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Baseball team fails to erupt at Spring Break tourney

Willamette wins a 2-0 pitchers duel at tournament in Salem


by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandy hitter Scooter Turin makes contact during Thursdays game with Willamette. Sandy pitcher Justin Adams was good on Thursday.

Willamette’s Tanner Cantwell was better.

Cantwell tossed a no-hitter to beat Sandy, 2-0, in the Volcanoes Spring Break Tournament. Everything Cantwell did on the mound stifled the Pioneers. He hit spots with his fastball with precision for seven straight innings. More deadly for Sandy, Cantwell had pinpoint control with his breaking ball.

“He was locating well and wasn’t leaving any pitches out over the plate,” Sandy coach Garet Luebbert said. “When you’ve got a guy early in the season who can locate a good off-speed pitch consistently, most teams are going to struggle with that.”

The few Sandy runners that did reach base did not rattle Cantwell. The Pioneers got a player aboard in each of the first two innings, and both were promptly picked off. In the third inning, Sandy’s Cody York struggled to draw a walk. That only seemed to calm Cantwell, because he settled in for the rest of the game. After York’s walk, Cantwell retired 13 consecutive hitters.

The only real threat to break up the no-hit bid came from shortstop Bryce Tilton. Tilton led off the bottom of the seventh inning by sending a sinking liner toward the right field line, but Willamette right fielder Darrin Gorder dove to reel it in.

“If you can throw multiple pitches for strikes, you are going to be effective. His ability to do that and our inability to adjust was the difference for us offensively,” Luebbert said. “We really didn’t even have many hard hit balls.”

Cantwell’s dominance was so overpowering that it completely drowned out Adams’ performance. Adams threw a complete game himself and allowed just three hits.

The two runs Willamette did score on Adams were unearned. The first came in the second inning when Gorder led off by slapping a grounder to Sandy third baseman Carson Dwyre, who fielded it cleanly. However, Dwyre bobbled the ball as he transferred it from his glove to his throwing hand and the throw to first was not in time. Gorder later scored on a fielder’s choice.

Multiple errors led to the Wolverines’ other run in the third inning. Cole Hathaway found his way to first base when his grounder to Sandy first baseman Daymond Fritsch took an awkward hop and squirted away. Hathaway scored from second base on a single to left field a few batters later. The throw from left field would have been in time, but it was wide up the first baseline and the ball skipped all the way to the backstop.

After the second Willamette run, Adams got into a groove and he didn’t allow the Wolverines to get close to scoring again. Unfortunately for Adams and the Pioneers, two runs were plenty for Cantwell in his no-hit gem.