Challis/Mackay RiverCats freshman pitcher Austin Ollar did all he could.
Ollar struck out six batters in five innings of work, unbalancing Declo’s batters to his advantage in the opening frames of the 2A state tournament game Thursday at Melaleuca Field.
But his pitching went in vain.
“Yeah, he did great, we just let him down,” Challis-Mackay coach Ryan Millick said.
Instead, the evening belonged to Declo pitcher Clayton Johnson and the Hornets’ fifth-inning offense, which combined pushed Declo past Challis-Mackay 9-0. Declo will play Nampa Christian at 7 p.m. today in the 2A state semifinal round and Challis-Mackay will play Bear Lake at 1 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
Johnson threw a no-hitter in seven frames (he did walk four and hit two batters), and Mckay Breshear’s at-bat overwhelmed Ollar and company.
“I felt pretty good, but I couldn’t have done it without my defense,” Johnson said. “My defense helped me all the way through. I had struggles, but they backed me up.”
Neither team found much luck at the plate during the opening two frames.
But it was Breshear’s RBI triple in the bottom of the third that ended the deadlock. He would score later in the inning to make it 2-0 going into the fourth.
The Hornets’ fifth inning is what plummeted the RiverCats, though. Declo had seven runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth, including Breshears second RBI of the game.
It packed onto the lead with five singles.
“We’ve had some success in football and basketball, but this is the first year we’ve had a baseball program,” Hornets coach Doug Meyer said. “So I think they were a little nervous there the first couple innings, first time through the order. That second time through, we’re getting better at-bats, finally squaring some stuff up.”
Challis-Mackay attempted to come back in the top of the sixth, but eventually left two runners on base. It couldn’t find any hits in the top of the seventh frame either.
The RiverCats had only six baserunners all game, paired with four errors on defense, as they were left scoreless for the second time all season.
After the game, Millick said the RiverCats were playing for pride following the Hornets’ explosive fifth inning.
“Oh yeah, deflated for sure,” Millick said. “But, now we’re playing for pride. One try to get a hit, and two, don’t give up that (10th) run.”
Only one of those achievements came late Thursday night for Millick and Challis-Mackay.
DECLO 9, CHALLIS-MACKAY 0
Challis-Mackay 000 000 x — 0 0 4
Declo 002 070 0 — 9 8 0