Sports Scene: No hitters don’t always lead to shutouts

One of my favorite things to say to baseball fans who don’t often watch games at the prep level is that you’re more likely to see a home run than a double play in a given game. It’s a way of saying that players have ability, but the average high school team is nowhere near polished enough to be completely sharp, especially on defense.

You see odd statistical things happen more often than higher levels, like pitchers losing no hitters.

Fort Loramie and Minster each had pitchers throw no-hitters a week ago. They both won their games, but their opponents weren’t shut out.

Fort Loramie senior Christian McGee threw a no-hitter in a 2-1 win over the Wildcats last Saturday in the PBR Showcase at Wapakoneta High School. Despite not managing a hit, Minster drew seven walks, and three wild pitches helped the squad score and stay in it.

Minster sophomore starter Louis Magoto and junior Tyler Stueve had each combined to throw a no-hitter against Marion Local two days prior — but the Flyers managed to score three runs in a seven-run loss. Magoto, who pitched two innings, walked five batters and gave up two earned runs.

By the way, the artificial turf installed on Wapakoneta’s infield last fall is beautiful. It’s been nice to see turf put down at some area infields in recent years, including Vandalia-Butler and Newton. It can definitely make for interesting play, too, as ground balls can die in a hurry once they skip off turf and meet outfield grass.

Car salesman like sports writers, but sales more

I’ve been looking for a new (to me) Honda the last couple of weeks and have had to endure small-talk attempts by salesmen. Asking about occupation is one of their first questions.

I usually try to keep it generic and just say “reporter” or something similar in those situations, as I hate discussing… well, pretty much anything, especially with somebody I don’t know and won’t know beyond a brief transaction.

But I’ve made the mistake of saying, “sports,” in front of reporter a couple of times, and it immediately piques the interest of almost every salesman. They usually remark how interesting it must be, but then seem to want to withdraw that comment when they question further and discover I cover high school, not the Bengals or Ohio State or whatever their favorite college/professional team is.

When I can actually get into the car I want to test drive and put an end to the 50 questions, they drop the small talk and start with the pressure tactics.

I’ve gotten a whole range the last few weeks, from the roided-out salesman at a Marysville-area dealership bluntly asking, “So you want to buy it?” immediately after I returned from the first of four vehicles I had asked to test drive, to an elderly gentlemen at one dealership close to Grove City saying he had an appointment the next day for someone else to look at a car — the same car he was unaware of 20 minutes prior when I asked about it, going so far as to say he didn’t think they had any of those models on the lot before he looked it up on his computer.

No tactic has worked, and my search continues.

Billing has been the sports editor of the Sidney Daily News since 2017. He can be reached at [email protected].