Berthoud ace Adrian Short throws a hit against Mountain View – Loveland Reporter-Herald
Adrian Short jumped out of bed on Saturday morning with an extra boost in his step.
Despite gloomy weather and a first pitch scheduled for 10am early, Berthoud’s ace still felt as sharp as he could get as he progressed through his warm-up shots before facing Mountain View at Jack Sommers Field.
Heating, check. Fastball cutter, check. Change, check. No doubt in his mind, the senior was locked and loaded for efficiency on the mound against rival BHS Crosstown. Still, throughout the vast majority of a brilliant outing, Short didn’t imagine he would end up sprinting towards a crowd of teammates chanting ‘let’s go’ after making history.
But that’s kind of how it goes when a pitcher throws a non-hitter. No one, not even the composer himself, sees it coming.
“I woke up feeling good. My arm hurt a bit earlier in the season, but I knew I was feeling really good today, ”described Short. “But you never really get that feeling when you walk into a game. I can hardly believe it. It’s incredible.
Being a seven innings masterpiece, Short made a noticeable groove after a relatively laborious second frame in which the pitcher threw one of two total walks.
En route to a 1-0 victory for the Spartans (3-4 overall, 3-2 Longs Peak League), the veteran responded by quickly making the Mountain Lions (3-4, 1-4) work on a 1- 2 -3 third round. From there, Short’s dominance increased significantly as the senior hit eight of the last nine hitters he faced on Saturday – including a final three-and-three frame down where he provided the icing on the cake by fanning every batting MV.
“In the third set I knew he really had his best stuff,” said BHS wide receiver Matt Jorissen. “This second round was a bit difficult for him. But I saw he had that competitive side today, and he worked through. And then, in this next round, he was just dominant. I knew at that point he was on it. I am so proud of him. It’s something that could change the season pretty quickly for us.
Overall, Short had 15 strikeouts (13 strokes) while the Mountain Lions managed to put the ball into play just five times. Highlighted by a 12 strikeout strike, a deserved run at Riverdale Ridge on May 13, the Spartans ace entered the Crosstown affair amid a promising campaign to top Coach Buddy’s staff. Kouns.
However, the extent of his cutter bite and the ability to frequently place hitters behind in the count were key differences between Short’s previous outings and Saturday’s no-no.
“He was more efficient today,” Kouns said. “In the other starts, he was a bit affected because he fell behind in the count. But today, he launched the first strike. He was dictating. And his business was really moving. This little cutter was the ground they swayed and missed. It just drifted off and got the guys off balance. It was awesome. It’s as much a game launched as I’ve seen it in my 10 years here.
Of course, realizing his chances of making history, a rush of adrenaline helped the senior’s cause as well.
“I didn’t hear anyone talk about it in the canoe,” said Short. “But before the seventh, I was like, I don’t think they’ve hit the ball yet. Fortunately, no one blamed him. Then I just think it was all adrenaline rush at the end. You have to keep finding a way to get things done. That’s what I did.”
As the scoreboard indicates, it wasn’t like Short was the only pitcher who painted the corners perfectly on Saturday. In fact, Short’s rare feat overshadows a spectacular performance from pitcher MV Jaden Bowser – who, for a time, practically matched his fighter on the mound.
In the bottom half of the third, the junior allowed his first and only stroke when BHS’s Lane Pirkey landed a successful decay stroke to give the Spartan runners into the corners with just one out. A mistake then allowed Kouns’ team to get through the only race of the match.
In total, Bowser posted seven strikeouts and four walks in five frames as Jacob Nix finally relieved the starter by allowing the second and final hit of the contest to be sixth.
“I thought he (Bowser) was awesome,” MV coach Brian Smela said. “He struggled the last time he was out, and I thought his leadership was much better today. He was aggressive and attacking today. So it’s a shame for him that he paired up with their guy today. But that’s what we needed because we haven’t stopped the teams from scoring lately. We just have to tip our hat to (Short) today. He was hitting his spots and had a fantastic day.