An upset loss to fourth-seeded Valparaiso put pressure on Arlington Junior Legion pitcher Tyler Ott to eat up innings and deliver a win Monday afternoon in Ashland.
The right-hander delivered, throwing a five-inning no-hitter during the second round of the Class B Area 2 Tournament. His efforts staved off elimination and preserved the Eagles' rotation.
“I think we still have decent numbers for pitching available in the near future,” Ott said.
The next day Dustin Kirk struck out nine Waverly batters over 5 2/3 innings, earning a 6-2 Tuesday evening win in the B2 semifinals.
The Eagles needed two more wins Wednesday to reach the Class B state tournament. An update can be found online at arlingtoncitizen.com/sports.
Against Waverly — the state tourney host — Kirk's team built a 6-1 lead early and held on late. The pitcher added two RBIs at the plate, while NickSmith added another. Trevor Denker scored two runs and Dalton Newcomer was 2-for-3 at No. 9 in the batting order.
Post 71 only earned the opportunity to move on against Waverly because of Monday's 8-0 win, though. Ott struck out nine Seward batters across his first four innings, forcing the Jays into two flyouts and a groundout during the final frame — the fifth.
“The fastball was working good to setup the curveball on a two-strike count,” the pitcher said. “That did a lot of work for me.”
While the Eagles' defense kept Seward in check, the offense bounced back from a one-run effort in its tournament-opening loss.
“Having the bats going this time was good for run support,” Ott said.
After a scoreless first inning, Andy Misfeldt knocked in Arlington's first run in the second. Kirk then doubled the Eagles' score with run-plating single during the third.
Post 71 later broke through with four runs in the fourth frame. Blaine Vogt's bloop to start the inning found grass before Braden Monke finally notched a two-out single to push the Eagles' lead to 3-0.
Kirk then walked, loading the bases for Smith, who pushed across the fourth Arlington run when he was dinged by a Seward pitch. Kaden Pittman followed that up with a bounding, two-RBI single that bounced over the shortstop's head into the outfield.
Ahead 6-0, Denker and Kirk provided the two fifth-inning knocks necessary to end the game early by run rule. The RBIs sealed and delivered Ott's no-no and pushed Arlington into the next round.
Post 71 Juniors drop opener
In their B3 tournament opener, the top-seeded Eagles lost a 6-1 game to No. 4 Valparaiso. Arlington was outhit 10-7 and didn't score until the bottom of the seventh inning during a comeback attempt that, ultimately, failed.
Monke led the Post 71 Juniors with a game-high three hits. Smith pitched all six innings, striking out two batters in defeat.