Tyler sweeps Wirt County: Knights pitch perfect game and one-hitter
KIDWELL — Tyler Consolidated fans saw all the facets of the game strongly shine from their Silver Knights baseball team Saturday during a double-header against Wirt County.
Pitchers Ty Walton and Carson Gorby combined to throw a perfect game, the pair alongside Mason Nichols threw a one-hitter, and Jayden Helmick went 5 for 7 with six runs-batted-in while stealing eight bases and speeding around the bags for an inside-the-park home run.
The offense outscored its opponent 25-1.
And the beauty of all everything was that Tyler picked up wins 15 and 16 against the Tigers.
“They played like a team that has already played 16 games and we played like a team that had one going into today,” Wirt County head coach Nathan Haynes said.
Head coach Robbie Jones’ group wasted little time making themselves right back at home one night after a 14-4 win over Magnolia.
In a preview of what was to come in Game 2, the Knights pounded out a flawless 13-0 victory. Walton and Gorby combining to strike out nine over five innings. Helmick went three for four with five stolen bases and two RBIs, Owen Westbrook was 2-3 with an RBI with Tyler’s defense playing an immaculate game in the field.
“It was fun to be a part of as-far-as-we-know the first perfect game in school history,” Jones said. “The kids played well when they had to, and the pitchers were on fire.”
Walton cleared the way for his offense to have a big first frame after striking out the side in the top half of the first. His teammates took full advantage of the opportunity to help their pitcher out. Not one of the Knights first six batters retreated back to the dugout without first touching home plate.
Helmick started the party with a single before promptly stealing second and third on consecutive pitches. Walton proceeded to bring Zade Billings and him home after Levi Paul loaded the bases by walking Nichols. He cracked a double right through the gap between Wirt’s shortstop and second baseman.
Westbrook eventually plated Walton before Billings sent him across the plate to make the score 6-0.
Wirt finally got out of the inning when Nichols lined out to shortstop.
But just because the Tigers were out of trouble and itching to answer, didn’t mean they could.
Though Pahl settled down and worked a relatively clean second and third innings, the closest position Wirt came to being able to answer back wasn’t close at all. Cole Winnell and Nathan Rulston’s clean bat connections immediately found Knight gloves and neither got to step on a base, thus diffusing the only chances at starting a rally.
Helmick’s fourth stolen base helped him make it 7-0 in the fourth inning. He sprinted across home plate from third base after Billings’ sac-fly floated deep enough into the outfield. His final stolen base followed by another Billings RBI one inning later put the Knight at 10 runs.
This proved more than enough.
Gorby slammed the door with a one-two-three fifth inning.
It may have taken the Knights two innings to get the bats hot in Game 2, but once they heated up, everything stayed status quo.
Helmick pounded out two hits, including the field’s first inside-the-park home run, and drove in four RBIs, Hayden Brown scored two more teammates and the Knights tallied a 12-1 win over the technically home team Tigers.
“We came in and took care of business. We swung the bats well and the pitchers kept them off balance,” Jones said.
Garrit Smith silenced the Knights’ bats in the first inning. Unfortunately, the Tigers still faced a maximum of six more framers of hungry Knight’s hitters.
And in the very next frame, Gorby sparked the flint that lit the fire. His double scoring teammates Ammons and Brown ignited a fire that didn’t stop until Brown drove in two more runs in his next at bat of the inning. By that time, the score was 10-0 with Wirt County going down in four batters during the bottom of the second.
The Tigers finally put a run on the board when Winnell crossed home plate in the fourth inning, but Tyler responded with two more in the fifth, once again triggering the 10-run mercy rule.
Overall, the Tigers managed just one hit and struck out a combined 18 times. Still, Haynes liked what he saw from his team.
“Everything was positive. We competed. We hustled the energy was there, the attitude was there. We just need to get a chance to see live pitching,” he said. “Our pitchers have to cut it out on the walks and our hitters need to cut down on the strikeouts.”