KING CITY, Mo. — The Northeast Nodaway Bluejays put up video-game numbers in Saturday's Wildkat Blast.
The Jays (8-3) beat North Platte (4-11) 24-0 and King City (5-7) 26-0. Both games were no-hitters with sophomore Dylan McIntyre getting the start in each contest.
Against North Platte, McIntyre pitched all four innings and struck out eight while walking just one.
“Dylan was throwing strikes and kids couldn’t hit them, or if they did it was a little dinker to shortstop,” Bluejay catcher Colton Swalley said.
Bluejay junior Lane Dack put his team on the board in the top of the first inning with an RBI single. Dack finished the game 4-for-4 with four runs batted in.
A 2-run home run by junior shortstop Ben Boswell highlighted a 3-run second inning. The third inning followed the same script with Boswell hitting another 2-run homer and the Jays putting up three more runs.
Boswell finished the game 4-for-5 with the two home runs and five RBI. The Jays had nine players get a hit and Swalley had a 3-for-4 game.
“Our hitting is what we are going to be winning ball games with and I think today has shown us that we’ve come a long way from the beginning of the season,” Swalley said. “We are a whole different team than what teams may have seen at the beginning (of the season).”
The wheels came off for North Platte in the fourth inning as the Jays put up 17 runs. A 3-run home run by Grant McIntyre and a 2-run pinch-hit homer by Creed Wilcox highlighted the inning.
“Everybody — subs were getting hits — everybody was getting hits,” Northeast Nodaway coach Vance Proffitt said. “It was just very contagious today. It was awesome and it is what we’ve been working on.”
Because Dylan McIntyre only needed 49 pitches to record his four no-hit innings against North Platte, Proffitt went back to his ace to start the second game of the doubleheader against King City.
The Wildcats didn’t find much more success against the sophomore. McIntyre recorded the first seven outs of the game in 37 pitches and allowed no hits with three strikeouts and two walks. For the day, McIntyre threw 6 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball with 11 strikeouts and three walks.
The offense got off to an even quicker start against King City with four runs in the first inning. Auston Pride, Brayden Munns and Boston Adwell each had RBI singles in the first inning.
The Jays put up three more runs in the second inning with the big swing being a 2-run single by Pride.
Northeast Nodaway added four more runs in the third inning which also saw McIntyre throw his final pitch as Pride came in to finish the no-hitter.
Pride recorded five outs with a pair of walks and a pair of strikeouts.
“Auston just has that placement and ability to use that slider in certain situations,” Swalley said. “Even if it is a 3-2 count, he will always be confident in that slider if I call it for him. He can always get a batter with it.”
The flood gates opened once agains in the fourth inning with 15 Bluejay runs. Swalley hit a grand slam and Pride crushed a 3-run home run.
Dack finished the second game 5-for-6, making him 9-for-10 on the day. Swalley and Pride each had four hits in the second game while Munns had three and Adwell, Boswell and Chase Atkins each had two.
“Gosh dang it, they’ve worked hard,” Proffitt said. “We hit a real big lull in our season a couple weeks ago and these guys have jumped out, really started hitting the ball well, worked their butts off and have responded finally to a little bit of adversity.”
The Jays now take a week off for their senior trip, but will return to action on May 10 with a home game against winless East Harrison before the district tournament begins. After early conference losses to Platte Valley and South Holt, the Jays believe they are playing their best baseball at the right time.
“The start of the season was not very good, but we keep working hard in practice and getting all those swings in,” Pride said. “It feels good to see it pay off."