, and he acted like it today.”

“Frye’s good,” Stanford Olympia’s Smith added. “He’s probably one of the top pitchers in the conference. But we haven’t hit all year. We’re hitting about .240 as a team. What we need now is just not there.”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 at 10:30 pm and is filed under Olympia HS, The Normalite, U-High. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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