Back before the heavy rains made a lake of the outfields at Bishop Park, Brittan Crouch of the Richard’s Honda AAA Babe Ruth team fired a[more] no-hitter against HSC in Bryant Athletic Association baseball action.
In the 16-0 run-rule win in five innings, Crouch struck out nine and worked around three walks as his teammates supported him with flawless defense.
Members of the Richard’s team also include Justin Barnes, Luke Brantley, Ben Bruick, Austin Caldwell, Caleb Chaffin, Cody Davis, Justin Emmerling, Trevor Ezell, Andrew Kincaid, Johnathan Long, Liam Miller, Zechariah Novack, Peyton Reber, Jimbo Seale, Drew Tipton, Matt Vangilder and Alex Willis.
Crouch pitched around a two-out walk in the first then retired five in a row. HSC drew a pair of walks in the third but Crouch escaped by inducing a fly to Miller, who made a nice running catch in left to maintain the no-hitter and the shutout. That final out of the third started a run in which he set down the final seven in a row.
There were other defensive gems along the way as well. The most dramatic came perhaps when the no-hitter was just two outs from being completed. On a drive to center in the bottom of the fifth, Caldwell made a diving catch to keep the no-no intact. On the next play, Brantley, who had made a nice play in the fourth, turned in another, throwing to first for the out. Earlier, to start the second inning, Crouch helped himself by bouncing off the mound to field a bunt and get the out at first. Kincaid, playing first, saved an error along the way with a leaping catch of a throw.
The offense gave him all the runs he would need in the top of the first. Consecutive walks to Ezell, Tipton, Caldwell and Crouch produced the first run. Brantley reached on an error then Miller, who had four hits (a double shy of the cycle) singled. Groundouts by Kincaid and Seale completed the scoring, making it 5-0.
In the second, Ezell walked again and Tipton cracked a double. With one out, Crouch drew a pass then Brantley, Miller and Kincaid ripped consecutive singles, though Miller was out thrown out trying to take third on Kincaid’s hit.
Two more scored in the fourth when, with one out, Brantley drew a walk and sprinted all the way home on a triple by Miller. Kincaid got Miller home with a groundout and Richard’s led 11-0.
The fifth began with three straight singles by Ezell, Tipton and Caldwell. Crouch got a run home with a sacrifice fly and, after Brantley walked to load the bags again, Miller drilled a grand slam to complete the scoring.
The only mystery that was left was whether Crouch could finish off the gem and, in the bottom of the fifth, he fanned the first batter then got the second out thanks to Caldwell in center before Brantley got the final out on the grounder to third.