May fans 11, no-hits Mt. Salus|[02/29/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 29, 2008

Chris May could barely throw a strike Thursday — to the first two batters he faced. After that, he seemed to only throw strikes.

The senior left-hander walked the first batter he faced and hit the second, then struck out 11 of the next 13 to finish off a four-inning no-hitter as Porters Chapel Academy routed Mt. Salus 15-0. May struck out nine straight after the early bout of wildness — the first six on a total of 18 pitches. He needed just 61 pitches to earn the first no-hitter of his high school career.

“I couldn’t let frustration get the best of me. I knew I was on the line of pitching and I had to show I could pitch,” said May, who has battled wildness throughout his high school career. He walked 36 batters in 24 innings last season, then six more in a one-inning stint during a scrimmage against Madison-Ridgeland Academy last week.

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May was slow out of the gate again against Mt. Salus (0-2, 0-2 District 5-A), walking leadoff man Connor Yelverton on five pitches. He hit No. 2 batter Scott Oswalt with a full count fastball, the seventh pitch of that at-bat. He then struck out the next three hitters on three pitches each and repeated the feat in the second inning.

May struck out the side again in the third but slipped a little — he needed 15 pitches. In the fourth, leadoff hitter Andrew Irwin whiffed on four pitches before Austin Biggs hit an easy grounder to short. It was the only ball Mt. Salus put in play against May. He walked the next batter before striking out Mike Vernon to end the game.

“I started following through with my pitches. Coach (Randy) Wright told me I was standing up on my delivery, and I started following through, throwing downhill, and I got my mechanics right,” May said.

After crushing Mt. Salus 17-0 on Tuesday, PCA (2-1, 2-0) didn’t expect to have a lot of problems finishing the season sweep of a team with no seniors and three seventh graders in the starting lineup. It didn’t.

Austin Barber went 2-for-2 with two triples, three RBIs and three runs scored, while Matt Cranfield scored three runs and belted a two-run homer in the first inning to get the Eagles started. Clayton Holmes had two hits and scored three runs, Joe Borrello was 2-for-3 with a homer, double and four RBIs, and PCA belted out 10 hits. It scored five runs in the second inning and seven in the third to blow the game open.