- Special Sections
- Public Notices
In the middle innings of Thursday night’s crosstown showdown between the Collins and Shelby County baseball teams, one of Zac Wiley’s teammates broke one of the biggest unwritten rules in all of baseball – he mentioned the fact that the Titans’ senior was throwing a no-hitter.
In a sport saturated with superstitions that’s a no-no.
For Wiley, though, it was no big deal.
He would finish off the no-hitter, and the Rockets, as Collins clipped Shelby County 3-0 in a 30th District game. The Bellarmine University-signee walked two and struck out five in an 80-pitch gem.
“He was outstanding,” Titans Coach Roy Bailey said of Wiley, a right-hander. “He spotted his fastball. He didn’t try to overdue anything. He just pitched tonight and hit his spots.”
Of his aforementioned 80 pitches, 52 went for strikes and he threw 15 first-pitch strikes to the 23 hitters he faced.
“I felt good today,” a smiling Wiley said afterward. “A little bit of everything [was working]. I was throwing my two-seam [fastball] down and in and my slider was good too.
“I was spotting my fastball on the outside corner and inside corner, then I’d bring in my curveball to try to mess up their timing a little bit.”
It seemed to work. Wiley induced Shelby County (12-4, 0-1 after the game) into six groundouts and 10 fly outs.
“We jumped on some pitches and popped a lot of balls up,” said Rockets Coach Bart “Rudy” Roettger, whose team was shutout for the first time this season, and the first time since its last meeting with the Titans.
Dan Sanders and Buddy Johnson combined to hold Shelby County scoreless and Paul Miller’s fifth-inning RBI-single was the difference in Collins’ 1-0 triumph last May.
This time around Wiley gave himself all the run support he would need in the first inning.
Senior Dre Farris led off with a single. The standout on the state championship football team then stole second and took third on E.J. Burk’s sacrifice. He scored on Wiley’s one-out single to left field.
The Titans (12-2, 1-0 in the district), who entered ranked No. 14 in the state coaches poll and No. 15 in the Kentucky Prep Top 25, tacked on two more runs in the second inning.
Junior Hunter Perry reached on an error, moved to second on Justin Eden’s sacrifice and third on a single by junior Alex Doyle, who took second on the relay throw. Perry scored on Farris’ ground out, then Doyle came in on Burk’s single.
“They did a good job of putting runners on in scoring position and capitalizing, that’s usually our M-O,” said Roettger, whose team came in averaging 7.7 runs per game.
Three runs were more than enough for Wiley, who walked the third batter he faced (Kyler Dugle) and the first batter of the seventh inning (Dillon Boone) as he improved to 5-1 and lowered his earned-run average to 0.62. He also received an error-free effort from his defense, which included Eden running down a ball off the bat of Steven Standafer in deep left field in the top of the first inning.
“If you can’t get a runner past second base, you don’t have a very good chance to win,” Roettger said.
Senior Mason Jeffries led the Titans’ nine-hit attack, going 3-for-3 while Doyle went 2-for-3.
Boone, the senior left-hander, absorbed the loss for the Rockets. He gave up one earned run while walking two and striking out four.
“Dillon did a good job. He was a little amped up early, you could tell,” Roettger said.
After walking Boone to start the seventh, Wiley struck out Dugle looking on an 0-2 pitch, got Standafer to line out to Farris in center then fanned Matt Gammon to end the game and cap off his no-hitter.
“It’s like surreal,” Wiley said afterward. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, I’ll probably wake up tomorrow and realize it happened, but it hasn’t hit me yet.”
COLLINS 3, SHELBY COUNTY 0
Shelby County 000 000 0 – 0 0 2
Collins 120 000 X – 3 9 0
Dillon Boone and Dallas Wills. Zac Wiley and Chris Crotzer. W – Wiley (5-1). L – Boone (3-1). Records – Shelby County 12-4, Collins 12-2.
Miller no-hits Forest Park
One “no-no” wasn’t enough for the Collins baseball team.
One day after senior Zac Wiley pitched a no-hitter against archrival Shelby County, classmate Paul Miller held visiting Forest Park (Ind.) hitless Friday as the Titans topped the Rangers 9-0.
“I don’t know of anyone who has ever seen two no-hitters in consecutive games,” Collins Coach Roy Bailey said. “That is something, that is a major accomplishment for Zac, Paul, [catcher] Chris Crotzer, and our defense. It’s a once in a lifetime sort of thing. I’m very proud of them.”
Miller walked four and struck out nine as he improved to 5-0 on the season and lowered his earned-run average to 1.53. Miller had plenty of support offensively. Senior Dre Farris and sophomore Will McDonald had three hits apiece to lead the Titans’ 13-hit attack while junior E.J. Burk went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and senior Mason Jeffries added a pair of RBIs.
Collins then followed that up with a five-inning 12-0 win at Woodford County on Saturday and a 9-0 victory at Spencer County on Monday, extending its opponents scoreless innings streak to 27.