South gets no-hit, still wins; Rafferty leads Service

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Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 18, 2023

South 1, Eagle River 0

Gavin Partch outdueled Liam Lierman in the ultimate pitcher’s battle as both hurlers went the distance and Lierman threw a no-hitter – and lost.

Partch tossed a 1-hit shutout and benefitted from an early run as South won the CIC league game at Mulcahy Stadium to improve to 6-1 in one-run games this year.

Lierman, a hard-throwing sophomore southpaw, struck out seven batters and shut down the Wolverines during his six-inning, 85-pitch effort.

The only run he allowed came in the second inning when he walked Blake Peterson, who came around the score after moving to second on a wild pitch, going to third on a balk and scoring on muffed bunt attempt that resulted in a stolen base.

With Peterson on third base and Kolby Jensen at the plate, the Wolverines (13-2, 4-2 CIC) called for a suicide squeeze play, but Jensen missed the bunt and then catcher Dallin Roberts missed the tag on Peterson.

It was a wild play and terrible way to lose for Lierman, who threw the 16th no-hitter in CIC history but became the first to lose the game.

Lierman issued three walks and hit a batter. One of them was erased on the base paths after Roberts threw out a runner at second.

South’s Chase Mascelli walked and stole second in the sixth inning, the only other Wolverine to get into scoring position other than Peterson.

At the plate, Lierman and Josh Thompson each reached base twice for the Wolves (10-5, 4-2 CIC). Three times Eagle River got a runner as far as second base.

The only hit of the game came in the fifth inning from Eagle River’s nine-hole hitter Dalton Smith, who punched a single to right field and clapped his hands as he reached first base. He knew.

Partch walked three and did not register a strikeout in his 92-pitch outing. His only 1-2-3 innings came in the second and seventh.

He threw strikes, trusted his defense and fielded his position. He had three assists and started a 1-6-3 double play to end the fifth inning.

Service 4, West 1

Jake Rafferty rocked and rolled as he drove in three runs and earned the save after closing out his team's CIC league win at Mulcahy Stadium.

The rocket right-hander racked up two strikeouts in the seventh inning for his second save in his last three appearances.

Rafferty ripped a two-run single in the first inning and added a run-scoring double in the third inning to provide the Cougars (12-2, 5-1 CIC) with all the offense they needed.

Landon Martindale went 2-for-2 with a walk and added an RBI single in the sixth inning. Braun Precosky scored two runs.

Starter Owen Hickman combined on a 1-hitter with relievers Rilen Niclai and Rafferty. Hickman struck out a half dozen in four innings to earn the win while Niclai worked a scoreless fifth and sixth innings.

Hickman, who moved to third base after he finished pitching, turned an unassisted double play in the sixth inning. The Cougars also turned a twin killing in the fifth inning, thanks to runner interference.

West's lone base hit and RBI was produced by Savion Bishop, who ripped a double down the third-base line in the fourth inning to score Gabe Caternicchio from first base to pull the Eagles within 3-1.

Jude Doniere did a little bit of everything. He reached base all three times via walks, including two four-pitch numbers; he turned an unassisted double play from third base; and he retired the only two batters he faced on the mound for West (6-7, 2-4 CIC).