Baseball: Park slips by Woodbury with Alt no-hitter
Park's Brandon Alt had to think for a second to remember the last time he had such a strong day on the mound.
Alt threw what both teams considered to be a no-hitter in a 1-0 win at Woodbury on Friday evening. After thinking for a second, he recalled last throwing a no-hitter while playing eighth-grade ball.
But getting one in a varsity game is a little different.
"I did walk a few kids, but I was throwing the ball nice," said Alt, who had 11 strikeouts and two walks in seven innings on Friday. "I was locating pretty nice. I think that was the biggest part of my success today, was just locating the balls in the right spot with the right hitters."
Friday's game was a pitchers' duel, as Woodbury starting pitcher Jack Horman allowed just one unearned run and two hits over six and one-third innings. Alt scored the only run of the game in the fourth inning when he reached on an error and moved up to second base on a wild pitch. He later scored on a fielder's choice groundout by Jason Greeder.
Woodbury's Nolan Glunz reached base on a bunt in the second inning, but both teams agreed that an error allowed him to reach base.
"We've got to tip our cap to him," Woodbury head coach Kevin McDermott said about Alt. "He was a better pitcher, and they beat us today. We weren't very good, and he was better than us."
The Royals had another forgettable day at the plate after struggling to score runs in going 1-2 in league games the previous week. Woodbury's offense showed improvement in an 8-0 win at Cretin-Derham Hall on Monday, but Friday's loss was another step backward.
"We've got a lot of stuff to work on at the plate," McDermott said. "We have to swing the bat a little bit more aggressively, and we've got to move the baseball. Too many strikeouts. Once again, he's a good pitcher. But we put ourselves in tough positions and deep holes."
Woodbury dropped to an overall record of 4-3 with the loss on Friday.
Park improved to 6-1 after finishing the first win against Woodbury that head coach John McGowan can remember in his five years of coaching.
Park finished 6-10 in Suburban East Conference games last season, and this year it is already halfway to the same win total with a 3-1 start to SEC play.
With more wins comes more confidence.
"The kids are doing great. It's fun," McGowan said. "They trust each other. Alt trusts that when the ball is hit, guys are going to make plays."