Elliott, Beehler combine for no-hitter in Rochester win over Delphi
Lutz drives in both runs with single in 5th
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Brock Beehler is not only back, but he seems to be better than ever.
Evan Elliott and Beehler pitched a combined no-hitter, and Kane Lutz drove in two runs with a single in the fifth to lead Rochester to a 2-1 home win over Delphi Tuesday.
Rochester improved to 2-0.
Gavin Gleason had the only Delphi RBI on a sacrifice fly that scored Luke Smock in the top of the first. Evan Fritz took the loss despite not allowing an earned run or walking a batter in 4 ⅓ innings. He allowed three hits while striking out nine.
The Oracles fell to 0-1.
Rochester coach Cory Good said he didn’t know his pitchers had thrown a no-hitter until he was told after the game.
“We’re young,” Good said. “Just seeing these guys out here and fight like they fought today and battle against a really good team … Normally, they’re always ranked in 2A in the top 10. To have a 1-0 game and score two in the fifth and shut them down in the sixth and seventh, that’s as good of a win as any regular season minus a conference (win).”
Elliott, a junior, pitched the first 3 ⅔ innings. He walked three, hit four batters, threw a wild pitch and left trailing 1-0 despite not allowing a hit.
Good raved about Elliott’s competitive instincts.
“Evan’s a competitor,” Good said. “He’s a really good baseball player, period. Pitching, hitting. If Evan’s off, he’s off. If he’s on, he’s on and you’ll know. … Evan didn’t have his best today, and I’d think he’s agree with that. He had a high pitch count. I think we pulled him around 70 pitches, and we’re just trying to keep these pitch counts low early in the year.”
Beehler replaced him, taking the mound in a varsity game exactly six months after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He retired all 10 batters he faced.
Good called Beehler “the smartest baseball mind we have on the team.” Beehler has verbally committed to play his college baseball at Rose-Hulman.
“I did know (about the no-hitter), but I was just throwing strikes,” Beehler said while teammate Grant McCarter gave up a trickle of an ice water shower. “If I gave up a hit here and there, I wasn’t too worried. I was more worried about getting my defense involved behind me because I trust them. We had no errors. … We had a great defense behind me.”
Though the 2020 high school season was canceled last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, Beehler’s travel team season continued during the summer. But after pitching two innings during his summer season, his entire arm hurt.
He went to see Dr. Jeffrey Hartzell in Fort Wayne, an orthopedist who specializes on sports medicine. Beehler knew Hartzell because he saw him after separating his shoulder during the seventh-grade football season.
Hartzell diagnosed a torn ulnar collateral ligament and said Beehler needed Tommy John surgery, which involves replacing the ligament.
After surgery in October, Hartzell prescribed “strict” physical therapy two times a week for 10 weeks.
“It’s kind of a gradual thing,” Beehler said. “I’ve been pitching since I was 10 years old. But early travel season, first game I pitched, I go from feeling good and just my arm hurt constantly. It was just a radiating pain. It went up and down my arm.
“It was rough. I still played. I wanted to play this summer. I didn’t pitch, but I played in the field, hit, everything like that. But I was not expecting to ever have Tommy John surgery because those are guys in the major leagues and minor leagues who throw hard.”
Fritz didn’t allow a hit until Tarick McGlothin’s single in the fourth.
The Zebras finally got to him in the fifth, though it took the assistance of two Delphi errors. Ethan Medina began the inning with a single. One out later, Brayden Zink reached on an error on the Delphi third baseman, and then Jake Seuferer reached on an error on the Delphi right fielder.
That brought up Lutz, RHS’ No. 9 hitter. He singled home Medina and Zink to put the Zebras ahead for good.
Lutz had gone hitless in the 2019 season as a sophomore, and Good said he challenged him to get better. Lutz is already 3 for 5 on the season so far.
“In ‘19, he was a sophomore, we gave him an opportunity, and I think he would agree that he didn’t give it his full effort,” Good said. “He didn’t put in the time. He didn’t work like he’s working now. I couldn’t say enough good things about Kane Lutz right now. … He was here for every single weight (lifting session), and he was here for every single open gym. He’s been a huge leader.”
But for one day, Lutz will have to share the spotlight with the pitchers.
“I just want to do whatever helps the team the most,” Beehler said. “If that’s pitching, then I’ll do it. If it’s not, then I won’t.”
Rochester 2, Delphi 1
Delphi 100 000 0 – 1 0 3
Rochester 000 020 X – 2 4 0
WP – Brock Beehler (3 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K)
LP – Evan Fritz (4 ⅓ IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K)
XBH – (none)
Rochester junior Evan Elliott pitched the first 3 ⅔ innings of a combined no-hitter in a 2-1 win over Delphi at Bob Copeland Field Tuesday. (photo provided by Paula Beehler)
Brock Beehler pitched the final 3 ⅓ innings in relief and earned the win in a 2-1 over Delphi at Bob Copeland Field Tuesday. Beehler and Evan Elliott, who pitched the first 3 ⅔ innings, pitched a combined no-hitter. Beehler was pitching in a competitive game since undergoing Tommy John surgery six months ago. (photo provided by Paula Beehler)
Watch full Rochester vs Delphi Baseball game Here: