That’s what Tyler Della Noce’s strikeout felt like to cap off his shutout 3-0 win for River Hill against Reservoir on Friday.
One batter earlier, Della Noce’s perfect game through 6 2/3 innings was broken up by a double to right-center field.
However, despite the disappointment of losing what would have been his first perfect game — or no-hitter — Della Noce didn’t lose focus. The senior got ahead of Gators cleanup hitter Ben Davis 0-2 and struck him out on a high fastball to end the game.
“After they got the hit, it was over. I was then just trying to get the ‘W’ and get the next guy out,” Della Noce said. “I’m actually good friends with [Davis], so it was a little bit of a rivalry going on. I was glad I was able to get him out there.”
Perfect or not, Della Noce was stellar.
The righty pounded the zone with fastballs and trusted his sure-handed defense en route to the shutout, allowing just the one hit and striking out four.
“He was fabulous today,” said River Hill coach Wes McCoy. “He obviously has a lot of savvy and moxie. He wants to be up on the mound. He wants the ball.”
Della Noce, with average fastball velocity and a reliable cutter, isn’t like most high school pitchers who are capable of flirting with perfect games. Unlike former stud hurlers in Howard County — like Reservoir’s Cody Morris, TJ Pipik and Lee Lawler, Oakland Mills’ Joe Zayatz and most recently Mt. Hebron’s Magnus Dunn — Della Noce doesn’t blow hitters away or make them look foolish with sharp off-speed pitches.
He just throws strikes — over and over and over again.
“He doesn’t have stuff that blows it away, but that’s OK. You don’t need it,” McCoy said. “If you can throw strikes, work in and out and up and down and change speeds, you can be successful in high school.”
“I just came in here trying to throw strikes, and this happened,” Della Noce said with a laugh. “Normally, I’m just throwing fastballs waiting until they get that first hit. I threw mostly fastballs today, mixing in a cutter a few times. I’m just trying to pump the zone, outside corner mostly.”
The strike-throwing and slick defense that River Hill (3-1) displayed throughout the game wasn’t matched by Reservoir (2-1) in the early innings.
The Hawks went up 3-0 after three innings despite getting only two hits and making solid contact only once. Aiding the River Hill offense were four free bases (three walks and a hit by pitch) and four errors by the Gators.
Reservoir pitcher Jack Lloyd walked the first two batters of the game, and Hawks leadoff hitter Demetre Koutras later came around to score off a single from Ehi Okojie, whose groundball down the third-base line ricocheted off the bag and into the outfield. Okojie later scored on a wild pitch to put the Hawks up 2-0.
River Hill’s last run came in the third inning on an error.
“We had those walks and those errors, and then we got flat,” said Reservoir head coach Adam Leader. “Hopefully we can learn from this and come back better.”
For the rest of the game, though, Reservoir reliever Ryan Knisley kept the Gators in the game. The southpaw tossed 4 1/3 scoreless, allowing only two hits and striking out seven.
“Ryan came in and shut them out for those innings,” Leader said. “He threw very well. I’m proud of him for that.”
On the other side, Della Noce was methodically retiring Reservoir hitters. In total, he got five groundouts and 12 fly outs on top of his four strikeouts.
The senior worked quickly — rarely taking more than 15 seconds between pitches — and didn’t fear the Gators’ hitters. Pitching with confidence, though, requires a steady defense, which he had throughout the game.
Prior to Quinn Dean’s hit in the seventh, the closest the Gators came to getting on base was with two outs in the fifth when Jake Lee’s line drive to center field was robbed by Okojie.
“Our catcher [Will Zatkowski] did a great job calling pitches, and then that great play in center field was huge,” Della Noce said. “It was unfortunate they got that hit at the end, but my defense was there for me the whole time.”
“He came in here and located,” Leader said of Della Noce. “... He did an incredible job. He threw one great game. I wish, if it weren’t for COVID, I could walk over and shake his hand. I told my pitchers that’s how you need to pitch — throw strikes and trust your defense.”
The win and the near-perfect game was an example for McCoy and the Hawks of how fickle baseball can be.
To start the week, the Hawks struck out 20 times in a seven-inning 3-2 loss to Glenelg, in which Gladiators lefty Andrew Johnson punched out 18 Hawks. Four days later, Della Noce — a totally different pitcher than Johnson — came one out away from a perfect game.
“Baseball is all about ups and downs,” McCoy said. “On Monday, Andrew Johnson was dealing, as good as anyone we’ve seen with maybe the exception of Cody Morris over the years. Those games are going to happen, and it’s about toughing them out and coming back stronger. We did that this week.”
Both teams are back in action Monday. River Hill hosts Oakland Mills, while Reservoir welcomes Atholton to Fulton.
River Hill 3, Reservoir 0
......... 123 456 7 — R H E
RH — 201 000 0 — 3 4 0
Re — 000 000 0 — 0 1 4
W: RH — Tyler Della Noce; L: Re — Jack Lloyd.
2B: RH — Riley Finkelston; Re — Quinn Dean.
OTHER BASEBALL SCORES:
Long Reach 10, Hammond 2
The Lightning (2-2) evened their record on the season by jumping on the Golden Bears (1-3) early, scoring eight times in the first three innings.
Tucker Freer earned the win, allowing one hit and zero runs over four innings of work while striking out three. Brandon Bartolotta then came on in relief and pitched the final three innings, striking out five. Offensively, Long Reach had 12 hits with multi-hit games coming from J.P. Tennant (3-4, double), Freer (3-3, double, triple), Conner Bosley and Chris Stanford.
As a team, Long Reach stole seven bases — with Bosley, Freer, Stanford and Ian Carunungan all swiping bags.
Hammond had five hits as a team, including a multi-hit day from Chase Johnson (2-3, triple). Ryan DeLeon, Nick Wilk and Sam Van Bemmel all had one hit each.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
Ha 000 002 0 2-5-1
LR 431 002 x 10-12-1
Centennial 2, Mt. Hebron 0
The Eagles (3-1) got a combined shutout from Cadeyrn Ahearn (five innings, nine strikeouts) and Carter Watson to lead the way to the victory over the Vikings (2-2). Ahearn and Watson also delivered RBI at the plate.
In the loss, Mt. Hebron got multi-hit days from Josh Barke and Mike Brogno.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
C 000 002 0 2-6-1
MH 000 000 0 0-5-1
Atholton 6, Howard 0
The Raiders (3-1) scored once in the bottom of the first and that was enough for starter Branden Brown on the mound, as he struck out 13 and allowed just one hit in a complete-game shutout of the Lions (2-1).
Top offensive efforts for the Raiders included a multi-hit day from Liam Snow (2 RBI) and a 2-RBI home run from Nick Varda.
Daniel Kim had the lone hit for Howard.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
Ho 000 000 0 0-1-3
A 100 032 x 6-8-0
Glenelg Country 3, Pallotti 2 (MIAA B Playoffs)
In a rematch of opening day with both teams’ aces facing off again, the Dragons (8-3) prevailed in postseason action.
Through the first five innings, the only run scored came off the bat of Pallotti ace Jeremiah Jenkins, as he parked a 3-1 fastball into the trees in right field for a solo homerun to give his team the 1-0 lead.
Glenelg Country was able to tie the score in the sixth on an infield ground ball by David Miller after two bunt base hits by Dylan Melton and Spencer Yu. Pallotti regained the lead on an RBI single by Heard, before the Dragons rallied to win on a walkoff 2-RBI hit by ace Marcus Arterburn. Arterburn also secured the complete-game victory for himself.
Dylan Melton had two base hits and scored two runs, including the winning run.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
P 000 100 1 2-4-1
GC 000 001 2 3-5-0
Marriotts Ridge 5, Glenelg 3
The Mustangs (2-2) took the lead late and held on to defeat the Gladiators (2-2). The game was tied at 3-3 with Marriotts Ridge batting in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Williams-Abrams laid down a sacrifice bunt to score a run. Jordan Peguese then shut the door in the seventh, striking out the only batter he faced with the bases loaded for the save.
For Glenelg, DJ Stolba and Gavin Henley both recorded RBIs, while Landon Castor and Harrison Hobdy both had multi-hit games. For Marriotts Ridge, Peguese, Williams-Abrams and Blake Krupinsky all tallied RBIs. Krupinsky hit the game’s lone home run.
Before Peguese shut the door, Nick Russo was excellent for the Stangs, allowing three runs and striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings.
Oakland Mills vs Wilde Lake, PPD to June 3
Howard 18, Atholton 0
Maddie Coleman was a two-way star for the Lions (2-2) to help the team snap a two-game losing skid. She pitched a no hitter in the circle with 10 strikeouts in five innings, while also adding three hits and four RBI at the plate.
Erin Gorschboth (three hits) and Katie Green (2 hits, 3 RBI) also had big days at the plate for a Howard team that finished with 14 hits.
Micah Howell started in the circle for the Raiders, while Kyra Holtje came in to close out the last two innings. Holtje struck out five and gave up no walks.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
Ho 153 54 18-14-0
A 000 00 0-0-7
Reservoir 9, River Hill 1
The Gators (4-0) gave up their first run of the season, but scored early and often on the way to home victory over the Hawks (1-2). Kylee Gunkel continued her masterful start to the season by going five innings, allowing just the one run and striking out 11.
Maggie Frisvold (2-4, double, triple), Clare Andrews (RBI), Kayla Ecker (2-3, HR, 4 RBI) Courtney Johnson (2-3, 3 RBI) and Alyssa Kelly (double, RBI) all had big days at the plate for Reservoir.
River Hill’s offense was led by two hits apiece from Kathleen Maiorana (2-4, double) and Sara Emig (triple).
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
RH 000 100 0 1-6-2
Re 410 301 x 9-9-3
Mt. Hebron 25, Centennial 1
The Vikings (3-1) scored multiple runs in every inning, including 13 in the second, on the way to the victory over the Eagles (0-3).
On the way to 16 hits as a team, Mt. Hebron got multi-hit days from Erin Behel (3-3, triple, 5 runs, RBI), Alex Wendt (3-3, 2 doubles, 6 RBI, 4 runs), Jessica Iveljec (3-4, 2 triples, 4 RBI, 2 runs), Emma Behel (2-4, triple, 3 RBI) and Olivia Bashura (2-2, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 3 stolen bases). Emma Behel struck out six in five innings at pitcher, while allowing one run on four hits.
Gussy Ruckdeschel went 2-2 in the loss for Centennial.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
C 010 00 1-4-4
MH 5(13)2 5x 25-16-0
Hammond 4, Long Reach 3
The Golden Bears (2-2) won their second straight game, as centerfielder Abbie Weirich threw a laser to freshman catcher Samara Lenz to gun down the tying run for the Lightning (1-3) at the plate for the final out in the bottom of the seventh to secure the one-run victory. Lenz also drove in what ended up being the winning run in the top of the sixth inning with a SAC fly to make it 4-2 at the time.
Hammond had scored first in the opening inning when Weirich singled and then came around to score on the first of Kaylee Beahm’s two hits. Long Reach countered, however, with two runs of its own in the bottom of the first thanks to hits and runs scored by Taylor Slonac and Jules Dadurka.
The Golden Bears retook the lead in the top of the sixth, as Krista Goodwin led off with a double and Beahm drove her in with a triple. Maddi Berning drove Beahm in with a single and then Kasey Smith doubled and Lenz hit the SAC fly.
Long Reach pulled to within one in the bottom of the sixth when Dadurka singled and then came around on another single by Holly Ryan.
That set up the excitement in the seventh, with Hammond escaping thanks to the big defensive play that started with a hit to the outfield by Dadurka that nearly scored Amelia Bross. Hammond returns to action on Saturday against River Hill.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
Ha 100 003 0 4-7-0
LR 200 001 0 3-6-0
Glenelg 13, Marriotts Ridge 8
Serafina Tinio led the way in a late-inning offensive explosion for the Gladiators (2-2), who snapped a two-game losing skid and also handed the Mustangs (3-1) their first loss. Glenelg scored all 13 of its runs in the final four innings, including five in the fifth.
Tinio finished 4-5 with two triples, 5 RBI and 2 runs scored. Jordyn Woodling (2 runs, RBI) and Reese Holden (double, RBI) also had multiple hits in the win.
Sarah Fan, Leah Chen, Brynne Mellady and Ashley Theimer all had two hits for Marriotts Ridge.
.. 123 456 7 R-H-E
G 000 254 2 13-11-4
MR 101 005 1 8-9-3
Oakland Mills vs Wilde Lake, PPD to June 3
Marriotts Ridge 17, Centennial 7
The Mustangs (3-0) earned their third straight win to open the season, getting six goals from Maisy Clevenger to lead the way to the victory over the Eagles (1-3). Maggie Merrill added four goals.
Louisa Lagera (3 goals, 2 assists) and goalie Ava Welsh (7 saves) led the way in the loss for Centennial.
Goals: MR — Clevenger 6, Merill 4, L. Fisher 2, Bender 2, Held, Meininger 1, Parsons 1; C — Lagera 3, Cudzilo, Kelly, Pilcher, Roybal.
Assists: MR — Bender; C — Lagera 2.
Saves: MR — Hejeebu 3; C — Welsh 7.
Mt. Hebron 13, Howard 8
The Vikings (2-2) won their second game in a row, defeating the Lions (1-3) in the home contest. Ashley Unkenholz had six goals and an assist to lead the attack, while J. Barke and Audrey Harrington joined in with two goals apiece. Michelle Pak added four assists.
In goal, Skyla Lloyd had another standout effort with 12 saves for Mt. Hebron.
Ellie Wiechert (2 goals), Madi Anthony (2 goals) and Emma Somers (goal, 2 assists) led the way offensively for Howard in the loss.
Goals: MH — A. Unkenholz 6, J. Barke 2, A. Harrington 2, H. Kampert 1, C. Mullaney 1, P. Sims 1; Ho — M. Anthony 2, E. Wiechert 2, A. Lockwood 1, E. Somers 1, S. Brothers 1, A. Gorny 1.
Assists: MH — M. Pak 4, Unkenholz 1; Ho — E. Somers 2.
Saves: MH — S. Lloyd 12; Ho — R. Murphy 7.
Oakland Mills 13, Long Reach 11
The Scorpions (2-2) earned their second victory of the season, defeating the Lightning (0-3) behind big offensive efforts from a number of players. Sara Novak (5 goals, assist), Kylie Tracy (3 goals), Kaity Browne (2 goals) and Yasmine Megdiche (2 goals) all scored multiple times. Ella Novak also added a goal and Katie Oliver made three saves for Oakland Mills.
Atholton 12, Reservoir 7
The Raiders (3-0) continued their strong play, getting a team-high six goals from Kendall Dean on the way to the win over the Gators (2-1). Atholton also got strong offensive games from Hannah McGrath (3 goals, assist), Molly Flynn (2 goals, 3 assists) and Makayla Gravely-Smith (goal, 2 assists).
Alana Leak (3 goals) and Savanna Hill (goal, 3 assists) led the way for Reservoir in the loss.
Goals: A — K. Dean 6, H. McGrath 3, M. Flynn 2, M. Gravely-Smith 1; Re — A. Leak 3, M. Ripkin 2, S. Hill 1, K. Thayer 1.
Assists: A — Flynn 3, Gravely-Smith 2, M. McCabe 2, McGrath 1, Dean 1; Re — S. Hill 3, A. Maluitz 1.
Saves: A — K. Eaton 5, A. Wenstrom 2; Re — M. Roberts 8, K. Carranza 5.
Halftime: 7-4 A.
Glenelg at River Hill, PPD
Hammond at Wilde Lake, PPD
Glenelg 16, River Hill 8
The Gladiators (4-0) stayed undefeated, as Colin Buch paced the offense with seven goals and an assist, in the win over the Hawks (0-4). Evan Whatley added a goal and five assists, while Jon Nagle had two goals and an assist.
River Hill was led by five goals from Jack Burns.
Goals: G — Buch 7, Nagle 2, Doughty 1, Buscher 1, Dalton 1, Klingensmith 1, T. Iannarino 1, Ch. Iannarino 1, Whatley 1; RH — Burns 5, Campbell 3, Sutch 1.
Assists: G — Whatley 5, Doughty 3, Buch 1, Buscher 1, Nagle 1, Tracy 1.
Saves: G — Wendel 1, Desantis 1, Hunter 2, Blackburn 1; RH — Henry 13, Klock 3.
Centennial 9, Marriotts Ridge 7
A balanced offensive effort to go along with outstanding play from Alex Kauffman in goal with 22 saves helped the Eagles (2-2) edge the Mustangs (3-1) on Friday night. Marriotts Ridge was leading 5-2 at the half before Centennial rallied after intermission.
Josh Flick (3 goals, assist), Cam Westlake (2 goals, assist), Andrew Hockersmith (2 goals, assist) led the offense for the Eagles. Brendan Hlibok and James MacLellan each added goals, while Sam Bussink contributed an assist.
Mt. Hebron 14, Howard 4
The Vikings (2-2) jumped out to a 4-0 lead five minutes into the game and never looked back in the win over the Lions (1-3). The offense was led by senior midfielders Cameron Stockenberg (four goals) and Brendan Demek (three goals). The Hebron defense, led by goalie Everett Armstead’s 14 saves, shut down the Lions’ offense.
Goals: MH — Cameron Stockenberg 4, Rich Tangires 3, Brendan Demek 3, Keegan Ryan 2, Nick Machiran, Gianni Karam; Ho — Nathan Boone 3, Max Bruno.
Assists: MH — Nick Machiran 4, Keegan Ryan 2, Gavin Fleck 2, Brendan Demek, Cameron Stockenberg, Gianni Karam; Ho — Aiden Larsen 2.
Saves: MH — Everett Armstead 14; Ho — Logan Boone 13.
Halftime: 8-2, MH.
Oakland Mills 10, Long Reach 8
The Scorpions (2-2) erased a three-goal deficit at the half to earn a come-from-behind victory over the Lightning (0-3). Tyler May scored five goals and Joe Thompson had three in the win for Oakland Mills.
Nick Roby and Elijah McNeil scored two goals apiece to lead Long Reach, while Lightning goalie DJ Belechto made 18 saves.
Goals: OM — May 5, Thompson 3, Nguyen 1, Hamann 1; LR — Roby 2, McNeil 2, Simon, Chin, Nance, McNeil.
Assists: OM — Hamann; LR — Simon.
Saves: OM — Clancy 5; LR — Belechto 18.
Halftime: 7-4 OM.
Reservoir 13, Atholton 11
The Gators (4-0) held off the Raiders (2-1) to stay undefeated. Joey Schinner (4 goals, assist), Sean Maruschak (3 goals, 2 assists), Steven Musser (3 goals, assist) and Mitch Baer (2 goals, assist) all were major contributors offensively for Reservoir, which also got six saves from goalie Nick Hoover.
Goals: Re — Joey Schinner 4, Sean Maruschak 3, Steven Musser 3, Mitch Baer 2, Jakota Parker 1; A — Spencer Krasnick 4, Zach Duncan 2, Drew Kassman 2, Daniel Cade 1, Ryan Hernandez 1, Toby Aquino 1.
Assists: Re — Maruschak 2, Schinner 1, Baer 1, Parker 1, Musser 1; A — Kassman 1, Daniel Gottwals 1, Mason Meyerpeter 1, Cade 1.
Saves: Re — Nick Hoover 6; A — Garrett Walsh 13.
Halftime: 6-3 Re.
Wilde Lake at Hammond, PPD
Howard 5, Atholton 0
No. 1 singles: Andrew Au, Ho def. Daniel Atcheberrigarary, A (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Niko Bifsas, Ho def. Nithish Sivakumasan, A (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Alex Brousseau and Richie Pemberton, Ho def. Alex Nguyen and Jason Lilly, A (8-4)
No. 2 doubles: Savvas Bifsas and Tyson Nguyen, Ho def. Steven Tzeng and Daniel Szympruch, A (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Charlie Veihmeyer and Jeff Harvey, Ho def. Anthony Zhou and Nico Taber, A (8-2)
Centennial 5, Mt. Hebron 0
No. 1 singles: Vijay Jagarapu, C def. Guy Scafidi, MH (9-8, 10-6)
No. 2 singles: Keshav Ganapathy, C def. Jeff Li, MH (8-4)
No. 1 doubles: Danny Ho and Ryan Huang, C def. Mason Doan and Andrew Lee, MH (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Tyler H. Lin and Julian Whang, C def. Ethan Doan and Jack Lovas, MH (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Aadarsh Govada and Carter Custodio, C def. Rithivik Srinivasan, MH (8-4)
River Hill 3, Reservoir 2
No. 1 singles: Joshua Cai, Re def. Sebastien Lair, RH (8-6)
No. 2 singles: Edwin Brown, Re def. Nikhil Nath, RH (8-5)
No. 1 doubles: Zach Lee and Ibrahim Khan, RH def. Yari Armond and Vikram Baltalapalli, Re (8-5)
No. 2 doubles: Daniel Maiovanak and Vraj Patel, RH def. Jared CArino and Haider Hussain, Re (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Dhruv Guptal and Jalen Geason, RH def. William Tao and Sean Kim, Re (8-1)
Long Reach 4, Hammond 1
No. 1 singles: P. Apanisk, LR def. Austin Uwimana, Ha (8-2)
No. 2 singles: J. Pollack, LR def. Colin Ward, Ha (8-6)
No. 1 doubles: B. Greenberg and J. Edm, LR def. Tyler Prudhomme and Hussain Masood, Ha (8-2)
No. 2 doubles: C. Lopez and C. Shin, LR def. Brandon Nguyen and Huy Tran, Ha (8-0)
No. 3 doubles: Hammond wins by forfeit
Howard 4, Atholton 1
No. 1 singles: Jessica Zhou, A def. Varsha Kantheli, Ho (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Medha Hegde, Ho def. Lexi Nguyen, A (8-4)
No. 1 doubles: Corrine Chau and Viola Yu, Ho def. Taria Brown and Rissah Renny, A (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Presley Caroland and N/A, Ho def. Jen Chiang and Alisa Hira, A (8-2)
No. 3 doubles: Amelia Krieg and Shannon Clifford, Ho def. Michelle Kim and Sophie Saunders, A (8-2)
Centennial 3, Mt. Hebron 2
No. 1 singles: Trinetra Vijayakumar, MH def. Rose Huang, C (8-2)
No. 2 singles: Michelle Fradlin, C def. Bonnie Vess, MH (8-2)
No. 1 doubles: Shrinidhi Abbadi and Shivani Varia, MH def. Shreya Vallimanalan and Audrey Oaksmith, C (8-6)
No. 2 doubles: Sarika Kapadia and Joanna Blackman, C def. Julia Kimack and Mira Tadimalla, MH (8-4)
No. 3 doubles: Shriya Reddy and Sarah Blackman, C def. Sophie Kreyling and Haring Devireddy, MH (8-6)
River Hill 5, Reservoir 0
No. 1 singles: Adelaide Houston, RH def. Grace Tao, Re (8-2)
No. 2 singles: Priyanka Ramulu, RH def. Alanna Ro, Re (8-3)
No. 1 doubles: Siri Jale and Defne Demirekler, RH def. Lexi Lee and Alyssa Lee, Re (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Maria Malik and Riya Patel, RH def. Nicole Carino and Gia Santos, Re (9-7)
No. 3 doubles: Rebecca Ni and Puja Swamykumar, RH def. Karen Yhim and Kaitlyn Ro, Re (8-3)
Hammond 5, Long Reach 0
No. 1 singles: Shivaani Selvan, Ha def. S. Thorne, LR (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Janel McCray, Ha def. A. Yelton, LR (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Megan Martin and Ronia Agyeman, Ha def. M. Lee and P. Narayaran, LR (8-4)
No. 2 doubles: Cingh Cing and Man Huai, Ha def. B. Burfield and Z. Par, LR (8-2)
No. 3 doubles: Olivia Ametewee and Mayuri Chakkara, Ha def. S. Owens and K. Johnson, LR (8-1)