MUNSTER | Munster coach Bob Shinkan made a huge statement on Tuesday night regarding starting pitcher Mike Poulos.
"This is the best I've seen him pitch in three years on varsity," he said.
When asked if it's going to be scary for other teams that face him come playoff time, he cleverly smiled and said the following:
"We'll see. I can't answer that one right now."
What the longtime veteran coach was referring to was Poulos' complete game masterpiece in a 5-1 Northwest Crossroads Conference win over Highland, as the Mustangs clinched second place in the league.
Times No. 9 Munster's ace took a no-hitter into the seventh inning until Trojan center fielder Danny Hamilton singled up the middle and first baseman Kevin O'Donnell wound up scoring the lone Highland (9-11-1, 5-7 NCC) run later in the inning.
In fact, Poulos, who struck out six in the ballgame, retired 12 straight Highland hitters until O'Donnell was hit by a pitch, as the lanky starter went to his curve ball more frequently as the game progressed.
"Co-co (Munster catcher Alex Coccia) pretty much knows how I wanna throw it and I'm very comfortable with my curve ball. I throw it a good amount in pregame," said Poulos. "You have to trust your stuff as a pitcher."
The bulk of the Munster (16-8, 8-4) offense came off the bat of right fielder Joe Jumonville, who was dropped down from second to third in the order and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, two stolen bases, and a run.
Jumonville has relished the chance to drop in the lineup and hasn't looked back.
"I like hitting third because it's a better opportunity for RBIs," said Jumonville, who had three singles.
The Trojans couldn't catch a break on the basepaths either, as they were picked off at first and on another play, left fielder Alec Smith reached safely on an errant throw, but because he was in fair territory, he was tagged out.
"They made all the plays on the field and they're a team with good hitters," Highland coach Dan Miller said. "We made a couple bad baserunning mistakes, which doesn't help things and they cashed in on our mistakes."