Rich Boatman got Fairview Heights Post 978 off to a great start in the Southwest Illinois Firecracker Classic by tossing a no-hitter Friday in a 6-0 victory over House Springs, Mo., at Moody Park in Fairview Heights.
"He was throwing ground balls and fly balls the whole game," Fairview Heights manager Craig Steiner said of Boatman, who flew through seven innings on only 82 pitches. "He was really sharp and was all over the plate. His fastball was working well. He was running it in on their hands and they were fisting it all day long."
Boatman, a recent Triad High School graduate headed to Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, walked one and struck out four. The no-hitter came just three days shy of a year since the previous no-hitter for Fairview Heights, turned in by Justin Wallace against Glen Carbon on July 8, 2012.
Kyle Boewe helped drive the Fairview Heights offense by going 3-for-3 with two doubles, a triple and two RBIs. Ethan Wild was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs and catcher Brenndon Tindall and Robert Guithues each had two hits.
Danny Hughes added an RBI triple for Fairview Heights (10-12).
"That might have been the best game we've played all year," Steiner said.
Fairview Heights battled Jefferson City (Mo.) into extra innings in the final pool game of the day, but lost 7-5 in nine innings.
Eureka (Mo.) 1, Belleville 0
Belleville was held to just three hits and wasted a solid pitching performance by Parker Beine as the Hilgards dropped their tournament opener in pool play at Whitey Herzog Field.
Eureka got its only run in the third inning.
"We had a double play we could have turned and we didn't and we gave up a run," Belleville manager Zach Rakowski said.
Belleville's best opportunity to tie it or win the game came in the sixth when Adam Bauer reached second base with no outs. A Eureka reliever, who was filling in for the injured starter, escaped by retiring the toughest part of the Hilgards' lineup.
"We had 2-3-4 up and we weren't able to push one across," Rakowski said. "They just pounded the strike zone. We knew they were going to be good, but Parker pitched really well."