MERRILLVILLE | Matt DeSomer was a spectator for most of the 2012 season due to a meniscus tear in his left knee.
On Saturday morning in Andrean’s season opener, the Hebron batters were watching DeSomer’s fastball go by them, or at least past their swinging bats.
DeSomer struck out 11 hitters with two walks in five innings and combined on a no-hitter with reliever Jimmy Skiff as the Times No. 2 59ers opened the season with a 6-0 win over No. 9 Hebron in a matchup of defending sectional champs making their season debuts.
“We came out ready to play this game,” DeSomer said. “The key was first-pitch strikes.”
DeSomer, the football team’s quarterback and a third-year varsity baseball player, only saw action in the first six games last year, had surgery on his left knee and returned for the postseason.
He will team with highly touted Zac Ryan at the top of the Andrean rotation. On Saturday he did not have great off-speed pitches but got his fastball over for strikeouts while improving his curveball.
“Matt’s just good a good ball-player,” Andrean coach Dave Pishkur said. “Matt battles and throws strikes and has good off-speed pitches. He’s a great athlete, and I’m glad he’s just a junior.”
Pishkur said Skiff, who fanned two and walked two in two innings, didn’t have quite the pop he’d seen before but has a bright future.
Andrean only had one outdoor practice before their opener. Three players accounted for all six of Andrean’s hits.
“We weren’t too impressive offensively,” Pishkur said. “I just wanted to see who can play.”
DeSomer and Ryan had the only RBIs for the 59ers (1-0), who scored three runs in each of the first two innings.
A double by DeSomer scored Joey Plesac with the first run, and a dropped two-out fly ball in short center field off the bat of Alejandro Kinney allowed two more 59ers to score.
David Cox and Jeremy Briggs scored on passed balls in the second before a Ryan groundout capped the scoring.
Hebron starter Kyle Joyce had four strikeouts while allowing four hits and four earned runs in three innings for the Hawks (0-1). Reliever Zac Hernandez had five punchouts and two hits allowed in three scoreless innings.
“We schedule this game for two reasons -- because it gets us ready for the state tournament and because Dave Pishkur is one of the best coaches I’ve ever met,” Hebron coach John Steinhilber said. “We didn’t adjust well to their (pitchers’) velocity. It’s early, and we’re still trying to catch up.”