Trojan Rohr no-hits Otsego; Bulldogs salvage split of twinbill
A fifth-inning walk and a sixth-inning hit batsman.
That was all that stood between Plainwell pitcher Austin Rohr and a perfect game in the opening contest of a Wolverine Conference East doubleheader with Otsego on Friday, May 1.
Instead, Rohr had to “settle” for a no-hitter, which the Trojans won by a 9-0 final.
Otsego came back to salvage the split in the nightcap, claiming the 6-5 victory by pushing a run across the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Rohr needed just 82 pitches to complete his no-hitter, retiring the first 12 batters he faced. Six of those first 12 outs came via the strikeout, including a string of five straight that went from the final out of the second inning to the first out of the fourth inning.
“Austin has become our No. 1 pitcher,” Plainwell coach Chris Taylor said. “We know he’ll keep us in games and give our club a chance to win against any opponent.
“He understands the art of pitching, setting up hitters and getting ahead in the count. He’s an excellent athlete who excels at every aspect of the game.”
It wasn’t until Dan Nichols drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth inning that Otsego had its first base runner. But Nichols was left stranded at first base as Rohr used a flyout, a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the inning.
The leadoff man also reached base for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the sixth as Matt Sutterfield was hit by a pitch. Again, though, Rohr avoided any damage by getting a pair of strikeouts sandwiched around a flyout.
Rohr then retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh—capped by a groundout off the bat of A.J. Atwater—to close out the no-hitter.
“A no-hitter is a special accomplishment,” Taylor said. “And to achieve a no-hitter against Otsego will be a lasting memory for Austin and our entire team.”
Offensively, Otsego scored four times in the third inning and five times in the sixth.
Jake Almeda led the way, going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI. Kevin Andrysiak and Rohr also had two hits each.
“Rohr was obviously the story of the game,” Otsego coach Matt Eldred said.
It didn’t take Otsego long to ensure it wouldn’t be no-hit twice in a row as Sam Morgan singled with one out in the bottom of the first inning.
An inning later, the Bulldogs were able to put some runs on the board as RBI singles by Clayton Beaird and Cade Bosch highlighted a three-run rally.
After six innings, Otsego led 5-2.
But the Trojans weren’t about to go quietly, plating three runs in the top of the seventh to knot the score at 5-5.
“We came back and played really well until the top of the seventh,” Eldred said. “And then we really opened the door for Plainwell and they stormed right through it.”
For full story, pick up a copy of the May 7 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.