Gunter's Villanueva throws no-hitter against Pottsboro
GUNTER — Not even the Tiger who had a front-row seat for the performance knew what had just happened. Most of the Gunter dugout didn't either.
With the way Isaac Villanueva has pitched for the last month, an outing like his latest has become close to the norm. So it took a minute before second baseman Landon Pelfrey brought it to their attention following the 7-0 victory over Pottsboro in District 11-3A action that Villanueva threw a no-hitter.
Catcher Riekkhan Bostick, who went 3-for-3 with three doubles and three RBI, didn't realize it until well after the ending when he quizzically broached the topic with the sophomore left-hander.
"Pelfrey said he thought it was a no-hitter and we checked the book. None of us knew," Gunter head coach Kerry Clement said. "He's gotten better each week. He kept them off balance. He's got a ball that really moves in there."
Villanueva struck out 10, hit a batter and did not issue a walk. He threw 62 of 96 pitches for strikes, including first-pitch strikes to 13 of the 22 batters he faced.
In addition to the performance of the batterymates, Colton Jolly went 3-for-3, drove in a run and scored twice, Cooper Wade singled and scored three times and Pelfrey added an RBI single for Gunter (16-4, 3-1), which plays at Howe on Tuesday night.
Jett Carroll was hit by a pitch while three other Cardinals reached on errors for Pottsboro (7-8, 2-2), which travels to Bonham on Tuesday.
The only ball which had the potential to be a hit was on Jackson Lipscomb's liner to center with two outs in the third but it was right at Garrett Vogel, who didn't have to move to make the catch.
In the first four innings, two of the three Cardinals to get on base were quickly disposed of.
Lipscomb reached on an error to open the game but was immediately erased via a double play, Jaxson Jester was on second after a two-out error in the second but was stranded there and Jake Kubik was the leadoff runner in the fourth thanks to another miscue and went to second on a wild pitch. He was thrown out by Bostick trying to steal third, for the second out of the inning.
Carroll was hit by a pitch to open the sixth before a forceout. Bostick then picked off Reid Thompson at first before a groundout ended the inning.
Villanueva then got a bouncer to first and a pair of strikeouts to finish off the no-hitter. It was the third time in four starts he had double-digit strikeouts and he has allowed just a pair of runs in his last 25 and a third innings.
Gunter gave Villanueva more than enough support and closed out the scoring during the fifth inning. Jolly singled with one out and Wade beat out an infield chopper over the mound.
Bostick smashed his third double of the night and the second to left field, driving in his third run. An error on the relay allowed Wade to score.
After a slow start to the season that saw the DH spot being used for him, Bostick has gone 6-for-8 with four doubles in the last week.
"The last three games he's really come on," Clement said.
The same could be said about Gunter — after opening district play with a loss, it has won three straight.
The Tigers tacked on three runs in the third. Vogel pulled a double into the right-field corner and Jolly came through with an RBI single past shortstop and went to second on the throw home.
Wade hit a comebacker to Lipscomb, who tried to get Jolly off second. But he beat the throw back to the bag, a wild pitch moved them up and Bostick plated both with a double to deep left for a 5-0 advantage.
Gunter got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Jolly was at second after a single and error on the play to start the inning but Wade’s bunt attempt was right back to Lipscomb, who went to third for the first out.
Bostick followed with a double to center and Wade scampered home on a wild pitch.
Lipscomb battled back from a 3-1 count for a strikeout of Carter Layton before Pelfrey came through with an RBI hit to center.