Caps' LaBruyere fires one-hitter

Sunday, June 21, 2009 ~ Updated 12:12 AM
Capaha's Denver Stuckey, right, attempts to tag out St. Louis' Adam Smith in the fourth inning Saturday at Capaha Park. (Elizabeth Dodd)

The former Central pitcher silenced the Printers in Plaza Tire's 10-0 win.

Brad LaBruyere admitted that a no-hitter would have been nice.

But the Plaza Tire Capahas right-hander mainly was excited that he continues to pitch well.

LaBruyere allowed one hit Saturday -- an eighth-inning single -- as the Capahas routed the St. Louis Printers 10-0.

The game was stopped in the bottom of the eighth inning after host Plaza Tire opened up a 10-run lead, meaning LaBruyere didn't have to go out for the ninth inning to complete his shutout.

Capahas pitcher Brad LaBruyere throws to first for an out during the fifth inning of Saturday's game against the St. Louis Printers at Capaha Field. (Elizabeth Dodd)

"I'm not really disappointed," said LaBruyere of missing out on the no-hitter. "I didn't come out here expecting it. I figured [a hit] would come sooner or later."

It came later rather than sooner as Cubby Bryan led off the eighth inning with a soft line drive to short right-center field that barely eluded Plaza Tire second baseman Kendal Deason, who dived for the ball.

"Kendal pretty much did everything he could to catch it," LaBruyere said.

Nothing else came close to a hit for the shorthanded Printers, who had only nine players. That caused the scheduled doubleheader of two seven-inning games to be switched to one nine-inning affair.

"They were hurting for depth today," said Capahas manager Jess Bolen, whose team improved to 6-5 as it broke a two-game losing streak. "They usually bring a really good team down here."

The Capahas' Josh Eftink tries to score as Printers catcher Ben White takes a throw during the third inning Saturday at Capaha Park. Eftink was out on the play. (Elizabeth Dodd)

So far not many teams have had much success against LaBruyere, who is 3-0 as he has half of the Capahas' victories.

"Brad has really been pitching well," Bolen said. "I think regular starts, getting five or six innings every time he goes out there, makes a difference.

"He's starting to increase his velocity every time out. He's always had good control."

LaBruyere, a Central High School graduate who recently completed his sophomore season at Southeast Missouri State, struck out five, walked three and hit a batter.

"I feel like I have a lot more velocity," LaBruyere said. "I don't know if it's the [hot] weather or throwing more."

Although LaBruyere has been a valuable spot starter and middle reliever for Southeast the past two seasons, he has rarely worked more than a few innings in any game.

LaBruyere couldn't remember the last time he had gone a full eight innings.

"It was probably Legion ball," said LaBruyere, who last played on the American Legion level in 2007 before joining the Capahas a year ago.

That 2007 Legion season also marked LaBruyere's most recent no-hitter.

"It's really not a big deal that I didn't get it," he said. "I just hope I keep having a good feel for all my pitches."

LaBruyere benefited from a 15-hit attack, led by Matt Wagner's 3-for-5 performance that included a double and four RBIs.

Getting two hits apiece were Deason, Jeremy Patton, Denver Stuckey and John Amschler.

Patton, a former Senath-Hornersville High School and Jefferson College star who has signed with Division I Florida International, is Plaza Tire's newest addition. He saw his first action Saturday.

"He's a good hitter. He's just a good ballplayer," said Bolen of Patton, who played center field Saturday but is also adept at various infield positions. "He'll help us a lot."

The Capahas host the Charleston Riverdogs today in a 5 p.m. doubleheader. That takes the place of a scheduled 1 p.m. doubleheader with Fairview Heights (Ill.), which due to rainouts needed to make up some league games.

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WP -- Brad LaBruyere, 3-0. LP -- Cubby Bryan. 2B -- Matt Wagner, John Amschler, Denver Stuckey, Josh Eftink, Garrett Stevens. Multiple hits -- Capahas, Wagner 3-5, Amschler 2-3, Stuckey 2-5, Kendal Deason 2-4, Jeremy Patton 2-4. Records -- Capahas 6-5.

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