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Local

Morris' Bledsoe fires no-hitter at DeKalb

Sophomore fans nine, walks one

MORRIS — Around the fifth inning Tuesday, people began to notice that Morris' Cody Bledsoe hadn't allowed a hit.

Per baseball tradition, no one let him know, nor did they really talk about it among themselves.

Once he got the final batter out in the seventh, though, his teammates let him know by mobbing him on the mound. The Morris sophomore left-hander had finished off the Redskins' 3-0 win with a strikeout, his ninth of the game. DeKalb had no hits, and Bledsoe walked one batter and hit another. One more Barb reached on an error, but that was it.

"I think in the back of my mind, I knew I had one [a no-hitter] going," Bledsoe said. "But, I wasn't thinking about that. I just wanted to throw strike one, get ahead of the hitters and get them out. I was able to do that all game today.

"I felt pretty good warming up in the pen before the game, and it translated into what I did in the game. It feels really good to get a couple of conference wins in a row."

Coming off the heels of teammate Luke Olbrot's 2-hit, 13 strikeout performance Monday, Redskin pitching has worked 13 innings in the series, allowing two hits, no runs and striking out 22.

"Luke kind of gave me a blueprint Monday," Bledsoe said. "He threw a great game and was ahead of the hitters all game."

Bledsoe retired the first seven batters he faced until Quinn Remfer reached on an error with one out in the top of the third. In the top of the fourth, Bledsoe faced his biggest challenge. He hit leadoff batter Jarrett Sykes and then an errant pickoff throw sent Sykes to third. Austin Gates walked to put runners on first and third. Bledsoe then induced a grounder to third, and Logan Edwards threw home to nab Sykes trying to score. Tucker Ikens hit into a fielder's choice to second, putting runners on first and third, but Bledsoe struck out the final batter of the inning. He finished the game by retiring the side in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

"No one knew, honestly, until about the fifth inning that Cody had a no-hitter going," Morris coach Todd Kein said. "We were only up 2-0, so we were more concerned with getting some more runs on the board. You can't take any conference game for granted.

"Cody was on his game today. He had very good command and he made good pitches at the right times. There were a couple of times he had 3-0, but he battled back to get outs. He is learning to trust his defense and pitch to contact. With the stuff he has, if he can continue to do that, we will continue to see good things out of him.

"To hold the other team without any hits, that's just the icing on the cake. It's been a long time since we've had one of those [a no-hitter] here."

A day after Morris scored 10 runs to beat DeKalb by the mercy rule, the Redskin offense slowed down a bit Tuesday. The Redskins (11-5, 3-2) did, however, give Bledsoe an early cushion by putting a run across in each of the first two innings.

With one out in the bottom of the first, Patrick McCabe doubled to center and went to third on a passed ball before scoring on a groundout to short by Jacob Overbeck. In the bottom of the second, Logan Edwards was hit by a pitch with one out and went to third on a two-out double by Olbrot. Edwards then scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.

"It's nice to go out with a lead early in the game," Bledsoe said. "We tend to score a few runs early. That makes it easier to relax a little on the mound."

The Redskins scored their third run in the bottom of the sixth. Cole Laurie led off with a single. An out later, Overbeck singled down the third-base line, moving Laurie to third, with Overbeck taking second on the throw. Zach Reddinger walked to load the bases before Bledsoe helped himself by lifting a sacrifice fly to left to score Overbeck for a 3-0 lead.

"We've had two great pitching performances in a row, but we are going to have to find more offensive output," Kein said. "We are capable of spraying the ball around the park, but we haven't been doing that the last couple of days."

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