Verrett tosses no-hitter
Onekama salvages split with TC Christian
Posted by Dylan Savela, Manistee News Advocate
ONEKAMA — Wearing a wide smile, Stephen Verrett executed the slightest of fist pumps while walking off the mound.
A called third and final strike cued the Onekama senior’s celebration, which looked about as effortless as the gem he had just woven.
Verrett no-hit Traverse City Christian on Friday to salvage a split for the Portagers in a 4-0 victory in the doubleheader’s nightcap. He silenced the same lineup that mercied Onekama (4-8-1) in the five-inning opener, 15-1.
“The last couple games I’ve been struggling with location,” Verrett said afterward. “I felt today, I was more comfortable. … I think mostly I just felt more confident.”
His coach couldn’t agree more about Verrett’s six-inning no-hitter, in which he allowed just three walks with nine strikeouts.
“He was strong, but I think confident is the best word to describe how he looked out there,” Portagers coach John Neph said. “He was confident in what he was doing. He and Joe (Eno) work well as a pitching-catching combination. They kept each other focused, kept it in the zone and Stephen pitched a whale of a game.”
Verrett served as his own run support too.
After Eno drew a walk on a full count with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning, Verrett knocked a three-run double on the first pitch he saw to give the Portagers the 4-0 lead that would hold up the rest of the way.
“I’ve been working this year trying to get hits early in the count when I can,” Verrett said. “I was looking for a first pitch there, so since it was right down the middle I tried to drill it.”
Said Neph: “I think what helped him was that bases-loaded double. The game became 4-0, and as a pitcher, that gives you a little room to breathe.”
Both Eno and Verrett finished the nightcap batting 1-for-2 while Dallas Hearit was 1-for-1 with a run scored for the Portagers.