Chatham Central's Fuquay throws no-hitter
Chatham Central's Chase Fuquay fired a no-hitter, the first no-hitter by a Bear pitcher in at least 10 seasons, leading the Bears to their sixth straight win in conference play, a 2-0 victory over North Moore Tuesday night.
Fuquay allowed three Mustangs to reach base and only one to reach scoring position. His no-no might be Chatham Central's first in longer than a decade but head coach Bill Slaughter, in his 10th year with the Bears, knew about his tenure for sure.
"Chase was in control the whole way tonight," Slaughter said.
A Bear run in the second, with Andrew Jurden's sacrifice fly to center bringing in Seth Elkins, then another run in the third, with Zack Burke's double then Cade McIntyre's single bring Burke around and in, was all the offense Fuquay, a junior southpaw, needed.
Fuquay retired the Mustangs in order in four of the first five frames. Ethan Morrison drew a walk to start the Mustang sixth. With one out, Cody Vaughn drew a walk.
The Mustang threat passed in one pitch with Kirby Lambert hitting a grounder up the middle. Burke, at shortstop, started an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
Fuquay, going even more to a fastball which was key the whole way, struck out the side in the North Moore seventh. He finished with 10 strikeouts.
"He hasn't allowed an earned run all year. He's certainly our ace," Slaughter said. "His confidence has just grown."
Mustang senior Dustin Morrison was outstanding on the mound as well, allowing six hits.
Burke's double, a drive into left-center field, was the only extra-base hit of the contest. After two missed bunt attempts, McIntyre sprayed a grounder over the bag at first and barely into the outfield for a 2-0 Bear advantage.
From there, Morrison held the Bears but didn't get any help. Morrison walked one, hit a batter and struck out six.
Fuquay (4-0) has allowed six hits and two unearned runs. He has 46 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched. In blanking the Mustangs, he shut down a squad which scored 31 runs in a 2-1 mark last week.
The Mustangs (4-5, 4-3) entered the night tied for third in the YVC with West Montgomery. North Moore faces another road test, at South Stanly (6-0 YVC), on Friday night.
Chatham Central (6-3, 6-1) was in second, a game behind South Stanly, entering Tuesday's schedule. The Bears are playing in a tournament at Graham Wednesday-Saturday, starting with a game against Eastern Alamance.
"It's going to be great competition for us," Slaughter said. "In Eastern Alamance, we're facing a good 3A program."
"So win or lose, we're going to learn some things in this tournament."