BEECHER | Beecher righthander Zach Aring wasn't perfect Wednesday against River Valley Conference foe Illinois Lutheran, but the junior was unhittable.
Aring tossed a no-hitter and fanned 17 Chargers in Beecher's 4-0 home victory over Lutheran on senior day with the only blemishes being nine walks, some due to a small strike zone.
"I felt like some of those were strikes, but you can't do much about it," he said. "The ump has his own strike zone, and you've got to just adjust to it and work through it."
Indeed, Aring adjusted to it by getting the strikeouts and allowed just one base runner to get to third base. He had three ground ball outs, while rightfielder Justice DeRouin made a running catch on a sinking liner off the bat of Eric Dorn in the fifth inning.
"No matter what happens, you keep throwing strikes," said Aring, who improved his mark to 8-1. "When you have a team behind you, just know that they're there 100 percent. If it's hit to them, they'll make the play. And for offense, you gotta know they have your back."
Beecher coach Brandon DuBois said Aring battled.
"He can get around the guys he walks because he's got that ability to strike guys out," he said. "He's thrown the ball well all year."
In addition, Beecher (17-7, 11-1) wrapped up RVC championship with the win over Lutheran (18-6, 10-2).
It was Aring's second no-hitter on the season after throwing a five-inning gem against St. Francis De Sales.
Beecher got all the runs it would need in the first inning when it took advantage of some wildness by Lutheran freshman starter Grant Farmer.
Two walks and a single by DeRouin loaded the bases before Farmer walked Giovanni Schiavone for the first run. Mike Pignatiello followed with a two-run single to make it 3-0.
"I don't know if it was jitters," Lutheran coach Mark Kjenstad said. "(Grant) struggled to find the strike zone the first few batters, and of course it hurt him. I knew we were going to have trouble scoring some runs off Zach, so those three first-inning runs were big."
Farmer finally go out of the jam and allowed just one more run on four hits before leaving with two outs in the sixth.
"Grant settled in and pitched a real good game," Kjenstad said. "I think he showed us why he got the start."
Pignatiello finished with two hits, while Devin Mahnke added a single, double and a RBI for the Bobcats.