It took a few walks, a high pitch count, and an incredible defensive stop by a recent JV call-up, but Tyler Matyshock, a sophomore pitcher for Yosemite High School’s varsity baseball team, got his first no hitter last week.
Alongside that, the Badger baseball team has improved to 11-9, and 3-7 in the North Sequoia League as they beat Sierra (11-8, 4-6 NSL) 5-0 on April 20 and 11-2 on April 21, and Washington Union (9-14, 3-7 NSL) 16-2 on Monday, April 24. Those wins follow a victory over Lindsay (13-8, 7-1 East Sequoia League) to close out tournament play in Selma April 12.
Against Sierra on April 20, Matyshock led the Badgers to their first league win with a 5-0 victory as he threw 109 pitches with two walks, and no errors.
“I was a little nervous,” Matyshock said. “They talked about taking me out because my pitch count was a little high ... I just thought about throwing strikes because I threw two walks in a row. But the defense came through and I had confidence in them, so I just needed to focus and throw strikes.”
The Badgers were ahead 4-0 going into the top of the sixth, when Matyshock’s no hitter was nearly ended.
With two outs and one on, Sierra’s Harry Blunt came to the plate and cracked a line drive between Badger second baseman Henry Curley and first baseman Frankie Lemos.
Curley, a sophomore in only his fifth game as a varsity player since his recent call-up from JV, charged towards the ball and made an outstretched, diving snag. He then hopped to his feet and threw to Lemos for the out as Blunt’s foot hovered over the bag.
“I just wanted to stay calm and do everything I could to get the win and save Tyler’s no hitter,” said Curley, who also helped JV pitcher Nick Pierce earn his first no hitter earlier this season.
“I got a lot from (Curley) and my defense out there,” Matyshock said. “That helps you when you pitch. If you have confidence in your defense, it makes a huge change.”
“I told him ‘you better buy Curley lunch, because he saved that for you,’” laughed Head Coach JD Burnett. “But Tyler is an amazing athlete. He’s the kind of kid you really like to see succeed because he’s such a high character kid with an amazing work ethic and tremendous amount of mental toughness. So when stuff like this happens to kids like that, it really brings you a lot of joy.”
Jaeden Pierce, also a sophomore, caught for Matyshock and helped contribute to the no hitter. On offense, he and Chris Ward, another sophomore, sparked the team for runs.
In the bottom of the fourth, Matyshock took a walk and stole second on a bad throw. Pierce then came to the plate and blasted a double to the left field wall off of Sierra pitcher Zach Dennis, scoring Matyshock. After Lemos was walked, Ward then hit a single, and both Pierce and Lemos scored after a runaway throw to first.
Ward later stole home in the bottom of the sixth on a bad pitch to seal the win at 5-0.
Junior Evan Prater hit a double of his own to round out the Badger batters.
Against Sierra on Friday, Prater threw a complete game as the Badgers rolled to an 11-2 win, followed by the 16-2 romp of Union, who beat the Badgers 6-0 on March 30.
Burnett said he felt good about his team’s improvement, where they began NSL play 0-4.
“This is where we thought we’d be in the early season,” Burnett said. “It took a while for our players to get acclimated to our league. A lot of them are multisport athletes so it took a bit to get acclimated from football to baseball. So we’re looking to take this momentum and carry it through league.”
The Badgers were scheduled to face Washington Union at home on Thursday, April 27, and Kerman (10-12-1, 7-3 NSL) on the road Monday, May 1.
On the JV side, the Badgers beat Sierra 14-4 on April 20, and lost to them 12-11 on April 21 in extra innings. The team lost 11-3 to Washington Union April 24, with Trinity Curtis starting on the mound and getting the team to a 3-2 lead before the bullpen gave up nine runs.
Nick Pierce pitched a complete game in the win over Sierra, and both he and DJ Wasem scored 3 runs each.
On Friday, Owen Bazzar and Jensen Pincus combined to pitch well and help lead the team to an 11-7 lead going into the seventh inning. The bullpen, however, gave up the lead and the team lost by a run in extra innings.