Grizzlies’ starter Josh Boyer threw 6 2/3 of no-hit baseball as Cheyenne cruised to a 7-1 victory in the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Denver Bombers.
“Josh pitched awesome,” head coach Aaron Holley said afterward. “He got ahead of hitters and kept the leadoff hitters off base.”
The Bombers are part of the Rocky Mountain Baseball League, a 16-team collegiate league located in the Denver area similar to the MCBL.
Boyer walked three batters but induced two double-play groundouts and flashed a little leather of his own to help his cause. In the fourth inning, Denver’s Ty Jacobs hit a comebacker to the mound. The ball deflected off Boyer’s foot and into his glove where he threw to first to get the out. Boyer struck out the next hitter before getting Daron Schulties to weakly ground out to him again.
“He got ground balls and double plays when he needed them,” Holley said. “Hats off to Josh who pitched a terrific game.”
He worked a 1-2-3 fifth to retire the side and eight consecutive hitters.
“I felt really good out there,” Boyer said. “It’s easy pitching when you have a lead like I did today but my pitches were just working.”
It wasn’t until two outs in the sixth that Boyer allowed his first base runner through a hit.
“Actually, I wasn’t aware of it (the no-hitter) until my teammates told me when I got back to the dugout,” he said. “It would have been my first one.”
Boyer exited after seven innings of work, allowing three hits and striking out four.
The Grizzlies put up three runs in the second inning, two coming off of Jose Gonzalez’s opposite-field triple down the right-field line. The triple scored K.C. Judge, who singled, and Mike Lessig, who walked. Right fielder Rory Kolo brought home Gonzalez on the next pitch with a groundout.
Center fielder Kevin Logan led off the third inning with a single to right, one of two in the game, followed by a single by Jose Jauregiu. After a strikeout, the Grizzlies again hit back-to-back singles, bringing home a pair more.
The game got more interesting in the fourth when Bombers’ starter Cameron Tallman struck out Gonzalez to get the second out of the inning, but was ejected from the game immediately after.
“There was some chipping back and forth between their players and some of our players,” Holley said. “I didn’t hear specifically what was said but the umpire tried to put a stop to it but their guy continued to chip."
Bombers’ head coach Kent Gregory was tossed moments later after arguing his pitcher’s ejection.
“After that I pulled the team aside and I told them that what’s happened has happened and it’s done now,” Holley said. “I said they might try to retaliate, and sure enough, Rory was hit, but I told our team to cheer for each other and drop whatever was going on between them.”
Denver brought in reliever Zack Cleveland who cooled the Grizzlies’ bats, allowing an unearned run on two hits and six strikeouts in 3 1/3.
With Boyer still cruising, however, the game was already out of reach for the Bombers.
The one run allowed by Cleveland came in the fifth when Logan led off the inning with a single. He stole second, but when the throw bounced off his leg and toward the shortstop position, he decided to take off for third.
“I looked down and realized it was the ball that had hit me and that no one was near the ball or covering third so I broke toward third,” Logan said.
With Logan’s speed, why stop there?
“As I was running to third I realized no one had gotten to the ball yet so I kept going,” he said.
The speedy center fielder advanced three bases without the ball ever leaving the infield.
Ryan Schwenn came in to work the eighth for the Grizzlies, striking out three batters, and Willie Vizoso got the call to close out the ninth, striking out the final batter to end the game.
“Schwenn came in and struck three guys out and Willie came in and shut them down,” Holley said. “It was a solid game all around.”