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Maumee’s Studenka Throws No-Hitter As Maumee Tops Southview 6-0

BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Junior pitcher Justin Studenka threw a no-hitter while leading Maumee’s baseball team to a 6-0 win over visiting Southview on April 12. “Justin is just very consistent and throws a lot of strikes,” said Maumee coach Cam Coutcher. “I think he was 80 percent on first-pitch strikes, and he was throwing his fastball, change-up and curveball for first-pitch strikes. He was on.” Studenka credited his curveball and location for his success against the Cougars. The right-hander in fact came just one walk shy of a perfect game when he walked Southview catcher Bailey Wietzykowski during the game’s second inning. Southview leftfielder Evan Akeman, third baseman Kurt Hurley, pinch-hitter Tyler Joseph and first baseman Luc Rice all did reach base on five separate Panthers errors, but Studenka and company were able to avoid any real damage, thanks in part to a pair of stellar defensive plays by Maumee seniors, shortstop Jordan Key and third baseman Aidan Maxwell. Cougars starter C.J. Leonard had been nearly as impressive through the contest’s first five stanzas, allowing singles to Key and senior leftfielder Matt LeCron and walking Key, LeCron, junior rightfielder Caleb Brown and sophomore designated hitter Blake Adams, but not allowing a run. After stranding six runners on base up to that point, however, the Panthers offense finally broke free in the bottom of the sixth frame. Senior catcher Tyler Archambeau singled, Adams reached on a Southview error and Maxwell was hit by a pitch to start the late push by loading the bases. Adams, Maxwell and junior pinch runner Devon Cleghorn next scored on a squeeze single by senior centerfielder John Henry and a follow-up single by senior second baseman J.R. Helminiak. LeCron reloaded the bases two batters later by drawing a two-out walk, allowing senior first baseman Matt Burkett to plate two more runs with a single. “We got it done when we needed to offensively,” Coutcher said. LeCron then scored the final run on a balk by Cougars reliever Will Wooddall before the inning ended. Helminski led Maumee’s batters on the night by going 1-for-3, scoring a run and knocking two more in. Henry added a single, a run and an RBI, Burkett had a single and two RBI and LeCron contributed a single, two walks, a sacrifice bunt and a run. “They’ve worked very hard on offense,” Coutcher said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are doing what we’re coaching them to do this year and they are really doing a good job of grinding out at-bats and making pitchers throw lots of pitches. We’re trying to go by the philosophy of winning one pitch at a time.” The Panthers improved to 5-3 (2-0 in Northern Lakes League play) with the win. Studenka said that he wasn’t surprised by Maumee’s hot start. “We were on a hot streak down in Florida and we came back and kept it going,” he said. “We’re all hot. We’re hitting well and I think we can keep it going. I am confident that we can win the league.” Coutcher said the Panthers still have a lot of work to do, calling the team a “work in progress.” “We feel very good about our camaraderie and we’re playing very well together right now,” he concluded. Leonard took the loss after allowing four earned runs on five hits and five walks, while striking three batters out over 5.1 innings. Designated hitter Ryan Kelly and second baseman Alek Wietzykowski both posted sacrifice bunts and Joseph stole a base for Southview, despite the loss. Maumee 5, Springfield 3 Two nights earlier, the Panthers earned their first NLL win of the season in a weather-shortened 5-3 game at Springfield. The two teams were knotted up at 3-3 until Maumee plated the go-ahead and insurance runs in the top of the fourth. The Panthers still led the Blue Devils 5-3 with two outs recorded in the bottom of the sixth when the lightning began. Archambeau led Maumee to victory by allowing two earned runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out six Springfield batters over five frames. He also went 2-for-3 from the plate and collected a double and a pair of RBI. Adams (run, RBI, stolen base), Brown (run, RBI) and Key each recorded another Panthers hit, Burkett drew a walk, Henry recorded a sacrifice, LeCron was hit by two pitches and scored a run, Maxwell was hit by a pitch and scored a run and junior Hunter Duby was hit by a pitch, recorded a sacrifice and scored a run. Brad Ammons took the loss after surrendering a pair of earned runs on five hits and five walks over five innings. He also struck four Panthers batters out in the process.

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