In a game of one-upmanship Tim Newman had the last laugh. The junior pitcher from Stevensville, MI (Lake Michigan CC) threw a no-hitter for PNC Saturday afternoon concluding a four game sweep over Asbury College in Wilmore, KY. Newman stole the show from four other Panther pitchers who had been spectacular in their own right.
Newman induced 17 groundball outs and one strikeout against three walks while going the distance in the Panthers 13-0 victory. He was aided by a solid defense that committed just one error and had two web gems turned in by shortstop Brad Dubois (jr., Muskegon, MI, Muskegon CC).
Midway through the game Dubois started a double play by sliding to his backhand in the hole before pivoting and throwing to freshman second baseman Edddie Moldenhauer (Dyer, IN, Lake Central HS).
But Dubois saved his best for last with one out in the seventh inning. Asbury's hitter squibbed a ball past the mound for what looked like a certain infield single to break up Newman's no hit bid. Dubois charged in and in one motion picked up the ball with his bare hand and fired over to first to beat the runner by half a step. The next batter flew out to junior leftfielder Greg Toliver (Berrien Springs, MI, Kalamazoo Valley CC) and a brief celebration ensued.
The PNC baseball team has seen an abnormal number of no-hitters in the past several years. It was the fourth no-hitter in program history, all in the last five seasons. Newman joins current teammate Shane Prance who threw a no-hitter last season verses Holy Cross College. They joined Brian Phillips who threw a no-hitter in 2008 versus Calumet College of St. Joseph and Casey Young who tossed a no-no against Cardinal Stritch University in 2009.
The Panthers gave Newman an immediate cusion to work with as they exploded for 6 runs in the 1st inning and added 2 in the 3rd, 4 in the 4th and a final run in the 5th.
PNC knocked out 13 hits in the game and took advantage of 5 Eagle errors. Junior Rich Myers (Chicago, De La Salle HS) led the Panthers (2 hits, 2B, 2 RBI), while junior Tyson Blattner (Chillicothe HS, Chillicothe, MO) added 2 more RBI on a single. Sophomore Colin Willis (Sheboygan, WI, Sheboygan North HS) added 2 more hits, including a double as every player had a hit.
In the first game of the series on Friday, senior lefty Tony Hoolehan (Dyer, IN, Andrean HS) went 6 shut-out innings and struck out 12 against 4 walks while allowing just 2 hits as the Panthers rolled 10-1. Sophomore Trevor Williams (Fair Oaks, IN, Kankakee Valley HS) gave up a harmless run in the seventh and added another strikeout and a walk.
PNC scored single runs in the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th innings but scored 4 in the 2nd and 2 more in the 7th. Dubois led the way with 3 knocks and an RBI while Willis (2 2B's, RBI), Toliver (2 hits, RBI) and Moldenhauer (hit, RBI) also produced.
Sophomore Kevin Gates (Chesterton, IN/Chesterton HS) hit his first career homerun and added another hit while senior Alex Smith (Kokomo, IN/Kokomo HS) also connected on a round-tripper. Junior Ched Gaskin (Brighton, MI/Muskegon CC) had a big game with 2 hits including a 2B, 2 RBI and 2 walks.
In the second game on Saturday senior pitcher Shane Prance (Portage, IN/Portage HS) continued the pitching dominance as the Panthers won 17-1 in a game called after five innings due to darkness. The lanky righty gave up one run on five hits while striking out 10 and walking three in going the distance.
PNC connected for 14 hits including 4 more by Willis. Willis hit his first collegiate homerun, stole 2 bases and added 2 more RBI. Senior Nate Hall (Portage, IN/Portage HS) added 3 hits (2B), and 3 RBI while Myers chipped in with 2 hits and 2 RBI. Gaskin and Blattner added 2 more RBI and Smith contributed a 2B.
PNC scored single runs in the 1st and 3rd inning but a whopping 8 runs in the 2nd and 7 more in the 5th. Asbury scored their lone run in the 5th.
In the first game on Saturday the Panthers won 13-3 as they pounded out 16 more hits. Willis and Gaskin (2B) led the way again with 3 hits and 3 RBI apiece while freshman Cody Jansen (Kokomo, IN/Western HS) added 2 hits (2B) and 4 RBI. Smith (2 hits, 2B), Moldenhauer (2 hits, RBI) and Williams (2 hits, RBI) all had solid games for PNC.
Freshman John Cristo (Munster, IN/Munster HS) earned the win in relief of fellow freshman Jordan Polito (Schererville, IN/Lake Central HS). Cristo went 3.1 innings and allowed 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 5. Polito went 3.2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks while punching out 3.
After PNC scored 1 run in the 1st inning and Asbury plated 1 in the 3rd, the Panthers exploded for 4 in the 4th, 5 in the 5th and 3 in the 6th. Asbury added single runs in the 4th and 7th innings.
The Panthers (4-0) head to Florida this weekend for 11 more games on their annual spring break trip.