Centralia pinch-hitter Quinton Foster may have spoiled a special night for Palmyra’s Jacob Kroeger on Thursday, but he didn’t completely ruin it.
Foster ended Kroeger’s bid for a no-hitter with a solid single to right center field to lead off the top of the seventh inning.
But the Palmyra southpaw bounced back with a groundout and a pair of strikeouts for a complete-game shutout. Kroeger also fanned 10 batters in the 3-0 win.
“I probably should have thrown him a different pitch there,” Kroeger admitted. “He was coming off the bench and was sitting on a fastball. But one hit, that is not bad. We got the win and that is all that matters.”
When asked if he knew about the no-hitter throughout the game, Kroeger said he was just focused on winning.
“I didn’t even know I had a no-hitter going,” he said.
The game was a home game for Palmyra but moved to Quincy Notre Dame due to wet field conditions.
Palmyra coach Mark Loman mentioned it was one of the better overall performances from his team this season.
“We knew it was an important game for a lot of reasons,” the veteran coach noted. “And our kids answered the bell tonight.”
Aside from the near no-hitter from Kroeger, the Panthers other star of the night was Jory Maddox. The senior fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle. Maddox doubled home Palmyra’s first run in the second inning. He then tripled in his second at-bat before crushing a no-doubt solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“Jory had a great night for us,” Kroeger said of his teammate. “He definitely stroked that ball, it was a shot.”
The Palmyra defense also came to play Thursday evening.
Starting backstop Brady Barnett gunned down a Centralia base runner trying to steal second to end the top of the first inning.
Shortstop Nolan Wosman ended the top of the second with a dazzling sliding stop deep in the hole before firing across the diamond for the out. And the entire Palmyra defense played an errorless game.
“Probably our most complete game of the season,” Loman mentioned. “The defense played great, Jacob was fabulous and the offense did some nice things against a tough left-handed pitcher.”
Wosman, Peyton Abbott, Peyton Plunkett and Brock Malone all added singles to go along with Maddox’s 3-for-3 effort at the dish.
The win improves Palmyra to 13-4 on the season as the Panthers have won nine of their last 10 games.
Centralia fell to 3-11 on the year, but Loman mentioned its record is deceiving.
“They are definitely not a 3-10 team (coming in), they really are not,” the Palmyra coach said.
Palmyra travels to Hannibal on Friday.
Palmyra 3, Centralia 0
Centralia 000 000 0 -- 0 1 1
Palmyra 010 011 X -- 3 7 0
CENTRALIA (3-11) -- William Rolfson (L), Ben Schmidt (6) and Klayton Marty.
PALMYRA (13-4) -- Jacob Kroeger (W) and Brady Barnett. Top hitter -- Jory Maddox 3-for-3 2 RBI. 2B -- Maddox. 3B -- Maddox. HR -- Maddox.