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Waterford throws combined no-no, mercies Federal Hocking

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Waterford baserunner Hayden Jones gets back into first base as the ball gets away from Federal Hocking fielder Rylan Poston during Wednesday’s game in Waterford. Jones and two other Wildcat pitchers combined on a five-inning, no-hitter during an 11-1 win.
(Photo by Kerry Patrick)

WATERFORD — Three pitchers combined for a five-inning, no-hitter as Waterford pulled the trick for the second time this season in a win over Federal Hocking.

Wednesday afternoon, Wildcat starter Hayden Jones struck out four in two innings of work to earn the victory as Waterford pulled back to .500 at 4-4 with the 11-1 victory.

The lone Waterford senior on the roster, Randy Kindle, faced the minimum while walking one and striking out one in the third inning. Kaleb Wright stepped into a varsity role for the afternoon and finished off the final two innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

Waterford coach Chris Schmitt was pleased how his pitching staff stuck to the idea of pitching to contact, but was a bit concerned with the free passes – especially with games upcoming Friday at Southern and back home Saturday against Belpre.

“We walked five guys – we’re changing our approach and have guys throw to contact,” Schmitt said. “We don’t need guys to strike people out. We just need to get outs with contact.

Waterford Randy Kindle throws one inning of scoreless relief as one of three Wildcat pitchers who combined on a five-inning, no-hitter during Wednesday’s 11-1 win over Federal Hocking.
(Photo by Kerry Patrick)

“We gave up a run with no hits. The TVC is good and we can’t do that.”

The Waterford catcher of record was Weston Hennes.

“Weston is our starting third baseman,” Schmitt said. “He is a bulldog. He is a workhorse back there. He is athletic as can be. He will play third, right field – anything you ask him.”

Jones turned in an impressive top of the first inning after retiring the side in order on only nine pitches. His two innings were like night and day as he walked three of the first four batters he faced in the second inning. The second of two wild pitches allowed Federal Hocking’s starting pitcher Cody Mettler to cross home plate.

Hayden Jones escaped further damage by striking out the next two hitters to end the threat.

“Hayden hasn’t thrown all year – he got hit in the eye and got injured so we haven’t put him on the mound for protection,” Schmitt said. “He’s also our catcher and he’s just a freshman. He did what he needed to do tonight. Randy is our senior and hasn’t thrown a bullpen in a while so we wanted to get him in for an inning and get his arm moving.

“Kaleb is actually a JV guy, and he will help us with pitching because we have all these games coming up back-to-back-to-back.”

Waterford’s offense took care of the rest, scoring at least two runs in each of their four innings.

The Wildcats busted right out of the gate when Colten Jones doubled over the center fielder’s head and brought home Hayden Jones, who led off with a base hit. Colten Jones later scored on Cole Hansel’s infield grounder.

Waterford had some two-out magic in the bag to increase the lead to 3-0. Wade singled, stole second and scored on Braun Doak’s base hit.

The Wildcats’ bottom third of the order also contributed. In the second inning, Hennes out of the No. 8 spot walked and stole second then advanced to third on a base hit from Kindle. A delayed double steal by the two baserunners left Federal Hocking trailing 4-0.

Kindle trotted home on Hayden Jones’ sacrifice fly and a 5-1 Waterford lead after two innings.

Waterford nearly batted around in a four-run, third inning. With one out and the bases loaded thanks to an error on the Federal Hocking outfield, a walk and Kindle’s second base hit of the game, Colten Jones’ fly ball over the left fielder’s head resulted in a two-run double. Colten Jones eventually scored on yet another double steal.

For the game, the Wildcats were credited with seven stolen bases.

“Offensively, we are getting there,” Schmitt said. “At the beginning of the year, not so much. Now we are getting in that groove of playing every day. We missed a lot of games because of the floods. Bats are starting to liven up for us.”

Needing two runs in the fourth to put the mercy rule in play, Waterford did exactly that. Doak doubled home one run and later scored on a delayed double steal attempt.

With the gap now 11-1 and three outs from a win, Wright had some help defensively posting a zero in the fifth inning. After hitting a batter to put Federal Hocking runners at the corners and two outs, Glen Wilkes ripped a sharp grounder to third baseman Zavier Hess, who gloved the ball on the short hop and relayed the throw to the second baseman covering for a fielder’s choice.

“We have the one senior, so confidence is big for these guys,” Schmitt said.

Contact Kerry Patrick at kpatrick@newsandsentinel.com



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