DIKE — Wins don’t come much weirder than the one the Dike-New Hartford baseball team experienced Friday night.
Not that the Wolverines are complaining.
Being no-hit wasn’t enough to deter the Class 2A fifth-ranked Wolverines, who got a one-hitter of their own from Nick Durnin in a 2-0 win over 1A No. 7 Don Bosco in a lightning-shortened game.
Despite keeping Dike-New Hartford hitless, Dons pitcher Trever Brown had some control and fielding issues that resulted in both of the game’s runs.
What would have been an inning-ending strikeout of Ethan Weichers in the third was negated when the pitch got by catcher Easton Larson.
After Trent Johnson reached on an error that put runners at first and third, Johnson proceeded to get caught in a rundown on a steal attempt. Though he was eventually tagged out, Johnson stayed alive long enough to allow Weichers to score.
A leadoff error, one of four Don Bosco committed, and a pair of wild pitches by Brown produced the next run in the ensuing inning, as Ben Freese came home on a pitch in the dirt.
Though not perfect himself, Durnin was able to avoid big mistakes. Despite allowing just the one hit, the senior pitcher had just one perfect inning, thanks largely to his five walks.
But facing a team that entered with the state’s third-highest batting average, Durnin never faltered in tight spots. His best work arguably came in the third, when he forced Austin Miller, a .500 hitter entering the night, to fly out with runners on first and third and two outs.
“When you feel pressure, that’s when things start to go south,” said Durnin, who finished with seven strikeouts. “I knew I had a good defense behind me so I just kept my head up, tried throwing strikes and making plays to get out of jams.”
The Dons were robbed of their final chance to come back when the game was called in the bottom of the sixth when lightning hit the area.
Though wanting a final at-bat, Dons Coach Blaine Rhodes said his offense would have had its work cut out against Durnin.
“He was the MVP tonight, no question,” Rhodes said. “We had some baserunners, but he found a way to stop us. He did a great job.”
While their performance didn’t look impressive in the book, Wolverines coach Sean Leonard said there was still a lot to like in the way his team battled at the plate.
“When we’re not at our best offensively, we still make teams make plays, and that’s what we did tonight,” he said. “I think it takes a little talent to do that.”
Dike-New Hartford has now won 11 in a row, improving to 24-3. Don Bosco fell to 24-4, and saw its five-game win streak come to an end.
Dike-N.H. 2, Don Bosco 0
Don Bosco 000 000 — 0 1 4
Dike-N.H. 001 10x — 2 0 2
Brown and Schares. Durnin and Johnson. WP—Durnin. LP—Brown.