THOMASVILLE, N.C. – Senior Clayton Freimuth took the mound for his first start as a Bobcat Saturday and made it a most memorable one, throwing a no-hitter to cap a doubleheader sweep of Guilford College, 8-0 and 3-0.
Mother Nature put forth a valiant effort to keep Frostburg State (4-0) off of the diamond this weekend, but the Bobcats were not to be denied of another early season single-day sweep. Thanks to host Greg Suire and his Hi-Toms field crew, along with the persistence of Bobcat head coach Guy Robertson, the field was transformed from a snowy tundra into spring-ready field in less than a week.
Game One got its first action in the bottom of the second inning when junior Zach Keeler scored from third base on a dropped fly ball by the Guilford left fielder. Frostburg added two more runs in the third thanks to a two-run blast off the bat of senior first baseman Ricky Brady.
While the Frostburg State hitters were busy producing runs, senior Bennett Schiltz was busy preventing the Quakers (3-4) from getting anything going offensively. The right-hander from Arizona stifled opposing hitters for 6.0 innings, striking out six and allowing no runs on just two hits. Guilford loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, but junior Kyle McCormack was able to escape with the shutout still intact.
The Bobcat offense brought home five more runs over the fourth and fifth innings with the help of an RBI triple from senior Nick McElfish, a solo dinger from senior Nick Walker, and a trio of defensive lapses by Guilford. Brady and McElfish led the way with two RBI apiece, while senior Ricky Castro and junior Jamaal Windom contributed with two hits each.
Guilford starting pitcher John Todd took the loss for the Quakers despite striking out five over three innings. Tyler Petersen, Grayson Tuttle, and Kyle Humphrey each had a hit and would turn out to be the only three the Quakers would manage for the day.
As well as Schiltz pitched for the Bobcats in Game One, his performance was overshadowed by the utterly dominant outing by Clayton Freimuth. The senior southpaw mowed down 14 Quakers on his way to the first no-hitter of the young Division III season and the first no-hitter in recent memory for Frostburg State.
Freimuth faced just 23 batters during his outing, a mere two over the minimum number for a seven inning game. The transfer from Texas was locked in right out of the gate, striking out the first two batters that Guilford sent to the plate. Two more were set down swinging in the second and he was able to strike out the side in the third bringing his total to seven after three.
The Bobcat hitters got Freimuth all of the run support he would need in the first two innings. Castro and fellow senior Kam Stewart were each issued walks to get things started in the bottom half of the first and both came around to score on singles from Walker and Keeler. Castro hit a two-out double in the second and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch to give Frostburg its third and final run.
Freimuth did not allow a baserunner until the top of the sixth inning when he walked the leadoff hitter, Charles Noble. Noble soon found himself at third base with no outs following a passed ball and a wild pitch, but Freimuth would allow him to go no further as he escaped unscathed.
A similar situation came about in the top of the seventh, but once again unfazed, Freimuth struck out back-to-back Quakers before getting the final batter to groundout to the catcher to complete the rare feat.
The lefty finished with three walks to go along with his remarkable 14 strikeouts in his first start as a Bobcat. Through four games, Frostburg starters have yet to allow a run in 23.2 innings and have given up a mere five hits while striking out 25.
Frostburg State is scheduled to wrap up its weekend series with Guilford on Sunday with a single nine-inning contest beginning at noon.