REYNOLDS – Darn pitch counts.
Reynolds ace Kyle Cagle was in a groove Tuesday night. The Carson-Newman (Tenn.) recruit had struck out 11 Watauga batters and only walked four through five innings.
Alas, he was limited to 80 pitches.
That meant that Cagle had to turn over the baseball to fellow senior Tyler Lawwill. And Lawwill did not let Cagle down – he recorded four strikeouts and only one walk in two innings of relief. The net result was a combined no-hitter for the Rockets (1-0) in their season opener at Davis Field which they won, 5-0.
Leading hitters for Reynolds were Chris Banks (1-3 with two RBIs), Harper Lindsay (1-3 with a double) and Josh Dotson (1-3 with an RBI). The Reynolds lineup had been kept in check until a five-run sixth inning. The Rockets had five team hits.
Cagle, Lawwill and Will Moore are the only three seniors for Reynolds.
“Our seniors are expected to be big contributors and our young guys have really come a long way,” said Cagle, who signed to play college baseball in November.
“A start to the season like this definitely gives us some excitement. (Lawwill) and I both had some good defense behind us.”
Lawwill agreed. He said he wasn’t aware of the no-hitter until Cagle told him afterwards. Lawwill mixed up his fastball with a changeup, curveball and cutter to finish things off Tuesday.
“There are only three of us seniors,” Lawwill said.
“And we’re just going to try and be the best seniors that we can. We want to have the best season that we can have. It was a great start, pretty much all you can ask for.”
Reynolds was last year’s MAC 3-A champion and Cagle is the team’s only returning All-MAC player.
“It’s a promising start,” longtime Rockets coach Bryan Craig said.
“We’re a lot younger than we have been in the past, they just need to continue to get better. It’s a process. We had seven seniors last year and this year we have three. These kids are working hard and they are a real joy to be around.”