REYNOLDS – Garrett Blaylock wasn’t hoarse Friday night, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Blaylock was as vocal as any player in the ballpark, especially after a big play.
However, the Roberson junior mostly let his pitching do the talking — Blaylock threw a complete game two-hitter and the Rams stayed unbeaten in Mountain Athletic Conference baseball with a 3-1 win at Reynolds.
Blaylock (3-0) recorded 11 strikeouts with one walk and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. The Vanderbilt recruit, who plays shortstop when he’s not on the mound, mixed his fastball with a curveball, slider and changeup.
“I had good command tonight,” Blaylock said.
“I tend to go deep into counts, and I was able to get some first-pitch outs early on. (Second baseman) Nate Fore gave us an early lead (with a first-inning RBI single) and that really propelled us. It’s huge to pitch with a lead. We’re feeling good as a team right now, we’re confident.”
Aaron McKeithan and Bryce Ballew also had RBI base hits for Roberson (11-2, 7-0). McKeithan was 2-for-2 with a walk. Blaylock tripled in his final at-bat. Leadoff Holden Upright and Trenton Davis each scored a run.
Fore made arguably the defensive play of the night, getting his glove on a liner for the first out of the fifth inning.
The Rams won last year’s MAC 4-A and outright championships with a 9-3 record in the league. They have already beaten every MAC team this spring at least once – Friday was the second Reynolds-Roberson game following a 7-2 win by the Rams on March 8 in Skyland.
“What I come away with from this game is there were two guys on the mound tonight who could beat anybody in the state,” said Roberson coach Eric Filipek, who was referring to Blaylock and Reynolds starter Kyle Cagle.
“Garrett was very efficient, as efficient as he’s ever been, and it was good to see him finish a game like that. We weren’t perfect by any stretch. But it’s hard to be unhappy when you win a game like this with all the emotion that goes into playing a great team like Reynolds.”
Reynolds outfielder Will Moore broke up the no-hitter with an infield single in the fifth. He was then driven in by Griffin Mease’s RBI double.
The Rockets (10-3, 5-2) went three up and three down in the seventh inning.
“It was a good baseball game,” Reynolds coach Bryan Craig said.
“We hit some balls hard tonight, they just didn’t fall. Hopefully we can learn from this one.”