A strong offensive showing and run support goes a long way for any pitcher.
Rancho’s Michael Shy didn’t have that luxury Friday, but the 6-foot-8-inch left-hander didn’t need it.
Shy allowed three hits with eight strikeouts and the Rams managed to walk away with a 2-0 road win over Coronado in a battle between top Class 4A Sunrise League baseball teams.
“We executed when we had to,” Rancho coach Manny Llamas said. “You get no-hit until the seventh (inning), but you’re up 1-0. I just told them, ‘Buckle down and keep playing Rancho baseball. Go out there and play.’ And we did it. We succeeded and won.
“(Shy) got ahead with his fastball, and then he started going to his splitter. He was throwing strikes with his off-speed (pitches). He was throwing strikes with his fastball. That’s all you can really ask for.”
Shy threw 63 of 100 pitches for strikes and walked three. He nearly was outdone by Coronado starter Kyle Hall, who struck out seven and allowed just two doubles in the seventh inning.
“That opposing pitcher did a great job,” Llamas said. “He kept us off balance for a bit. We were piecing the ball up. We just weren’t finding the holes, but we ended up victorious. And I’d like to say the better team won.”
Joey Walls scored Rancho’s first run in the fifth after reaching on a walk and scoring on an error. It was the only walk Hall allowed.
Despite the lack of offense, Shy remained positive.
“I had complete faith in my team,” he said. “I knew if I did my part, they would do their part eventually. They just had to pull through. And when they did, I just had to close it out for them. … I was trying to stay fastball dominant. And then I’d go slider. If I had two strikes early in the count, I’d throw a splitter. That’s where I got most of my strikeouts.”
Rancho (16-4, 12-3 Sunrise League) added a run in the seventh on Jimmy Gamboa’s RBI double. The Cougars stranded their sixth runner on first base in the seventh, as Shy got a flyout and strikeout to finish his complete game.
Noah Hemphill, a Kansas State commit, had all three hits for Coronado (14-9, 9-5).
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at email@example.com or 702-383-0430. Follow @af_ferguson on Twitter.