Hovey flirted with a no-hitter until the top of the seventh inning when Waynesboro’s Seth Hoffman singled. But all the more amazing was how he escaped from the threats he self-imposed with seven walks to end up with a 3-0 victory on Tuesday.
“(Hovey) was disguising a no-hitter,” said Greencastle coach Eric Shaner. “He was effectively wild, but threw quality strikes when he needed to get outs.”
In each of the first two innings, Hovey issued two, two-out walks but got out of trouble. In the fourth, a nifty 4-6-3 double play following a walk and hit batsman got Hovey out of trouble.
“I was working the corners and was a little off and went to my fastball to get outs,” said Hovey. “I knew I had a no-hitter going.”
With one out in the seventh, lefty Hoffman dumped a single into left field to break up the no-hitter. Hovey then retired the next two batters.
Greencaslte didn’t exactly rip the baseball, collecting five hits off Alex Cline and two off Dylan Bryan.
Greencastle scored twice in the first inning. Hunter Szaflarski singled, Hovey was hit by a pitch and, after a double steal, Ashtin Byers hit a sacrifice fly. Adam Moore then walked and with Hovey at third, the Blue Devils tried a double steal and Waynesboro elected to make a play on Moore at first, with Hovey breaking to the plate and scoring.
In the seventh, Szaflarski singled and Hovey and Jake Crist drew walks. Byers then hit into a force out at second with Szaflarski scoring for a 3-0 lead.
“We played baseball today the way it should be played,” said Shaner. “No errors and a good defense.”
Waynesboro had its three-game win streak stopped.
“We had the opportunities in the first two innings,” said Indians coach Greg Chandler. “We didn’t get a key bunt down, hit into a big double play and that (Hovey) kid, I tip my hat to him.”
The game was big for both teams, jockeying for top-20 positions in the District 3 power rankings as the playoffs loom. Greencastle moved to 8-8 while Waynesboro fell to 9-8. Each team would like to get two wins under its belt in the coming days.
Greencastle 3, Waynesboro 0
Waynesboro 000 000 0 — 0 1 1
Greencastle 200 010 x — 3 7 0
Cline, Bryan (5) and Ingram. Hovey and Moore. WP—Hovey (3-2). LP—Cline.