HAMLET — John Glenn put up some serious numbers on April Fool’s Day.
The Falcons racked up 11 hits while capitalizing on 11 errors and some shaky pitching by Oregon-Davis, and Glenn’s pitching staff combined for a no-hitter backed up by near-errorless defense.
The result was a 25-0 rout of the host Bobcats in five innings in the two teams’ season-opener in Hamlet Monday.
“What I was happy with was we hit some balls on the nose today,” said Glenn head baseball coach John Nadolny. “They let us extend innings by the walks or whatever, but that’s one of the things you want to start out on a positive note. They made some nice plays in the outfield on some balls that could’ve been hits, so I was just happy to see line drives today. I thought we ran the bases fairly well, just some things that early in the season sometimes you’re a little unsure of.”
OD hung tough for three innings behind a solid start from Cameron Clark, but a leadoff double by Glenn left fielder Austin Bloss in the top of the fourth was followed by a pair of infield errors, and things quickly snowballed for Clark and the Bobcats.
Henry Clark chased Cameron for the frame’s final out, but by the time the smoke had cleared the Falcons had stretched five hits and seven OD errors into 12 runs in the inning — and Glenn baserunners scored four times on wild pitches alone in the frame — putting the game all but completely out of reach at 16-0.
“That’s been our problem for the last five, six years — we get a good outing from our pitcher, and errors kill us,” said OD head coach Rob Taylor. “Errors kill us something terrible. That’s one of the reasons we’ve only won one or two games the last six years. I don’t know what it’s going to take to change it, but it’s just one of those tough things.”
The Bobcats weren’t able to counter at the plate either, going down in order in the bottom of the fourth, and the Falcons kept the pressure on in the fifth, tacking on nine more runs off eight walks, three hits and a hit batsman against Henry Clark and OD closer Bryce Kessler to bring the score to its final margin.
It was a pretty hot start for Glenn’s lineup on a frigid day in Hamlet where temperatures dipped below 30 with the windchill Monday.
The Falcons notched 11 hits in the opener, including doubles by Bloss, David Jaworski and Justin Gierlowski — the latter a ground rule hopper over the centerfield fence the second time through the order in the fourth — and a double and a triple from shortstop Mark Einhorn, who finished 3-for-5 officially with three runs scored and three RBI batting second in Glenn’s lineup. Bloss went 2-for-3 with four runs scored and three RBI, meanwhile, all driven in on a bases-clearing knock to deep right-center in his final at-bat in the fifth. Leadoff hitter Drew McDonald and Jaworski each scored three times in the win, as did Glenn DH Cody Myer.
“It wouldn’t have been as bad if they would’ve caught a few balls, and it kind of just snowballed,” said Nadolny. “But our seniors did a nice job. We’ve got a couple seniors that don’t have a lot of experience, and they came through with a couple nice knocks today, so we’ll hopefully keep progressing as the season goes on.”
OD batters reached base only three times in the loss as Glenn starter Kyle Liedtky, reliever Michael Holderread and closer Ben Drzewiecki put up a combined no-hitter with eight strikeouts versus just two walks in the win. The last time the Bobcats reached it was first baseman Tim Hofferth on a high line drive and infield error with two out in the fifth, and he advanced to second on a wild pitch before Drzewiecki caught Kevin Avery looking to close out the game.
Apart from Hofferth’s liner, the Bobcats’ only bright spots Monday were Cameron Clark’s initial start before the wheels came off in the fourth and some solid fielding by center fielder/ closer Kessler, whose play was highlighted by a nice diving save of a Jaworski fly to deep center in the fourth.
“I’m pretty okay happy with the three kids that threw today,” Nadolny said. “Any time you can throw strikes in this weather, that’s a good thing because the curveball isn’t going to be effective; the ball gets kind of slimy from the cold. So I was happy with the way they came out and threw strikes.”
“A lot of kids didn’t want to show up from spring break, so we didn’t get much hitting in, and that reflects the result of that,” said Taylor.
“My starting pitcher Cameron Clark, I thought did a real good job. He threw strikes; he was consistently around the plate. And Bryce Kessler in center field made a couple nice grabs out there. Those two did a fine job today.”
Besides being the season-opener, Monday’s game marked the re-opening of the series between the Bobcats and the Falcons, one-time area rivals who hadn’t played one another in several years prior to the game.
“They’re a backyard opponent. They’re 15 minutes away, and I always said ‘Why aren’t we playing these guys?” Nadolny said. “We’ve changed our schedule around. We’ve just tried to rearrange our schedule a little bit, and this kind of came up to the forefront for us. Hopefully we can keep doing it.”
“I think Glenn wanted to come back to us, too,” Taylor said. “There’s always been a rivalry between our two schools, and I think a lot of people wanted to see that back. Even though we don’t have much to throw at them at the moment. Hopefully within two years — we’ve got some good kids coming up — hopefully we can do it within two years.”
OD opens at 0-1 and will look to redeem itself at Morgan Township today at 4:30 p.m. CT.
Glenn is 1-0, meanwhile, but will be put to the test with a four-game homestand over the next week that will include South Bend Washington at 4:30 p.m. ET today, Riley Thursday and a doubleheader with Rochester Saturday.
“We’re going to be challenged more defensively tomorrow and the rest of the week,” said Nadolny. “That’ll be the next thing that we need to have — more situations in ballgames and things like that. But I was happy with the overall effort our team gave today.”
• JOHN GLENN 25,
Glenn: 211 (12)(9) — 25 11 1
OD: 000 0 0 — 0 0 11
Kyle Liedtky (W), Michael Holderread (3), Ben Drzewiecki (5) and David Jaworski; Cameron Clark (L), Henry Clark (4), Bryce Kessler (5) and Aron Rotering.
2B: Jaworski, Justin Gierlowski (G), Mark Einhorn (G), Austin Bloss (G)
Records: Glenn 1-0, OD 0-1