by Alan Babbitt
The Flying Dutchmen beat Minnesota-Morris, 6-2, in seven innings in Game 1 of a non-league doubleheader with the ninth no-hitter in team history.
"It's crazy," head coach Stu Fritz said. "To think you can go 10, 15 years without a no-hitter, then two in the same week, I don't have words."
On Friday, March 16, three Hope pitchers no-hit Clarkson, 11-0, in seven innings: starter Sean Hoey (West Ottawa HS) and relievers Matt VanDyken (Zeeland East HS) and Max Gaishin (Stevensville-Lakeshore HS).
Prior to this month, the last time the Flying Dutchmen threw a no-hitter was 2009.
Hope went on to win Game 2, 8-0. The Flying Dutchmen are now 8-0 on season and went unbeaten during their annual spring break trip for the first time in team history.
Keaton, a Grandville High School product, started and pitched 6 2/3 innings. In his second collegiate start, Hamilton (1-0) struck out eighth and allowed five baserunners (four walks and one hit batter).
"Keaton had really good stuff today," Fritz said. "He was almost perfect."
Otteman, a Zeeland High High School product, entered with two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh. Minnesota-Morris scored twice in the inning, and threatened for more, thanks to three walks, one hit batter and two wild pitches.
Otteman retired the final batter — the only one he faced — on a strikeout.
"CJ just did what he does," Fritz said.
The Flying Dutchmen supported their pitchers with offense in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings: sacrifice flies from second baseman Jordon Fairchild of Muskegon, Michigan (Oakridge) and first baseman Ted Eppinga of Saline, Michigan (Saline), a two-run single from catcher Trace Slancik of Scotts, Michigan (Vicksburg) and shortstop Brant Kym of Libertyville, Illinois (Libertyville). Kym also scored on an error.
Hope now returns home and opens MIAA play at home Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Calvin College.