Andrew King had a night to remember on the mound Tuesday versus the Huntsville Hornets, throwing a no-hitter in Livingston’s 5-0 victory at The Livingston ISD Baseball Complex.
The senior right-hander tossed seven innings, striking out 12 Hornets and walking three. King allowed four total base runners (one on a dropped third strike), but was able to erase two. One was picked off of first base, while another was gunned down at second in a stolen base attempt.
“We’ve put ourselves in a bind and every game is pretty much a playoff for us now,” Livingston coach Mike Innerarity said. “We have put ourselves behind the eightball, but our kids the last three games have played really well. Pitching has been really good the last couple of games and we have to continue to do that. We had some opportunities to get some more runs in with runners at second and third and no one out, but we didn’t get anybody in. That’s the kind of stuff we talk about all the time where good teams will make you pay for not taking advantage of that situation. We got enough done tonight to get by. The great thing about these kids here is they never quit. We have been down and way out and they will find a way to fight back in it.”
Corbin Patterson got the Lions started in the first with a one-out double. After a groundout pushed Patterson to third, Andrew King laced a single up the middle to score the first run.
In the second, Lane Purvis singled with one out and Peyton Stewart was hit by a pitch. Brannon Miller hit into a fielder’s choice that forced Stewart out at second. Miller then took second on the first pitch to Derrick Findley, who hit a two-RBI single, making it a 3-0 contest after two innings.
With two outs in the fourth inning, the Lions got singles from Miller and Findley, setting up Patterson. The Livingston left fielder singled in Miller to extend the lead to 4-0.
Again with one out, Livingston went to work on offense in the sixth. Findley singled and stole second base. With two-outs a Boothe pop up turned into a single when it was lost in the night sky. The RBI brought Findley across home for the final run.
Finishing the contest as strong as he began, King retired the Hornets in order, striking out his final batter. He was backed all night by good defense from the Lion infield that received the majority of opportunities.
“To throw a no-hitter — especially early, he was making himself work,” Innerarity said. “I think he felt like he had to strike them all out. I told him between half innings that he was going six or seven pitches on every hitter. You don’t have to do that. Let them hit the ball. Early, Brannon Miller made a good play and Peyton Stewart made a good play. When we played Willis a couple of weeks ago, those were base hits. They took them away, so that kept them in the ballgame. It’s hard to beat a no-hitter.
Anybody that throws a no-hitter, that is a great accomplishment, so I am proud for him.
The home team’s offense accumulated 11 hits. Findley and King had three each, and Patterson had two.
With the win and a Bryan Rudder loss versus College Station, the two schools are now tied for the fourth and final playoff seed in District 18-5A.
“I told the kids that we need to stay within one (game) of Rudder, because we already beat them (in Bryan),” the Livingston coach said. “If we beat them here and get a tie, we get the tiebreaker.”