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Scott City's Simmons pitches no-hitter against Oran
The Scott City senior struck out 11 batters in his gem.
SCOTT CITY -- Ace hurler Shae Simmons rebounded in his past three starts after Jackson pounded him in Scott City's season opener more than two weeks ago.
Simmons literally was unhittable against local rival Oran on Tuesday.
The senior, who has signed to play baseball at Southeast Missouri State next year, tossed a no-hitter and struck out 11 as the Rams posted a 10-0 five-inning victory.
"I kind of looked past [the Jackson game] just because it was the first game and Jackson's a good team," Simmons said. "Since then I've kind of locked in a little bit more."
Simmons has been locked in a lot more since giving up seven runs on eight hits in 3-plus innings against Jackson on March 23.
In his second game, which was against New Madrid County Central, Simmons pitched four perfect innings before being replaced in the fifth. He allowed just one hit while striking out 18 in a complete-game shutout against Sullivan on Friday night in his third outing this spring.
Simmons followed that by baffling the Oran lineup to improve to 3-1 on the mound. Ten of the 11 batters he struck out went down swinging.
The other four outs were on infield groundouts, two of which Simmons scooped up himself.
"We just couldn't hit the ball," said Oran shortstop Zac Chasteen, who added that Simmons' toughest pitch was his fastball. "That's all I can say really. Just nobody hit anything solid. We just couldn't put the head on the ball."
Simmons, who said that his fastball was working early and his curveball was effective later in the game, does not remember the last time he threw a no-hitter.
"Maybe in Little League, but I don't know," Simmons said. "It's pretty exciting today. It didn't feel like I threw a no-hitter. It was a short game."
Simmons has added a changeup this year that catcher Jaris Hye said is developing nicely and was especially effective against Sullivan.
"He's worked a lot with coach [Seth] Ward on his changeup, and it's actually a pretty disgusting pitch because he throws so fast and the changeup comes in so slow and it breaks and it really upsets the balance of the hitters," Hye said.
The game went scoreless through the first two and a half innings until the Rams (4-3) scored three runs in the bottom of the third against Oran starter Cody Dirnberger.
Skylar Cobb doubled with one out and scored when Austin Raines singled to right field.
Simmons then blooped an RBI triple into a big gap in right as Oran right fielder Nolan Urhahn was shifted far over toward center field.
"That was a bomb," Simmons joked about his bloop triple.
"It was more of a luck thing," he said. "It was either luck or the have to, which is you just have to do it."
Cody Page's sacrifice fly to left field increased the lead to 3-0. With the way that Simmons was throwing, three runs was more than enough.
"I think playing [three games] up in Festus this weekend really helped us out [offensively]," Raines said. "We got a lot more swings in than we usually do on the weekends. ... We just focused on making contact and getting the ball in the outfield because they [Oran] were playing kind of back."
Scott City added seven runs in the fourth inning on five hits.
"We put the ball in play and good things happen when you put the ball in play," Hye said.
Oran (3-2) struggled defensively, committing six errors. Only four of Scott City's 10 runs were earned.
"His pitching speaks for itself -- he's done a great job," Oran coach Mitch Wood said of Simmons. "He shut us down. I wasn't disappointed in the fact that we didn't score runs. It was the giving up runs which we shouldn't have done today. We didn't do a very good job defensively. We missed fly balls. We missed ground balls."
WP -- Shae Simmons, 3-1. LP -- Cody Dirnberger. 3B -- Simmons, Caleb Gray. 2B -- Skylar Cobb. Multiple hits -- Scott City: Cobb 2-3, Austin Raines 2-3, Simmons 2-2. Records -- Scott City 4-3, Oran 2-3.