By Jack Loder
Bryce Warrecker, Josh Allen and Chris Clark were each dominant on Wednesday night in a combined no hitter as Orleans downed Chatham 4-0 at Eldredge Park.
Warrecker got his first start of the summer after coming out of the bullpen for each of his previous appearances this summer. The decision to give the starting nod to the towering right hander paid off, and it was clear early. Warrecker retired the side in order in each of his six innings. 18 Anglers came to bat, and 18 were retired.
The Cal Poly SLO product picked up seven striekouts, and ws only in two three ball counts all night. He worked with a four seam fastball, a curveball and a change up, and to say all three were working would be an understatement. He pitched guys forwards, he pitched guysbackwards, and anything in between. Whatever catcher Garret Guillemette called worked. With two outs in the sixth, Warrecker faced his first full count. With the crowd behind him, he ripped off a filthy slider to earn his seventh and final strikeout of the evening.
It was the unwavering poise with which Warrecker attacked each of his 81 pitches that was most impressive. For a pitcher who has at times struggled to consistently fill up the strike zone, you wouldn’t have been able to tell by his performance tonight. He threw a first pitch strike to a whopping 15 of the 18 batters he faced. The epitome of in control.
He was relieved by Josh Allen, who spun two no hit innings of his own. Despite hitting the second batter he faced in the seventh, he also turned in his best outing of the summer. A double play to end the seventh and a perfect eighth ensured that Orleans had faced the minimum through eight frames.
Chris Clark had the honor of closing out the combined no-no. He made it interesting in the ninth, hitting the leadoff man before walking the next. A lineout and a pair of strikeouts sealed the deal. Pandemonium ensued.
The offense provided all Orleans would need early on. Kevin Sim dug into the right hand batter’s box following a Luke Keaschall double and he left earth. The San Diego product launched a hanging curveball well over the left field fence, giving Orleans a 2-0 lead in the first frame. With the way Warrecker threw the ball, the homer was worth one more run than the Firebirds would need.
Orleans ambushed Chatham starter Wyatt Evans again in the fourth inning. After Isaac Humphrey singled with one out, Logan Beard and Garret Guillemette laced back to back doubles. Guillemette’s gapper scored two runs, extending the Firebirds lead to 4-0.
The full story with quotes and reactions will be available on Thursday morning.