The Blair Oaks Falcons snapped a lengthy losing streak to a rival in quite an impressive fashion.
Wil Libbert struck out 13 batters in six innings, and Cade Stockman closed the seventh to complete the no-hitter, as the Falcons defeated the Helias Crusaders 6-0 in Friday's finale of the Jay Baseball Classic at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex.
Libbert, a sophomore, retired 18 of the 21 batters he faced. However, he reached his pitch-count limit of 95 pitches on his last pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning, making him unable to finish the game.
Stockman allowed a leadoff walk in the seventh but faced just three batters, ending the win with a strikeout.
Blair Oaks stranded three runners on base in the first two innings against Helias pitcher Sam Schell. The Falcons had another scoring opportunity in the third, but the Crusaders shut that down with the defensive play of the game.
With a runner on second and one out, Lane Libbert dropped a double into the right-center field gap. Nolph, the runner on second, tagged up in case the ball was caught. Helias hurried the relay home and catcher Ethan Holzhauser caught the ball and held on during a collision at the plate with Nolph for the out.
Blair Oaks finally came through offensively in the fourth as courtesy runner Holden Brand scored on a wild pitch. Reid Dudenhoeffer also scored on a wild pitch in the fifth to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
A four-run sixth inning helped put the game out of reach for Blair Oaks. Hayden Salmons scored on Lane Libbert's groundout, the Levi Haney singled up the middle with two outs to score another run. Josh Isaacs followed with a two-run opposite-field single to right to give the Falcons a six-run lead.
Haney went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles for Blair Oaks.
Helias attempted to break up the no-hitter in the bottom of the sixth, when Jacob Weaver tried to bunt for a single. Wil Libbert slipped, then booted the ball to allow Weaver to reach first on an error.
Schell took the loss for the Crusaders, allowing one run on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 3 innings. Kaden Hampson, Carson Gettinger and Quinton Baker combined to pitch 3 innings of relief.
Blair Oaks opened the first of four games in the Classic at the Legion Sports Complex with a 16-3 win in six innings against Lutheran: St. Charles.
Cale Willson was the winning pitcher for the Falcons. In a complete-game effort, he struck out 10 while giving up three runs on three hits with three walks.
Blair Oaks scored 10 runs in the top of the sixth to win by run-rule. Dudenhoeffer went 4-for-5 with three singles, a double and two RBI, while Gavin Wekenborg and Dylan Hair each drove in three runs.
Lutheran: St. Charles defeated Troy-Buchanan 8-5 in Game 2, then Helias followed with a 4-2 win against Troy-Buchanan.
Alex Loethen was the winning pitcher for the Crusaders, holding the Trojans to two runs on six hits with two strikeouts in five innings. Brandon Scheulen followed with two scoreless innings of relief for the save.
Holzhauser went 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Helias offense.
Today's games in the Classic have been canceled due to the rainy forecast in Mid-Missouri. The games will not be rescheduled.
Blair Oaks (9-2), which has won its last seven games, will host Fulton on Monday for its home opener.
Helias (8-3), which had its eight-game winning streak snapped with Friday's loss, is off until April 20 when it plays at Father Tolton.