By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The no-hitter is a gem all in itself for an arm. Just nudge before the diamond of them all in the perfect game.
Valley took it to the next level Wednesday afternoon at Holland Youth Park when they had Ricky Alvarado, Tyler Minney and Jacob Winstead combined for a no-hitter in their 6-0 win over the Stayton Bandits.
Consider this for the Majors. There only have been 14 combined no-hitters in MLB history, the last coming last August when the Astros had four pitchers to no-hit the Seattle Mariners on August 3.
Alvarado started the game for Valley, pitching the first three innings with seven strikeouts. Minney followed with three innings of his own, striking out four. The only blemish through the first six innings that kept them from perfection, five walks as their offense produced six runs before Winstead finished off the game in the seventh.
“I think it just goes to show how good our pitchers can really be if we really put the grind to the metal. It feels good to shove against a good hitting squad that we’ve lost to and don’t want to lose to again. Overall, a good feeling,” said Alvarado. “We had a lot of momentum entering this week.”
“We got a good pitching squad,” adds West Albany’s Chase Reynolds. “We’ve had a few games in a row now in which, what? Ten-plus hits? So, we’re really swinging the bats against good teams.”
Reynolds went 2-for-2 with 2RBI’s, Luke Killinger was 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Valley team.
The Bandits were able to draw the walks to get the base runners, but couldn’t time out and break the code of the Valley of the Pitchers Wednesday as they take on Central Thursday evening back at Holland Youth Park.
“I think our team is pretty good at that in general. A lot of times we’ll comeback from being down and carry it over to the next game and do what we do,” said Stayton catcher Tanner Manning. “You just get days like that where you get everyone doing their best, but you can’t put it together and piece it all together,”
“We’ve had a lot of good defensive innings and just one where…I don’t know day’s happen like that sometimes.”
Valley had scored four runs in the fifth inning that turned a then 1-0 game into a 5-0 lead. Reynolds, Minney, Ethan Patterson and Killinger each drove in runs during that inning.
Lupe Peralta struck out four in three-and-two-third innings for the Bandits before Jared Mitchell finished out the game with three strikeouts for Stayton.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald