WOODSTOCK – Woodstock junior Zach Kammin, who finished the Blue Streaks’ painful loss at McHenry on Thursday, was back on the hill about 38 hours later showing no lingering effects.
“It’s baseball, it happens,” said Kammin, a right-hander who was tagged with that 8-7 loss. “It could happen to anybody against McHenry. It’s a new day, new game.”
Kammin turned in his best performance of the season, striking out eight and firing a 10-0, five-inning, no-hitter against Marengo on Saturday morning at Emricson Park. Kammin walked two and one other Indian reached on an error.
“He just executed his pitches,” said Streaks coach John Oliveira, whose team is 5-10. “He committed to the pitch that was called, ‘Here’s the pitch I’m going to throw.’ It was good to see him work through it.”
Woodstock’s seventh-inning meltdown against McHenry hardly was the sole fault of Kammin, who retired one of the five batters he faced. McHenry scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh off three pitchers for that victory. Kammin said he felt sharp while he was warming up Saturday, then he set down the first six batters he faced.
“[Kammin] came in against McHenry in a tough spot with the bases loaded,” Woodstock catcher Eric Bell said. “He just had to clear his mind and think about Marengo. He was hitting the knees and the umpire was giving it all day, for both teams. He was pounding the zone.”
Kammin would not have had a complete no-hitter without the offensive help. He had thrown 71 pitches and Oliveira was pulling him in the sixth, although Kammin pleaded his case for staying in.
“Pitch count weighs over [the no-hitter],” Oliveira said. “He had a little shoulder soreness last week. We had a short leash on him and I’m glad we got that last run.”
Jordan Sumner struck out for what would have been the third out in the bottom of the fifth inning, but reached first base on a passed ball. Bell then ripped a double into the left-field corner and Sumner raced home to end the game by the mercy rule.
Marengo (6-8) struggled behind starter Josh Sheahan (0-3), who was pulled in the third inning, although four of Woodstock’s five runs at that point were unearned. Indians coach Josh Maas said Sheahan had developed blood blisters on fingers on his pitching hand.
“When your defense doesn’t feel like making a play, it makes it pretty difficult,” Maas said. “Embarrassing is the only way to describe it. We were a team who had good aspirations for this season. The talent’s there, the attitude just isn’t. I need to fix something. We need to get it together quickly. It was a bad day at the ballpark.”
Jace Pohlman was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs for the Streaks. Cameron Grisolia also drove in a pair of runs.
“[The McHenry loss] was tough,” Bell said. “Coming with prom today, we wanted to come in with Marengo fast, and end this game quick so we could go dance.”