Mount Airy beat Surry Central 4-0 Thursday as Jon Cagle finished off his no-hitter.
The Bears and Eagles began play on Tuesday with Cagle striking out the first three batters. Then lightning halted play.
When play resumed two days later, Cagle picked up where he left off with six no-hit innings.
With a fastball consistently hitting 82-83 on the radar gun, the pitcher struck out eight while only throwing about 60 pitches.
While Cagle’s performance was dominant, Coach Jon Cawley still saw room for improvement. He could have had a perfect game, but Cagle hit three batters with off-speed pitches that got away from him.
Batters will duck out of the way of a fastball, but they’ll stand there and let a curve or changeup hit them, Cawley noted.
The coach gave a lot of credit to catcher Sam Harris for calling a fine game. Cawley said there were two times he was going to jump in and call a certain pitch, but Harris was on the same wavelength and called the right pitch both times.
Harris also hit an RBI double in the first inning, one of three straight hits to start the day.
Thursday began with the bottom half of the first. Austin Taylor singled, Harris doubled, Wes Hurley singled and Cagle reached on an error as the Bears spotted the pitcher a 3-0 lead.
In every no-hitter there seems to be at least one great defensive play made, the coach noted. In this one, Taylor chased down a ball in centerfield to make an out.
Austin is so fast that he routinely gets to balls standing up that other fielders would have to dive for, said Cawley.
He also gets a good jump off the swing, he added. Players who are fast don’t always learn to read the ball hopping off the bat, but Austin does.
In the sixth inning, the Bears got an insurance run. Colburn Gwyn hit a grounder up the middle for a single. He stole second and moved to third on a groundout.
The next batter dribbled a ball in front of the plate. The catcher came out to pick up the ball, then threw it high to first, which allowed the run home.
Coach Matt Scott came out to argue that the catcher only threw the ball away trying to go over a runner who was inside the baseline, but the umpire didn’t make that call.
The Bears opened the season with five straight losses; Cagle lost two himself. Since then, the sophomore is 5-0. While he was perfect against the Eagles, he may have been more dominant with a one-hitter against North Stokes where he struck out 19 of 21 outs.
The Bears host South Stokes tonight, while the Eagles host East Surry.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.