CENTRALIA — Sequim’s Ian Miller tossed a complete game no-hitter and scored the eventual winning run on Milo Whitman’s two-out line drive in the sixth inning as Wilder Senior opened the State American Legion AAA tournament in sterling fashion in a 1-0 win over the Hanford Flames.
“Ian was cruising,” Wilder Senior coach Karl Myers said. “[Hanford] was a really aggressive team, you could tell in their approaches at the plate. And Ian featured his changeup on a lot of right-handed hitters. They put a lot of balls in play and the defense backed him up.”
Miller and Wilder Senior yielded just three baserunners all game, one on an error and two more via walks.
“We were able to limit the damage,” Myers said. “We made a double play on one of the walks and [catcher] Joel [Wood] threw out a guy [at second base] when they put on a hit-and-run play and the batter missed it.”
Myers praised the defense of shortstop Gavin Guerrero and Whitman at second base.
“They were just lights out today defensively,” Myers said.
At the plate, Wilder totaled seven hits against Hanford starter Chorde Durflinger.
“Their kid was good,” Myers aid. “Lefthanded, mixed speeds and was tough.
We had guys on in the first few innings, stranded some guys on base when we couldn’t get that hit with two-outs.”
Wilder broke the deadlock when Miller opened the bottom of the sixth with a single and moved to second on a fly ball to right field by Brody Merritt.
After a Hayden Woods fly out to right, Miller remained at second with two outs.
“Milo Whitman hammered a drive to left and brought him home,” Myers said. “A clutch, clutch hitter.”
Miller allowed a leadoff walk in the top of the seventh.
“Their second batter tried to bunt and popped it up to Ian, which was huge,” Myers said.
Miller then got Hanford to fly out to center and ground out to Guerrero to end the game.
Wilder Senior will play the winner of a late game between the Vancouver Mavericks and the Spokane Bandits at 4 p.m. today. Hayden Woods will get the start on the mound for Wilder.
The tournament runs through Thursday, so if Wilder advances in the tournament, Myers said Miller can pitch as soon as Wednesday.
“It’s a long tourney and we only play one game a day, so with the pitch count rules he would be eligble to pitch in the semis if we make it that far. Having him full strength would be huge for us.”
Results of Wilder Junior’s AA State Tournament game Saturday afternoon against Bellingham and the Olympic Crosscutters A State Tournament against Shadle were not known before press deadline.
Wilder 1, Hanford 0
Hanford 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 0 2
Wilder 0 0 0 0 0 1 x — 1 7 1
WP: Miller LP: Durflinger
Hanford — Durflinger 5.2IP, 7H 0ER, 3K, 3BB; Crowder 0.1IP.
Wilder — Miller 7IP, 0H, 0ER, 2BB, 4K.
Hanford — McMurdo 0-1, 2BB.
Wilder — Whitman 1-2, RBI, BB; Miller 1-3, R; Wood 1-4; Jackson 1-3; Guerrero 1-2; Bradow 1-2, BB; Woods 1-2, BB.