As he warmed up Thursday night, McCracken County's Josh Scheer could hardly throw his slider for a strike. Having to rely on one pitch, his four-seam fastball, in a big game against St. Mary could mean trouble considering starters try to throw multiple pitches to keep hitters off-balance.
Scheer didn't allow a hit over 62â 3 innings in McCracken County's 5-0 combined no-hitter home win against the Vikings. It was the second no-hitter in program history, joining Cole Womack's on April 12 against Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tenn.
McCracken County went 1-1 in Second District play against both Paducah Tilghman and St. Mary. The Vikings beat Tilghman in their lone game with one postponed. It remains to be seen who will be the district champion and earn an automatic berth into the First Region tournament.
Mustangs coach Geno Miller pulled Scheer after Scheer allowed four walks over his final 12â 3 innings and was approaching 120 pitches, about 20 more than Miller wanted him to throw.
"It breaks your heart as a coach," Miller said. "The no-hitter is so important, but you got to look out for the best interest of the kid. He'll just have to be mad at me for getting him out."
Scheer admitted exiting was tough, but he patted relief pitcher Keegan Breese on the back and told him to finish the job. Breese struck out Vikings No. 8 hitter John Higgins to end the game.
Scheer located his fastball to face one over the minimum for 51â 3 innings and struck out 10.
"You just got to deal with what you got and go out there and do whatever you have to do," said Scheer, a junior. "You pray to God and you keep that front side up and keep going."
The Mustangs (23-8) jumped to an early lead in support of Scheer, scoring four times in the first against Vikings starting pitcher Matthew Higgins.
No. 5 hitter Dylan Humphrey drove in the first run with a bases-loaded walk, and designated hitter Schubert Moffatt then produced the big hit, a two-run single. Breese added an RBI single two batters later for the 4-0 margin to chase Higgins, who took the loss.
The Mustangs scored their final run on a sacrifice fly by Nathan Williams in the sixth.
The Mustangs' win comes after St. Mary (16-4) beat them two days earlier because of a sixth-inning rally. Scheer said the way they lost bothered them.
"When they beat you like that, it makes us mad because we know we're a better team than that," he said. "Coming out and doing something like that shows them we're still here."
St. Mary 000 000 0 0 0 5
McCracken County 400 001 X 5 6 0
M. Higgins, Shaw (1), Eggemeyer (5) and Johnston; Scheer, Breese (7) and Schneider.
WP: Scheer; LP: M. Higgins.
2B: none. 3B: none. HR: none. Top hitters: McC-Moffatt 2-3 (2 RBIs), Breese 2-3 (RBI).
Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.