Will Hellmers and Will Moran combined on a no-hitter as Jesuit stayed undefeated in District 9-5A play with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against John Curtis on Monday night at Mike Miley Stadium.
Hellmers (5-1) dominated for five innings, then fought his way through control problems to leave the bases loaded after the Patriots had closed to within 2-1 in the sixth. Moran replaced him to start the seventh and struck out the side in order for his first save.
Blue Jays coach Kenny Goodlett stuck with Hellmers through three walk and a hit batsman in the sixth.
“Hellmers has been our guy from day one,” Goodlett said. “We had a lot of confidence in him.”
The Blue Jays (18-6) improved to 5-0 in district play after playing three consecutive non-district games. The defending state champion Patriots, who are three-time Catholic League champions, fell to 9-12 and 3-4.
“We haven’t been able to come up with the clutch hit,” Patriots coach Jeff Curtis said. “We’re getting down close to the end (of the regular season) and close isn’t going to be good enough.”
Hellmers walked six and got 15 of his 18 outs on strikeouts as he outdueled Curtis ace Dax Ford (3-4), who allowed three hits, two runs and five walks while striking out 12 in six innings. He struck out the side in the third, fourth and sixth innings. Dante Dufauchard pitched a scoreless seventh for the Patriots.
“He was fantastic,” coach Curtis said of Ford.
Hellmers cruised into the sixth inning with a 2-0 lead before losing his command.
He walked Logan O’Neill leading off and one out later he walked Ford and Austin McCready, loading the bases. Michael Curtis’ grounder to second brought home O’Neill.
“It was a labored inning,” Hellmers said. “I walked a few. Determination definitely helped me. Coach Goodlett did nothing but encourage me and that helped a lot.”
Hellmers hit Joel Taylor, loading the bases again, and he fell behind 3-1 on Richard Woodruff, who started to first on each of the next two pitches, both of which were called strikes, ending the inning and Hellmers’ night as he reached 113 pitches.
Woodruff was going to be Hellmers’ last batter regardless of the outcome of the at bat.
“He was around the plate all night,” Goodlett said of Hellmers. “We like the guys we have behind him, but he wasn’t missing by much.”
The Blue Jays scored first, stringing together three singles for a second-inning run. Brian Valigosky led off with a single to left, one out later Tripp Haddad singled to center and another out later Joel Guerra brought home Valigosky with a hit to center.
Jesuit added a run in the fifth without getting a base hit. Parker Serio drew a leadoff walk, one out later courtesy runner Luke Eccles moved to second on a walk to Chris Favalora and Eccels advanced twice on two-out wild pitches.
The Patriots threatened against Hellmers with one out in the first when Collin Guggenheim was hit by a pitch and Ford followed by drawing a walk, but Hellmers struck out the next two batters.
Hellmers retired 12 straight, 10 by strikeout, before Curtis threatened in the fifth.
He hit Woodruff with one out, but he struck out the next two batters, leaving Woodruff at second after a two-out stolen base.
“It was definitely an intense, emotional game on both sides and even in the stands,” Hellmers said. “We came out fired up and ready to play. They won state last year and that’s big motivation for us this year.”