Citizen Staff Writer
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
Canyon del Oro High School pitcher Ryan Retz was three outs from throwing the first no-hitter of his baseball career.
And as unusual as it was – six CDO errors had led to three Catalina Foothills runs through the first six innings – a no-hitter against CDO’s Class 4A Sonoran Region rival would have been a great way for Retz to kick off his senior season.
Instead, his no-hit bid was ruined in the bottom of the seventh inning when Foothills pinch-hitter Stan Brown sent an 0-2 breaking ball off the center-field wall for a triple, putting the tying run 90 feet from home plate.
“I really wanted it, but it didn’t turn out that way,” Retz said of the near no-hitter.
He pitched his way out of the inning, though, stranding Brown on third base and preserving a 4-3 CDO win in the second round of the 16-team Cactus Classic baseball tournament.
“Retz is the best in the state and we all have the most respect for him and their team,” said Catalina Foothills coach Lance Robertson.
CDO gave Retz a three-run cushion in the first inning and added a fourth in the third. But Retz was still asked to pitch his way out of jams throughout the night, including a bases-loaded situation in the third.
“It makes you work a little harder because you’re not trying to rely on your defense mostly, you’re just trying to get the outs yourself,” Retz said. “But you have to trust defense overall.”
Foothills scored a pair of runs off two Canyon del Oro errors in the fifth. The Falcons had runners at second and third with one out before Retz was able to get the next two hitters.
“We kind of expect that from Retz,” CDO coach Len Anderson said. “He’s a bulldog and the tougher the situation gets, the tougher he pitches.”
Retz finished the night with a complete game, giving up three runs on one hit. He struck out six and walked three.
As happy as Anderson was about Retz’s showing on the mound, he was equally frustrated with his team’s play in the field.
“We practice defense religiously every day,” Anderson said, adding that errors are easier to live with when as long as they don’t stem from mental lapses in the field.
“If they’re physical errors, I can live with that, but they were just routine plays (Friday night). I can’t explain it.”
Parker Bunch got the loss for Foothills, giving up four runs on two hits. He struck out one, walked three and hit two batters.
Trevor Cohen scored two runs for Foothills and Breck Ashdown reached base all four times, three by walk and one by error.
CDO pitcher loses no-hit bid, but hangs on for win