WILLIAMSTOWN - St. Marys bounced back in a big way here Thursday afternoon from its first loss of the season.
Junior lefthander Michael Stout hurled a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts and only three walks and did not allow a baserunner past second as the visiting Blue Devils pounded out 13 hits en route to an 8-0 win over Williamstown.
Stout was so effective on the mound that his fielders had to make just seven plays behind him, with the toughest by far the one on the final play of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Yellowjackets' Kody Rhyne hit a slow infield bounder toward third base. St. Marys third sacker Chad Hofstetter charged in, picked the ball up on a bounce and fired a peg to first base on one hop that first baseman Matthew Houser handled for out No. 21 to complete Stout's gem.
For Stout, who has a notched a number of no-hitters as well as a perfect game in his St. Marys career, "I was feeling good from the beginning, although my arm started hurting a little bit," he said. "But I got over it and just kept throwing hard, and they couldn't hit the ball."
He acknowledged, though, that "the last play was a little close. I thank Chad and Matthew for that. It was a good play by them at both ends."
Thursday, Stout depended on his fastball more than anything. "My curveball was working a little bit, but my fastball had a lot of movement on it and it helped me out because they couldn't catch up to it."
He didn't get unnerved when Williamstown's Josh Stephens drew a leadoff walk in the fourth after Stout had retired the first nine batters he had faced. "I just kept my composure and kept on trying to throw strikes and rely on my teammates to be there to help me," said Stout.
And while Stout was dispensing of the Yellowjacket batters, his teammates were scoring runs. Johnny Riggs belted a two-run homer in the third for a 3-0 lead after Stout helped himself with a sacrifice fly in the second and then another one in the fourth for a 4-0 advantage.
St. Marys, now 16-1 after suffering its first setback by a 21-8 count at Ravenswood Tuesday, plated three more tallies before its fourth frame ended, though, on an RBI double by Hofstetter, run-scoring single by Jarrod Lough and sacrifice fly by Riggs. Then Stout drove in his third run of the game with an RBI single in the fifth.
"He (Stout) was on today, wasn't he?" said St. Marys head coach Ed Wilson. "He threw strikes, had a lot of velocity on his fastball, which was moving quite a bit, and has a good curveball that kept them off stride. He had been struggling a little bit, but today he was back.
"And he hadn't been hitting very well either, but hit the ball hard today. So I'm glad to see that too, because he plays center field for us when he's not pitching."
Williamstown head coach Terry Smith gave "a tip of the cap to Stout. He's really good and did a good job out there today. Our kids got in there and swung and hacked, but just weren't able to hit him. He was just overpowering today. I told our kids, 'He (Stout) pitched well. What are you going to do?' "