On a Thursday when the Greater Spokane League baseball title was at stake, University pitcher Billy Moon was at his best.
The lefty hurler painted a masterpiece at Mead for his first high school no-hitter, whitewashing the Panthers 8-0 to wrap up the Titans’ second straight league title.
Moon, who revealed a new delivery, allowed only three base runners – all hit by pitches.
Moon (7-0) struck out 12 and allowed one ball to leave the infield. The Titans (18-1) have a three-game lead entering today’s home finale against Mead (15-4).
“He’s been close a whole bunch of times,” coach Scott Sutherland said of Moon’s no-no, “but something always happens in the dugout, somebody says something. We weren’t even getting eye contact in the dugout (this time). Everybody knew.”
Moon had command of his breaking pitch, fastball and slider and worked inside and out to keep Mead’s potent lineup off-balance. His added twist was a crossfire delivery from a near sidearm position for added effect.
“Actually it’s the first time I’ve done that,” said Moon, who’s headed to Gonzaga University. “I was messing around in the bullpen this week and was like, ‘Coach (Don Ressa), watch this.’ I throw a two-seam fastball down there and a little loopy slider just to change up the hitters.”
U-Hi got an immediate lift in the first-place showdown when the game’s first batter, shortstop Jacob Olsufka, slugged a 3-1 pitch and sent the ball towering over the left-center field fence.
Olsufka also saved Moon’s no-hitter in the fifth, ranging behind second base for a grounder up the middle and getting the out.
“My defense was there when I needed them,” Moon said. “ ‘Suf’ up the middle was big.”
The Panthers aided in their demise with shaky defense and assorted mistakes.
•Also in the GSL: Central Valley (16-4) slipped past Mead into second place, completing Tuesday’s rain-delayed game against Mt. Spokane with a run in the eighth for a 4-3 victory, then winning the second game 4-2, both at CV. The Wildcats’ (9-11) Matt Benner hit a two-run homer to send the first game into extra innings. CV’s Coedy Cooley led off the eighth with a triple. On a strikeout when the catcher dropped the ball and threw to first, Cooley raced home to score. … Fourth-place Ferris (13-7) swept Gonzaga Prep (9-11) in a season-ending doubleheader, 6-2 and 15-5. Keller Ewing was 3 for 3 with two doubles in the opener. Ben Goodwin drove in four runs with two hits and Beau Bozette had three hits, including a triple, in the second game. … Rogers (4-16) ended with a 15-2 win at North Central (1-19). Jacob Partridge was 3 for 4, scored three times and drove in four. Pitcher Jacob Campbell struck out 11 and added three hits. … At Hart Field, Lewis and Clark (12-8) blanked visiting East Valley (6-14) 10-0 on two hits. Pat Quigley was 3 for 3, scored twice and drove in a run.
Idaho 5A Region I: Despite just two hits, Coeur d’Alene (18-9) rebounded from Tuesday’s loss to eliminate Post Falls 3-0 at home. Jessica Eppers hit a two-run triple in the second to back Amber Coburn’s 10-strikeout pitching. Tori Schuler had two of the three hits off Coburn. The Vikings play fifth-place Meridian (17-12) at 9 a.m. Saturday at Fruitland for a state berth. … Moscow scored early and held on to beat visiting Lakeland 4-3 and will host the 4A title game. Lakeland plays at Sandpoint today.
•Greater Spokane League: Leaders held position heading into the final two days of the season. Central Valley (16-2) won at North Central (7-11) 5-1, with Alyssa Erickson pitching a one-hitter and driving in two runs. Chrystal Holt doubled twice and scored a pair. … University (16-2) scored 12 first-inning runs en route to a 25-1 five-inning waltz at Ferris (5-13). Ali Warren was 4 for 4 with three home runs and a double, scored four times and drove in four. Shaina Marvel added two home runs, scored twice and drove in four runs. … Shadle Park (15-4) blanked visiting East Valley (9-10) 10-0 on Haylee Cushner’s one-hitter. She and Megan Skillingstad were both 3 for 3. Skillingstad drove in three runs. … Mead (11-7) scored three runs in the fourth inning of a 4-2 win at home and held on against Lewis and Clark (5-13). Rachel Yuen singled home two runs and Jill Pecka singled in the third. The Tigers had the tying runs in scoring position in the seventh, but Regin Gallagher fielded a hard one-hop grounder to end the game. … Host Mt. Spokane (10-8) topped Rogers 9-2. Chelsea Gray pitched a two-hitter and had three hits. Delaney Zalud was 2 for 3.
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