WHITING | There are many Americans who enjoy having the day off on Memorial Day, and that includes the Bishop Noll baseball team.
"We don't love it, but we do what we gotta do," Noll coach Paul Wirtz said of playing on Memorial Day. "Outside of baseball, today is pretty important, so if you're gonna give your full effort it might as well be today."
Starting pitcher Nick Thrasher and company did just that on Monday, as Noll got some timely hits and an outstanding effort on the mound in its 7-0 win over River Forest in the Class 2A Whiting Sectional championship.
Thrasher threw a complete-game no-hitter with two walks and nine strikeouts.
"I'm not the No. 1, but we play as a team and that's what matters," Thrasher said. "As a sophomore I gotta be a role player when they need me."
This gem was needed for Bishop Noll (25-3), which will have all of its arms available at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when the Warriors face either Boone Grove or Rochester in game two of the Whiting Regional.
Senior designated hitter Danny Pobereyko got the Warriors started after doubling in Larry Crisler and Tony Cobb, who singled to start the three-run third inning.
Pobereyko also added a single and a run in Noll's four-run fifth inning.
"We've faced most of these pitchers we saw in the sectional so it's easier to gauge what they're throwing," said Pobereyko, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.
River Forest (8-17) actually had two runners in scoring position before Bishop Noll had any.
"Thrasher threw the ball well, we got timely hits, and we'll move on," Wirtz said. "If they get a run there then that changes everything. But all our arms should be ready to go on Saturday."