Warriors double their no-hitter pleasure
Things were coming in pairs for the Whittell High baseball team on Saturday against White Pine High: victories, pitchers named Chris and no-hitters.
Chris Shapiro and Chris Pavich tossed matching no-hitters for Whittell in a doubleheader between the leaders of the Southern 2A section (White Pine) and the Northern 2A’s second-place team (Whittell). Shapiro allowed only one walk in an 11-0 win in the opening game, then Pavich matched his hitless effort in the second game, a 10-0 win in six innings. Both hurlers faced only three batters above the minimum.
Whittell head coach Don Amaral couldn’t help but be impressed by his pair of aces as they gave him his 98th and 99th wins in five seasons at the school.
“I’ve never had a no-hitter at Whittell and now I’ve got two in one day,” Amaral said. “Doing that against such a quality team is what’s most impressive. Get us into (the state tournament) and I like our chances.”
The pitchers got plenty of support from the Whittell offense and they both pitched in with key hits. Shapiro had two RBIs in the first game, brother Danny had three and Pavich scored the final run of the second game on a Marcus Mellberg hit.
Saturday marked the first high school no-hitter for each pitcher, but Shapiro thinks Pavich had the harder task.
“Once he got into the third or fourth inning with no hits, there was a lot more pressure on him to follow me up,” Shapiro said. “When I was pitching, everybody was just playing hard for the win.”
Pavich played third base in the opener and helped the defense pull together after two first-inning errors.
“You can’t really talk to a pitcher who’s going for a no-hitter and I didn’t talk to Chris,” Pavich said. “But I went to all of the infielders in the fourth inning and told them not to let anything get by them. We didn’t want to lose the no-hitter on something cheap.”
The Warriors (14-11 overall) host Coleville High on Tuesday and Dayton High on Thursday before a Saturday doubleheader against league rival Hawthorne. Whittell and Hawthorne are battling for the Northern section’s second seed, which will receive a bye in the first round of the regional playoffs.
“Beating the best team in the south should really help our confidence,” Pavich said. “This should definitely give us momentum for next weekend.”