Antwerp baseball coach Zac Feasby couldn’t give an answer as to when the last time pitcher Austin Lichty allowed a hit.
That’s because he followed up a perfect game in the sectional final with a no-hitter against Edon in a Division IV district semifinal on Thursday, as the Bombers season came to an end in a 5-0 loss at Sumpter Field.
“I don’t even know, I can’t even answer that question,” Feasby said of Lichty’s hitless streak with a grin. “It’s been such a long time ago.”
Lichty struck out 10 Edon batters on Thursday and allowed just five base-runners all game. Two were hit by a pitch, two earned walks and the other advanced on an error.
“Austin did a great job,” Edon coach Brien Moore said. “He did a great job keeping us off-balance, pounding the strike zone. We put the ball in play, we hit the ball hard, just right at people. That’s the game of baseball, that’s the way it’s going to roll sometimes.”
For a few innings, it looked as if Edon pitcher Daryke Bass would go the entire way with Lichty. Bass allowed just one hit through two innings, but in the third, the floodgates opened.
The Bombers allowed five runs on five hits, as they faced a deficit too large to overcome. Bass finished with six innings pitched, nine hits and five earned runs.
“We were excited, we were fired up,” Moore said. “If Daryke is on the mound, we know we’re going to have an opportunity to win. They hit him. He went in, he threw strikes. They just hit it better than us tonight.”
Edon, however, couldn’t rally the offense to cut into the lead. It had just two baserunners once the lead stretched to 5-0.
“Whether you give up one run or five runs, you’ve got to find a way to respond,” Moore said. “We hit the ball hard tonight, it just didn’t go our way.”
Luke Krouse led the Archers with two RBIs and two hits. The real key, though, was Lichty’s performance on the bump.
“He was confident,” Feasby said. “He let a runner on, (but) he didn’t let it get to him. He was just worried about getting that next guy out. He was very confident in his ability.”
Despite the loss, Edon will lose just one senior — Bass — headed into next season. That leaves plenty of experience for a junior-laden team to be learned, something Moore hopes will carry them into next season.
“When you get down, find a way to battle back,” Moore said. “When we went down, I said, ‘Boys, if there’s a play to draw up a five-run home run, I’d be drawing it up right now.’ It’s a great experience for our guys this year, we dropped seven in a row at one point this year and turned it around and finished 11-12 this year. That’s just a credit to our boys and how hard they want to work and how they want to contribute to Bomber baseball.”