Five total hits. Twelve total baserunners, just a shade less than one per half-inning.
Sound boring? Not for this guy. The Erie-Prophetstown Panthers' nail-biting 1-0 regional championship victory over Morrison at the Mustangs' sport complex was downright utopian, in my humble opinion.
I vividly remember two Brewers games from the 2002 season. In one, Hideo Nomo one-hit the Beermakers. In the other, Shawn Green racked up an MLB-record 19 bases, going 6-for-6 with four homers and seven RBIs.
Back then, in the MLB's fabled Steroid Era, the tagline "Chicks dig the long ball" was thrown around like syringes in the Oakland clubhouse.
Yes. Homers are fun. On any level. But I was more mesmerized by Nomo, doing something that - albeit amazing - has been done hundreds of times in the bigs than I was with Green putting up numbers that might never be touched.
As a fan, gimme the pitcher's duel. I love a game in which every play is so magnified, a victory hanging in the balance every time the pitcher releases the ball.
Kind of like Saturday in Morrison.
After the game, I chatted with Mustangs skipper Ben Sondgeroth about being on the wrong end of an instant classic. He talked about his pre-game chat with Panthers coach Jason Orman and how they both would be happy for the winner, as long as the game measured up to the expectations.
Boy, did it.
Kenneth Cole, the Panthers' hulking southpaw, worked like he had a flight to catch. Get ball. Get sign. Throw ball.
"It might seem boring. It might be boring for the fans," said first baseman Owen McConnell, who had the game's lone RBI and extra-base hit, "But when he's working fast like that, we're just rolling with it."
Perhaps the biggest cajones were shown by Mustangs lefty Bill Lee Greul, who struggled to find the strike zone early on. It cost him a run, but he would strike out 12, made far more impressive by the fact that he only worked six inning. He fanned nine of 12 at one point, which included five in a row in the middle innings.
Perhaps no one appreciated the southpaws' performances than Orman.
"I'm a former pitcher," he said, "so, yeah, that was my kind of game."
He's got another front-line pitcher in Ethan Howard, but top priority going forward would be figuring out another two-headed monster: Oregon's Matt Murray and Alex Cain.
The Hawks and Panthers will get together Wednesday in Byron with a trip to a secional final on the line. And I get to cover it. How spoiled am I?
So spoiled, I think I'll go ahead and pay admission. I guarantee, it'll be money well-spent.
Email SVM assistant sports editor Christopher Heimerman at email@example.com and follow @CHeimerman_SVM on Twitter.
High school tennis can be kind of cruel. I spent a few minutes during the Newman-Sterling tennis dual Monday evening, chatting with Comets coach Ann Propheter about that very fact. Er...opinion.
Similar to the bowlers (how many times have I typed that phrase? Sheesh), tennis players from smaller schools get put firmly behind the 8 ball by the IHSA's one-class system.
Factor in the city schools not missing a beat, thanks to their indoor courts, and it would take a special small-school player to break through at the state meet. Oh, and the schools in the southern portion of the state are far more battle-tested, too.
Don't tell the local racqueteers that the deck is stacked. They've got enough to contend with in the immediate: each other.
Over the next 10 days, local singles players and doubles tandems with challenge each other, vying for the two singles and two doubles spots that will be entered in the sectional fray.
The Comets' current No. 2 pairing of seniors Luke LeMay and Ryan Schaab have been in the ear of No. 2 tandem of juniors J.P. Neisewander and Andrew Schmitt, and this afternoon, it's on like Donkey Kong.
"We've been telling them we want to play them," LeMay said. "It keeps you competitive all the time."
Those numerals have been very temporary for Propheter's gang.
"All three of the doubles teams are all so close that they really do push each other a lot," Propheter said. "It makes it hard for me, and each week it changes, depending on who beats who in the challenge matches. It sure does keep things competitive."
If Neisewander and Schmitt weren't so inundated with Sterling's No. 2 pairing of Jonathon Downing and Dustin Stoudt, they might've scouted today's opponent a little more.
"It's all in the task at hand," Schmitt said.
"In between points, you can look around, see where everyone's at and offer words of encouragement," Neisewander said. "But we were having a time of it, so we had to focus on our game today."
Had they watched LeMay and Schaab closely, they would've seen that, in order to dig their way out of a one-set, 4-1 in the second set deficit, they simply had to put the ball in play. Once they started putting the impetus on their opponents with ground strokes, it was as good as over.
"They're highly athletic, and they've got a year of growth on us," Neisewander said. "We gotta hit fast and go deep, or else they'll destroy us. They can pick up almost anything."
"They have really good lobs, and Schmitty is really consistent with it," LeMay said. "J.P. has the good ground strokes. They're good players who will hit it back."
Remember how hard it was to deal with ever losing to one of your siblings at ANYthing? That's kind of what it will be like at practices over the next 10 days. But much like in our households growing up (I hope, for your sake), the end of the day will arrive with all parties smiling and beaming with pride.
"It's different from other sports, and it's fun to be competitive at practices," Schaab said. "Everyone wants to play at sectionals."
"When you play against your teammates, you can really let loose," Neisewander said. "You don't really have to worry about what the other guy is thinking. You have a lot more fun."
Let the games begin.
– SVM Assistant Sports Editor Christopher Heimerman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org on or Twitter (@CHeimerman_SVM)