The last time Benedictine lefthander Carter Holton faced Statesboro he struck out 17 of the 18 batters he faced, and threw a perfect game. Friday at Mill Creek park Statesboro flipped the script, as Blue Devil pitchers Hunter Saussy and Drake Horton combined for a no-hitter, and the Blue Devils scored the winning run on a wild pitch to take the season series 2-1.
“Their starting pitcher did a great job, but not as great as he did last year,” said Statesboro coach Jim Simmons. “Our pitchers were up for the task and responded. Hunter got in trouble that one inning, but aside from that he did outstanding.”
Saussy threw six innings of no-hit ball, but did issue seven walks including four in a row which forced the first run across the board for the Cadets as they took a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Holton was his usual dominant self of the mound for Benedictine. He would allow only three hits over five innings of work, and struck out 10 Blue Devil batters. The Vanderbilt University committ left after five innings with a 1-0 lead.
Cadet reliever Austin Tse gave up a run in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a few Cadet miscues. With two out Mikal Mascarello legged out an infield single. Blake Stanford cam in to pinch run, and would move to second on a Tse balk. Stanford would then advance to third on a wild pitch, and then came in to score on an errant pick off attempt by catcher Ryan Pickard tying the game at 1-1.
In the ninth the Blue Devils manufactured another run. After Drake Horton got the Cadets in order in the top of the seventh, Dake Williams would reach on an error at second. Harrison Hughes came in to pinch run for Williams. A pickoff attempt by Tse was thrown away allowing Hughes to advance to second. The Cadets then intentionally walked Jackson Proctor, putting runners on first and second.
With no outs and Bradley Gronefeld up to bat Tse threw a wild pitch allowing the runners to advance to second and third. The Cadets then intentionally walked Gronefeld to load the bases. With Horton up to bat the first pitch was thrown into the dirt and rolled to the backstop, Hughes took off from third and slid head first ahead of the tag for the winning run, as the bench emptied and the team celebrated.
“We had some quality at bats tonight, played well defensively, and ran the bases well for the most part,” Simmons said. “I felt like we took advantage of the opportunities they gave us tonight.”
“I can’t be more proud of these kids for how they are playing right now,” Simmons said. “We have now won two straight series, against a couple of good teams.”
The Blue Devils improve to 7-5 on the season. Up next Statesboro travels to Effingham for the first of a three game series Monday at 6:00