BELMONT – Shullsburg/Benton senior Hunter Matye faced the minimum amount of batters en route to a complete-game no-hitter and drove in the winning run on a first-inning fielders’ choice as the visiting Miner-Zephyrs blanked the Belmont Braves, 4-0, in a Six Rivers West baseball game held at BHS on Tuesday, April 11.
In his first outing on the hill this season, Matye (1-0) needed just 81 pitchers to work his way through seven hitless innings, striking out five batters and yielding just two base runners– one on a walk and another on an error. One runner was caught stealing and the other was picked off second base as Matye faced just 21 batters in the game.
“Anytime a no hitter is thrown it is special. By only striking out five, walking one and facing the minimum number of batters, this was a special one in so many ways. With only five strikeouts we had to play solid defense behind him. One walk meant that he was consistently throwing strikes and making hitters hit his pitches and not theirs. Facing the minimum is as close as possible to a perfect game without throwing one. A solid defensive effort played a key role in that as well,” said Shullsburg/Benton head coach Tim Strang.
The #9-ranked Miner-Zephyrs (5-1 overall, 3-0 SRC) grabbed an early 1-0 lead when Matye grounded out to short to drive in Brooks Tiedeman, who singled to open the game.
The score remained stuck at 1-0 until the seventh inning when Shulls/Ben plated three insurance runs to go up 4-0. Tiedeman singled in Nolan Strang and two more runs scored on errors to extend the lead.
“We made some baserunning mistakes during the course of the game that cost us other scoring opportunities, so the game was tight throughout. Credit their pitchers and defense with not walking many guys or putting us on with errors. The seventh inning gave us a little breathing room and Hunter finished the game strong. He was scheduled to only throw four to five innings that day, but he kept his pitch count extremely low by throwing strikes and challenging hitters,” added Strang.
Matye retired the Braves (1-4, 1-2) in order in the bottom of the seventh on a fly out, a strikeout and a groundout to finish off the no-hitter.
Tiedeman went 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Nathan Wedige was 3-for-3 with a run, and Strang doubled and scored a run for the Miner-Zephyrs.
Jacob Amenda and Colin Austin combined to fan 11 batters for the Braves.
At Shullsburg, on Thursday, April 13, Brooks Tiedeman scored the game-winning run by taking home on an error in the fifth inning, and then he threw out the potentially tying run at the plate in the top of the seventh inning to help the Miner-Zephyrs avenge their only loss of the season with a 4-3 non-conference win over River Ridge/Scales Mound.
The Miner-Zephyrs plated two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth to grab a 4-0 advantage. Senior Noah Wand plated Hunter Matye with a squeeze bunt to open the scoring and the hosts added three more runs on errors.
The Wildcats sliced the deficit in half with two runs in the sixth, and then made things interesting by putting the tying runs into scoring position with two down. Andrew Brown singled to left to drive in Nick Parr, but Tiedeman cut down Andy Wurster at the plate to preserve the one-run victory.
Nathan Mowry (2-1) notched the win, working the first six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. Jacob Berendes pitched the seventh, surrendering one unearned run on two hits with a K for the save.
Shullsburg/Benton has upcoming Six Rivers West games at Shullsburg against Potosi on Monday, April 24, and Highland on Tuesday, April 25, both starting at 5 p.m. Their crossover doubleheader at Albany was called off since the Comets did not have enough players to field a team this season.
At Hazel Green, on Monday, April 17, the host Southwestern Wildcats tallied runs in five of their six turns at bat to defeat Coach Trevor Kattre’s Braves, 9-1, in a non-conference contest.
The Braves plated their lone run in the top of the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead, but the Wildcats struck for two runs in the bottom of the first to overtake the lead and then added to it in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings.
Jacob Amenda and Brady Wedig each registered two hits for the Braves.
Belmont as a twinbill at Barneveld on Friday, April 21, starting at 4:30 p.m., and the Braves have games at River Ridge (Patch Grove) on Monday, April 24, and at home against Cassville on Tuesday, April 24, starting at 5 p.m. each night.
Shulls/Bent… 100 000 3 – 4 8 1
Belmont…….. 004 410 x – 0 0 2
Leading Hitters: S/B– Brooks Tiedeman 2x4, Nathan Wedige 3x3. 2B- Nolan Strang. Bel– None.
WP- Hunter Matye. LP- Jacob Amenda.
At Belmont, on Tuesday, April 11
River Ridge, Ill… 000 002 1 – 3 7 4
Shulls/Bent……. 000 220 0 – 4 3 3
Leading Hitters: None.
WP- Nathan Mowry. LP- Patterson.
At Shullsburg, on Thursday, April 13
Belmont……….. 100 000 0 – 1 5 1
Southwestern… 221 103 x – 9 10 2
Leading Hitters: Jacob Amenda 2x4, Brady Wedig 2x4.
WP- Splinter. LP- Ethan James.
At Belmont, on Monday, April 17